ATD Blog

Agility in Curriculum Development

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing technology arena, speed matters to the business. Technology companies are constantly trying to adopt the DevOps culture to continuously update and maintain their products and services. 

For many organizations, training is coupled with products and services. The DevOps culture in engineering teams pressures training teams because there is a constant need to keep courses current. The GA+X days of service level agreements no longer work for most training teams. Customers want to be trained on the latest versions of products and most current services.

While engineering teams have already adopted agile methods to develop software and services, many training teams still use the traditional waterfall methodology to build courses. Some organizations use the “what’s new” or “delta training” approach to address changes and updates to products. This approach works for product-based courses and when there is a defined roadmap for software/ products releases.

However, when customers are being trained on services, there are no multiple versions of services. New versions of services are constantly pushed out in the DevOps culture, which means that courses are almost always immediately obsolete. Matters become even more complicated for role-based and instructor-led solutions because, for example, role-based training may touch on multiple services in one course. Therefore, one service change will affect the entire course and any associated labs. The result: “whats new” and “delta training” approaches are no longer tenable.


More than ever, there is a constant need to keep training current. How can L&D bring the DevOps culture into curriculum development—so that training updates sync with service updates? Indeed, to what extent can the L&D function use the agile development methodology in curriculum development without losing the essence of instructional design–especially when the training delivery business model is based on predictability, and many classroom-based solutions are sold approximately three months in advance?


Bottom line: How does the agile methodology and continuous update model impact the training delivery model?

I would like to hear from those of you who face similar challenges in keeping courses current. In the next few blogs, I will share tools and techniques that can be used to bring agility and DevOps in course development. 

About the Author

Rashim Mogha is a dynamic, outcome-driven leader who is passionate about driving customer success through training and enablement. Her extensive career portfolio consists of prominent companies, such as Oracle, Amazon Web Services, and VMware. She is founder of eWow—empowered Women of the World, a published author, keynote speaker and Women in Tech evangelist. Mogha coaches leaders to recognize, visualize, and actualize success using the power of positivity.

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