The Successive Approximations Model

We know e-learning development speed, collaboration, quality, and performance are everything. Meet your partner in learning performance ― SAM (Successive Approximations Model)

SAM, the Successive Approximations Model, is an agile e-learning development process built specifically to create Meaningful, Memorable, and Motivational learning experiences that drive measurable gains and performance. Created by our founder and CEO, Dr. Michael Allen, this means, among other things, that we quickly produce functioning custom learning solutions that can be tested for strengths and weaknesses. Then we iteratively improve until your target measures of performance and success are reached.

Because our passion is resolving performance problems from fuzzy to clearly defined and understood, we focus on your learner’s journey, experiences, engagement, and motivation over the more commonplace presentation of information and post-tests. Every project requires agility and flexibility by the project team. SAM provides the options, strategies, and tools for these teams to be successful. SAM is just one method we use to bring you (and selfishly us!) pure delight that reinforces our mission and vision.

SAM Process Diagram 2021 - Name & Copyright 2021 - 150 dpi


  • 01 Preparation
  • 02 Iterative Design
  • 03 Iterative Development

Preparation Phase

SAM starts with the Preparation Phase—where background information is gathered, such as what style of training works best for the organization, who needs to acquire which skills, and what are the constraints and opportunities. This is intended to be a very quick phase, as all design proposals will be double-checked as the process moves forward.

Iterative Design Phase

This phase begins with the Savvy Start, an initial collaborative brainstorming session to establish the project foundation. The session is typically one to two days long and determines how success will be defined and measured. It works for consensus on the overall approach. Throughout the Savvy Start and Iterative Design Phase, your team will be rotating through design, prototype, and review to make sure all stakeholders can contribute and will enthusiastically support the design direction.

Iterative Development Phase

In the Iterative Development Phase, we will work through development, implementation, and evaluation together. We will create a Design Proof to verify and finalize all aspects of the design and functionality before producing full content and an “Alpha” version. Errors and omissions are then corrected in production of a “Beta” version, which, if no further problems are found, become “Gold.” We will continually analyze and evaluate throughout the process, making corrections quickly to limit any risk of exceeding allocated budget or time. 


8 Reasons SAM Could be Your L&D Performance Breakthrough


SAM, the Successive Approximations Model, is an iterative process model and a different approach to the development of instructional design products. It addresses the performance need through iterations, repeated small steps, rather than with perfectly executed giant steps. SAM addresses project roadblocks (product quality, meeting timelines and budgets, and managing SMEs). Most importantly, SAM is an agile rapid e-learning design and development process built specifically to create  performance-driven learning.
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SAM Iterative Process Model Testimonial




Meaningful, Memorable, and Motivational learning experiences
combined with learning technology expertise―allow us to help forward-thinking brands pinpoint and conquer people performance and technology barriers to reach their full potential.

— Dr. Michael Allen, Founder & CEO

See how our clients smash performance barriers!

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