Designing Solutions

Our process of looking closely gives us a comprehensive grasp of the issues our partners face and what they hope to accomplish. Once that process is complete, we’re ready to design custom solutions.


The Center is transforming its training development and delivery to be more focused on building trainees’ skills within the context of their work environment. We want to ensure that agency staff members are able to immediately use what they’ve learned in training when they return to work.

Typical PowerPoint-style lecture doesn’t prepare caseworkers to be effective in the complex, challenging situations they encounter every day. Instead, dynamic online training with realistic scenarios plunge workers right into the context they’re in every day, so their grasp of the new material is swift and long-lasting.

Specialized Instructional Design

The SAVVY Start

We begin each project with the SAVVY Start, part of the SAM method we’ve learned from Allen Interactions. We get everyone with a stake in the outcomes in the room for the start of the project: caseworkers, administrators, supervisors, community stakeholders and service providers, the client and our own team of specialists. It’s a big room - but it’s an active, energizing experience.

At the SAVVY Start, we gather as much information as we all can share about desired performance goals, probable barriers to success, and context-based scenarios that will enrich the learning experience. At the end of the SAVVY Start, all participants know exactly what the foundation of the project is and have an idea of how the training will be delivered.

You can find a typical agenda for a SAVVY Start at the Center here.

The SAM Method

We use the Successive Approximation Model process to work with our clients so that they can keep track of exactly how the end product could look as we actively develop the next iteration of the design.

This process helps prevent development from drifting away from the expectations of the client or away from the user’s needs and context.

During the instructional design process, we consider all possibilities:

• In-person and online modules

• Workshop, large-scale meetings and training series

• Synchronous and asynchronous learning

• Media: expert interviews, video cased scenarios, review and refresher modules

• Other materials: websites, brochures, handouts, job aids

We’ll find the best solution for meaningful, memorable and motivational training.