Begin with the end in mind

Filed in Design, e-Learning, Project Management by on July 14, 2014 0 Comments

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
— Mark Twain

Can you imagine flying an airplane without a destination, or imagine painting a picture without knowing what you’re going to paint? That would almost be impossible, wouldn’t it?  Beginning an effort with the end in mind gives a clear destination to reach. The principle of beginning with the end is applied in almost every creative discipline.  It’s also one of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Apple Ipod
Designer Jonathan Ive helped design the IPod. Jonathan Ive began with the end in mind. In fact, the first 4 iterations of the IPod were very similar, beginning with Generation 1 back in October 2001. The idea was first approved before mass production began. The IPod team created a new market which spanned the globe. It all started with the end in mind.

Take cars for example. Even with todays advanced machinery, new cars are not produced without an initial design. Mass production doesn’t begin until the end idea or goal is approved.

How about flying. In todays controlled airspace, a pilot doesn’t takeoff without a flight plan, which contains the takeoff/landing times and the mission destination.

Programmers usually like to begin writing code as soon as an idea pops into their head. However, it’s best to begin by defining the end goals first, before a single line is written.

The systematic design of instruction, also known as Instructional Systems Design (ISD), should always begin with the end goal in mind. Following standard systematic design, learning objectives (end goals) are determined using the desired skill level, knowledge, procedures, or attitudes that need to be learned.  Having clear objectives/goals up front makes the entire process more efficient.

Beginning with the end in mind is a good idea, saving time and $$$$.


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About the Author ()

Whether it's programming, troubleshooting, cooking, or playing music, Marshall enjoys being creative and lot's of laughter.

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