When I was in graduate school my advisor made me map and track instructional design models. He wanted me to see the variations and similarieties in how people described the processes used to develop a unit of instruction. Which was sort of different from designing a curriculum. Which was kind of different from designing a system. I remember having vague disdain for the ADDIE model because it was so...simple.
My respect for the power of ADDIE was born after sitting in a product marketing meeting a few years back, hearing my product team co-workers talking about ADDIE as if it was the instructional designer's sacred code. They had developed a strategy to map product requirements definition (PRD) to the stages in ADDIE. I had the sudden shocked realization that my co-workers saw this model as THE representation of what instructional designers do. Even if we don't. And I know they are not the only ones.
With all due respect, to the rest of the world, this IS what we do. I was not able to persuade otherwise. At some level or another, this ADDIE model is, for better or worse, love it or hate it, the simplest, clearest, most direct way of describing what the quintessential ID does in their work. it is one of the only truly international signs through which an ID in India would recognize an ID in Brazil, an ID in the US would recognize an ID in England. Whether working in education, government, defense, media, financials services or manufacturing.
I was thinking about this just today when Clive Shepherd invited us all to vote in his CreateaDebate site. The anti-ADDIE people are pretty far ahead in the voting. My contribution to the vote and commentary was to suggest that ADDIE is how instructional designers recognize each other. We can make fun of it or love it or hate it all we want, We still all know what we are talking about.
Can you name me anything else that we all know, no matter where we live and work? I would love to have a few more alternatives, especially these days. I would so much rather have our practice acknowledged - and recognized - for things that really matter.