Successive Approximation Model (SAM)

Successive Approximation Model (SAM) | Instructional design sam model method of development to help you better understand its importance.

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The Successive Approximation Model (SAM) is a software method of development. It is an iterative, incremental, and evolutionary process focusing on progress through tiny steps rather than one significant step.

We use it to develop software products. It involves defining a clear problem statement. And then building the product in stages that are small enough to be completed within a short time. But also large enough that they add value to the product. Stakeholders should review each stage of development before moving on to the next step. Designers receive valuable feedback about what works well and what future versions of their products can improve upon from these reviews. The Quality Assurance Department must review it before it reaches production status, where only significant cost or difficulty can easily correct mistakes.

Successive Approximation Model (SAM)


Before you begin to work on your project, preparing a detailed design document is essential regarding the instructional design model. The preparation phase contains all the information needed to build and test the application. You need to prepare a clear development plan too. A testing plan is also required before actual development begins. And finally, there should be an effective communication plan during each phase of the project.

Iterative design

The iterative design phase is a design process that involves repeated cycles of prototyping, testing, and refining. When you start with a general idea of what you want to achieve and make changes through each iteration. You can quickly get feedback on your product. This allows for adjustments to be made rapidly and minimizes the risk of building something no one wants or needs.

Successful iterative processes in place design products incrementally over time-based on user feedback rather than after they have been built.

Iterative development

Iteration is the most common form of agile development. Which involves repeating the same steps repeatedly until the desired result is achieved. This cyclic process follows an iterative development model to create software products. When working with iteration, there's no need to wait until you have all requirements nailed down before starting on your project—you can begin with an initial hypothesis or idea, then continue refining it as more information becomes available. Iteration relies heavily on trial and error; by experimenting with different approaches or concepts at each stage of the project, you'll learn what works best for your users without losing too much time.

In 1988, Barry Boehm created the SAM model as a way for companies to build upon previous iterations rather than start from scratch each time they improved their product offerings or services. By creating multiple versions of an app (or website), developers can leverage these modifications across multiple projects to save time creating them from scratch. Every time there's something new, they'd like to add functionality to one aspect of their application--instead, they use existing parts elsewhere!

A short history of successive approximation model

  • We use the SAM process model to improve software quality during development.
  • Barry Boehm is its creator, who first presented it in 1975.
  • The model was developed from the software development experiences of several organizations, including IBM and NASA.

Advantages of the SAM model

Following are some of the benefits of SAM:


  • Flexible enough to change requirements: If the functional requirement cannot be implemented with the current technology, it can be changed and implemented using another technology more suitable for the new condition.
  • Flexibility to change technology: If a particular component or component type does not exist in SAM, it can be added as a new component type and then included in the design process of future systems by all means, such as object-oriented analysis and design (OOA/D), model-driven architecture (MDA), etc., which enable reuse of existing models created before they are used again in different projects (e.g., reuse of OO requirements models).
  • Flexible enough to change design: SAM uses object-oriented software engineering methodologies such as OO modeling languages like UML diagrams along with other tools like CASE tooling environments that support these methodologies; thus, if you need some changes in your system's architecture after completing the initial design phase by using only one modeling tool (e.g., Rational Rose), those changes will not affect any other parts of your system if done properly according to standards defined by its creators for each particular case (which may differ from one another). This way, we can have maximum flexibility during development because many different objects may be needed at any time. Without affecting each other since they are autonomous entities within themselves without any dependencies between them. Therefore, changing one does not affect others unless explicitly specified otherwise during the initial setup stage, which defines relationships between objects used during later stages.

Early feedback

Early feedback is crucial to the design process learning experience. Sam for instructional designers can help refine the design and ensure it's heading in the right direction.

When thinking about feedback, there are two main types: formal and informal. Formal feedback comes from an expert or authority trained to evaluate designs. Informal feedback comes from everyday people who may not be experts but can still provide valuable information.

This section aims to help you get as much early feedback on your design as possible. So it's ready for testing later in the process!

Successive Approximation Model (SAM)

Quick improvements

SAM is an excellent way to get started with iterative design. It's also a great way to quickly identify learning solutions and fix problems.

You can use SAM to make minor improvements or even just one significant change at a time. SAM is not meant for complete redesigns, but it's great for testing ideas and making minor tweaks that will lead you in the right direction before moving on to something else entirely.

Reduced costs and timeframes

A successive approximation model (SAM) is a systematic approach to developing a new product, service, or process. The instructional components of SAM are:

  • The project team develops products by following a series of steps, in which each step builds on the previous one. The first step is called product definition and results in a high-level design that includes what needs to be done and why it should be done. Subsequent steps involve refining this product definition until it becomes detailed enough to begin engineering work, and development can begin.
  • Each step involves identifying all relevant information and deciding how best to acquire it. For example, through market research or interviews with customers, suppliers, and employees; looking at competitors' products; performing experiments on prototypes; conducting pilot studies; analyzing relevant data stored elsewhere, etc. Making decisions about what will be included in your iteration plan before moving forward into the next iteration cycle. For review by stakeholders before proceeding with modifications/changes required for subsequent iterations. As needed based on feedback received during prior iterations, including any necessary adjustments made late enough in earlier cycles. Hence, so as not to impact cost estimates too much but early enough, these changes won't affect later cycles too much either."

Disadvantages of SAM instructional design

Below are some of SAM's disadvantages

Too broad

If you're working on a Big New Feature, it's tempting to want to include every single feature that someone in your company has ever dreamed of. But that attitude will likely lead to wasted time and resources and a poor user experience.

Too many features can also make prioritization difficult—which is why SAM is useful: limiting the amount of work being done at any time forces you to focus on what matters most right now.


Repetition is not a good thing. It should be avoided as much as possible. Repetition will cost you time and money, and it can lead to boredom and complacency.

Wasted resources

Spending time on a task that doesn't contribute to your goal is considered wasted, representing a significant loss for any organization. In addition, those costs are also considered a waste if you spend money or other resources on a project that never comes to fruition (or fails). All the energy and effort put into those efforts are also lost when they aren't used effectively or appropriately.


The SAM is a powerful design tool that can be used to create a plan for any project. Of course, the first step in any successful project is preparation, so make sure you are ready before you start your planning process by thinking about what goals you want to achieve and how they correlate with each other. Next, go through all of these phases iteratively until you reach the end goal (or at least think enough progress has been made). Finally, take advantage of flexibility while working on your product, as this will help avoid repetition, which could lead to wasted resources.

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