Things I hope you'll want to read
Processes and Tools:
Action Planning Process This is a very effective analytical process for decision-making and project planning. Here you'll find a brief description of the process and its benefits, plus links to downloadable files that will let you try it out.
Less Than a Penny for Learning Written January 3, 2002, this piece describes three "nested" eighty-twenty rules which may be summarized as follows: little of what we spend on training goes to design; little of what we do spend on design is effective or relevant to job performance; and, even that ignores the vast majority of critical job learning that happens out of our usual sight - unstructured, inconsistently, on the job.
Stating the Obvious: Most Training is Boring, Ineffective, or Both This was first written September 9, 2000 in response to Michelle Delio's report, "Online Training 'Boring'" (Wired News, August 30, 2000). Human Resources Executive published a version of my response in their January 2001 issue, but I feel my original makes a more coherent case. In her report, Michelle related results from a Forrester Research survey and other sources which assert that managers have difficulty getting staff to sign up for online learning, or completing courses that staff begin. The reasons she cited are several but focus on dull, text-based course designs. She went on to quote several sources who play the old song that people need to be taught by, and in the presence of other, people. She was right of course, at least as far as she went. Online training is boring. I'm only surprised that it took a survey to reach that conclusion. But we can go a lot further, and I think it is about time that we stated the obvious.
Reengineering Corporate Learning Published in Training, August 1992, this article builds the case for a radical rethinking of the goals and activities relevant to learning and job performance in a corporate setting. Its conclusions flow from the simple observation that more than 80% of critical job learning occurs on the job, not in the classroom or other formal setting.
Bridging from CBT to Performance Support First appearing as a side bar to Reengineering Corporate Learning, this article suggests a low-risk migration path to electronic performance support. It describes "Basic Anatomy", a program which served both up-front learning and on-the-job reference goals while drastically cutting development and maintenance costs.
EPSS Tomorrow Published in Training, March 1998, this article predicts the future for EPSS or performance centered systems; specifically merger with the notions of groupware, workflow, knowledge management, and environmental sensors and predictors.
Knowledge: Bashful Partner or Leader of the Dance? Published in the August,1999 issue of ISPI's Performance Improvement, this is the story of a recent project to support several customer service call centers that were being merged into one. Simultaneously, Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) were being asked to support a broader range of calls (i.e., various service plans, each with slightly different terms and conditions). As a case study, the project's evolution raises some issues critical to achieving the full potential of knowledge management in support of business performance.
Performance Support in Internet Time In December, 1999, I participated with several other EPSS thought-leaders in a discussion of trends and issues facing the field. Gary Dickelman moderated the discussion and here you'll find his edited transcript, later published in the July 2000 special issue of ISPI's Performance Improvement. With me in the panel were Gloria Gery, Janet Cichelli, Hal Christensen, Barry Raybould, and Marc Rosenberg.
The 100 Percent Solution Published as a "Viewpoint" in Training in 1998, this editorial advocates designing programs so that task performance is demonstrated on the job before training is considered complete.
Measuring the Training Department Most treatments of training metrics have been at the course level. This piece focuses on measures at the department level as well. It also distinguishes between external metrics (how your sponsors see you) and internal metrics (what you measure as "predictors" of success on external metrics). The content has value, but it's not my best writing and has never been formally published.
Performance Support for a Customer Service Call Center Full-scale performance support systems are difficult to demonstrate because they're so big. You just can't cart them around to show off. With pictures described in the mind's eye, this case demonstrates the enormous potential of performance support to affect business performance. More clearly than most cases, it demonstrates how radically different true EPSS is from traditional training solutions.
Performance Support for Product Configuration Configuration problems are among the most natural applications for performance support. Whether it's buying a copier (as in this case) or chosing an investment strategy, people simply can't handle the number of variables that go into selecting the best product or service for a given set of circumstances. Performance support is the solution.
Performance Support for Management Decision-Making The AMP Facilitator was among the first performance support systems ever built. In fact, we built it at Aetna before we knew what an EPSS was. While the tendency is to think of EPSS as supporting "commodity" jobs like order fulfillment or customer service, the AMP facilitator applies EPSS concepts to a complex analytical task, often performed in a team setting.
Low-budget, reusable Flashcard shell And now for something completely different, as Monty Python would say. Flashcards are a proven method of helping people memorize information. While EPSS and Knowledge Management techniques can diminish the need for such memorization, there are still things you've just got to know. Here I describe a computer-age implementation of flashcards.