What are your learner's greatest performance challenges after training?

Working as a Technical Support Engineer and then as a Computer Application Instructor, I had always thought if there was good foundation base covered during the initial training, most learners would retain the knowledge as they were performing their normal job duties. But, just in case, I would end my class by giving them step by step guides and a list of the key terms to lookup in the help files for assistance. Then, maybe an occasional technical support call would be all they would need, reducing heavy reliance on an already over worked and under staffed support team.


I recently attended a speech presented by Bob Mosher of APPLYSynergies on the topic of Performance Support and realized how very wrong my perception was. He began his speech with a very thought provoking question: "What are your Learner’s Greatest Performance Challenges after Training?”

He followed with, “When are the moments of need?”

  • When learning for the first time
  • When wanting to learn more
  • When trying to apply and/or remember
  • When something goes wrong
  • When something changes

While the first 2 points would be covered with training, where do learners turn to the other times? Having a list of available documentation may qualify as good references, but sorting through and trying to locate the specific task they are trying to accomplish can be time consuming. When something goes wrong is not the time to be stumbling through various reference materials trying to locate the issue. And what do they do when something changes, where or who would they go to for assistance then?

The answer is Performance Support.

Bob provided this definition that sums up the goal of Performance Support:

An orchestrated set of services that provide on-demand access to integrated information, guidance, advice, assistance, training, and tools to enable high-level job performance with a minimum of support from other people.”

                                     Gloria Gery, Electronic Performance Support Systems, 1991

The key words I took from this definition is “with a minimum of support from other people”. Enabling the learners to be self-sufficient in their job role is the key.  Making the specific information readily available at the moment it is needed. Having the information that is specific to their job role and varying system access. Getting just enough information in a format that applies to the business process they are performing.

While Performance Support is not a new term, it is a process that is slowly making its way into  training strategies for many major industry leaders. Large organisations are realising that by implementing a performance support strategy they are reducing the calls to the support team, helping to keep their key workers motivated and content in their working environment and confident that they are performing well and this leads to overall increased customer satisfaction.

Assima has joined the ranks of putting Performance Support as its top priority with its Vimago product line.

Vimago Assist ensures employees are provided with the best information, assistance and tools as possible to enable them to do their jobs efficiently, effectively and most importantly, self-sufficiently. As employees can often feel daunted by infrequently used or complicated processes, Vimago Assist provides an intelligent overlay that adds information, process guidance and business improvements at the point of need; on the job, which is when users need it the most.

Delivering information and intelligent guidance at the point of need and having the ability to monitor usage at a granular level delivers a number of benefits including; a reduced number of mistakes being made, a lower volume of calls to the help desk and gives companies the capability to identify and reduce inefficiencies and ultimately save money.

Click here for more information about Vimago Assist.