Performance support tools for learning – a decentralised strategy

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about social media tools for learning, and made the statement that such learning strategies are usually best managed decentrally. There may be a central role in purchasing social media platforms (with stakeholder input). However, the sense of community generally required for social media to become imbedded in an organisation means those that understand user needs and behaviours should be the ones charged with driving a social media strategy.

The same can be said about role-based performance support tools.

In their landmark Knowledge Management text Learning To Fly, Collison and Parcel talk about the 2 questions that people ask of themselves when they have a need that they must satisfy:

1. What do others know? How do I find them?
2. What information is available? Where & how do I find it?

Performance support is about providing staff with access to the right information and people ‘just-in-time’, at the point of need. Performance support tools need to be placed in staff workflow, where the ‘need’ arises. And the best people to know where the information should be placed is the decentralised business unit or department.

Mmmm…how often do centralised functions assume all staff can and do access the intranet? Often I find not every staff accesses, uses or even knows how to navigate the intranet…for a range of reasons.

If you are thinking about developing a strategy of enabling and improving staff capability through performance support, be sure to work hand in hand with those at the coalface. They will help you to embed the right tools on the right platform for the right reasons.

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