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At the Moment of Need: Directly Supporting Doing, Learning, Referencing and Collaborating and Building a Performance Support Architecture Moving Beyond Pilots. Gloria Gery Gery Associates Tolland MA 01034 413 258 4693 [email protected] Defining Performance Support.

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Gloria gery gery associates tolland ma 01034 413 258 4693 www gloriagery com ggery@gloriagery com

At the Moment of Need:Directly Supporting Doing, Learning, Referencing and CollaboratingandBuilding a Performance Support ArchitectureMoving Beyond Pilots

Gloria Gery

Gery Associates

Tolland MA 01034

413 258 4693

[email protected]

Defining performance support
Defining Performance Support

An integrated environment providing

  • Task structuring support for workflow

  • Filtered, relevant and best-represented

    • Knowledge and Learning Resources

    • Data

    • Tools

    • Communications and collaboration

Flavors of performance support
Flavors of Performance Support

  • Many flavors and textures

  • Evolving over time

    • Level 1: External support

      • Requires performers to entirely break performance context to access resources located outside their primary workspace

        • Links, Course Modules, Help Systems

    • Level 2: Extrinsic support

      • Requires context break but resources are filtered and context-sensitive. Context is task step, further filtered by data if possible

    • Level 3: Intrinsic support

      • Requires no or minimal context break other than eye movement

      • Resources fused into the workspace and filtered at a very fine level

Current state independent resources
Current State: Independent Resources


Performance is in the weave
Performance is in the Weave

  • The problem or task is defined

  • All relevant variables are:

    • Surfaced

    • Integrated

    • Properly sequenced

  • The metaphorical area when things come together

  • When people get it and are self-sufficient

  • Where response is exactly right

The current condition
The Current Condition

  • Idiosyncratic design

  • Architecture around the artifacts

  • Redundant content in each artifact

  • Growing use of templates and style sheets for each resource type

  • Limited filters – excluding workflow

  • Content not separated from its use or searchable


  • Each organizational unit develops artifacts based on its history. We present them as threads to performers and make them do the weaving

    • Training

    • Documentation

    • Software applications

    • Websites

    • Tools

Performance development defaults
Performance Development Defaults

  • Training is the primary default for performance development

  • Out of context

  • Content rich; limited application

  • Too much too soon; too little too late

  • Spray and pray

  • Ineffective

  • Inefficient

  • Expensive



CustomerDelivery Reporting






Current InventoryInformation

Web Based

Order to Delivery

Demand Sensing

(id’s popular configurations)

Order toDelivery

Web New Vehicle Locator






On-Line Order Guide

Server Based

Order Fulfillment


Stock, Sold, Order Processing/Tracking

Product/Advertising Information


  • As Is Environment

Enterprise software product for financial reconciliation


Enterprise Software Product for Financial Reconciliation …

  • Cryptic command functions

  • Configuration and setup functions intermingled randomly with common operational functions

  • Goal & flow of work not obvious

  • Clutter

  • Related items not collocated

Courtesy of Ariel Performance Centered Systems


  • Simple English

  • Graphical techniques suggest how to operate screen

  • Expertise only a click away

  • Book & bank is more natural (matches mental model of the work)

Courtesy of Ariel Performance Centered Systems

Business management


Business Management…

  • This traditional “data dump” report of several hundred pages could be viewed on line or printed.

  • User must know and comprehend which data is on which report, what to look for and what to do with it.

  • Patterns, relationships and meaning are explicit.

Courtesy of Ariel Performance Centered Systems




  • Data representations matches the mental model revealed during user research

  • Data is presented in the context of the decisions experts make or patterns they look for in reports

  • Content and resources are categorized and linked to tasks

  • Navigation is structured, yet flexible

Courtesy of Ariel Performance Centered Systems



Courtesy of Ariel Performance Centered Systems

System for sales teams to identify and prioritize sales activity


System for sales teams to identify and prioritize sales activity

  • Existing system shoves massive amounts of data at the user

  • Sales reps must learn how to prioritize, coordinate call activity with others and how to place this physician on a personal call plan?

  • The design does not support situations where users need to read, interpret and use the data to do less obvious tasks. The data and navigation read and use the data is poorly represented and the navigation is complex and unclear.

  • The graphical design is dense, cluttered, difficult to read does nothing to aid understanding, interpretation and use of the data.


  • System defaults physicians into lists based on analytical data, allowing users to drag & drop to edit lists. This interaction and direct manipulation match user’s task models and preferred interaction methods.Icons and counters allow sales reps to readily identify which physicians have been reviewed and changed

  • Interaction is self directed and flexible; sales reps can review physicians in any desired order

  • Right click, select & enter key, and double click launch physician details to provide more support for making decision

  • Users don’t have to view details - in many cases they already know some of the physicians and the priority “is obvious” – avoids needless work / interface navigation


  • Decision criterion is structured based on best practice discussions observed from pilot sessions of real users and real data

  • Supporting data is structured, focused, yet flexible based on decision criterion obtained during user research

  • Content on key considerations, best practice, and advice is readily accessible

  • Irrelevant controls are hidden until context requires them (e.g., reason for change is not visible unless there is a change from the baseline priority)

Professional services continuing professional education tracking
Professional ServicesContinuing Professional Education Tracking

  • Personalized, web-based entry of CPE requests

  • Quick reference for critical measures

  • Robust query and reporting feature for complete visibility of all history and status

  • Common, familiar “CPE Credit Request” metaphor for visual display of information

Professional services continuing professional education tracking1
Professional ServicesContinuing Professional Education Tracking

  • Structured support interface for completing the right information

  • Direct input, Form view for experienced Requesters

  • Design and navigation derived from user’s model of the work

  • Predicted questions and proactive support for known areas

Current deliverables
Current Deliverables

  • Growing more sophisticated

  • Artisan to craftsman phase

    • Sophisticated designers

    • “Pulling” the technology together to make it happen”

  • Not easily replicated for large scale production

  • Expensive if not impossible to maintain other than “by hand”

Performance development problems
Performance Development Problems

  • Integration is left to the performer using

    • Inquiry

    • Coaching

    • Observation and Modeling

    • Trial and Error with feedback

  • Inconsistent outcomes

  • It takes foreverin the current state

What s necessary
What’s Necessary

  • An integrating viewpoint

  • Advocacy

  • Business case

    • True cost of performance development

    • Consequences of failure

    • Payoffs of new alternatives


  • Tactical view

  • Unable to get sufficient sponsorship

  • Inability to integrate efforts of multiple organizations

  • Dominance of IT

  • Lack of credibility of Interface Designers, Trainers and others with IT

What s necessary a performance support architecture
What’s Necessary?A Performance Support Architecture

  • Object Design and Standards

    • Base Level

    • Compiled

    • Aggregated

  • Metadata tagging schema

  • Web-services production and delivery environment

Performance support object
Performance Support Object

  • A small, reusable digital component that can be selectively applied – alone or in combination – to meet individual needs for on-the-job support.

    • Database Driven

    • Metadata tagged

Requirements for the system
Requirements for the System

  • Aggregate, Structure and Present Content

  • Keep content separate from context

Architecture – Level 1

Level 1 - Static

  • Content embedded in EPSS structures

  • No reuse

  • Pre-defined navigation paths

  • Personalization requires separate effort

  • Burdensome maintenance






Courtesy of Janet Cichellil


Architecture – Level 2

Level 2 - Maintained

  • Content resides separate from structure

  • Personalization through predefined alternate view

  • Limited reuse with same authoring tool

  • Pre-defined navigation paths

  • Maintenance streamlined






Courtesy of Janet Cichellil


Architecture – Level 3

Level 3 - Standardized

  • Content resides as meta-tagged objects

  • Extensive re-use within a standards environment

  • Content pre-aggregated into task objects

  • Personalization controlled by LMS/LCMS

  • Streamlined Maintenance






Courtesy of Janet Cichellil


Architecture – Level 4

Level 4 - Dynamic

  • Dynamic delivery engines

  • Universal data standards supported

  • Complete re-use in EPSS, courseware, reference

  • Personalization requires separate effort






Courtesy of Janet Cichellil


EPSS Architecture – Level 5

Level 5 - Intelligent

  • Intelligent browser performs filtering

  • On-the-fly content aggregation

  • Utilizes semantic searching techniques

  • Highly granular and adaptive






Courtesy of Janet Cichellil


Spo s shareable performance objects building blocks of an architecture
SPO’sShareable Performance ObjectsBuilding Blocks of an Architecture

  • The functional description of each SPO provides a more robust understanding of the specific purpose, functionality, behaviors, and overall composition. Including

    • Description:Brief narrative of the specific object and its usage.

    • Purpose: Statement of the goal of the object

    • Key FunctionsDescription of the technical functionality and behavior of the object’s desired implementation

    • Attributes and Relationships:Description of the meta-data, key relationships with other objects, and the information that would be necessary to support the object’s implementation. In many instances, an object may consist of other objects and inherit their characteristics.

    • Other Considerations: Additional information about each object may include optionality, variability, aggregation, and specific implementation requirements.

Example activity spo
ExampleActivity SPO


An activity is used to classify, group, and organize specific work or efforts that a user needs to perform. The activities group tasks, decisions, alerts, references, and other objects into logical units of work to be completed.


Activities organize groups of related tasks, decisions, choices, and other related items into a logical unit of work.

Key Functions

  • Provides primary focus for the tasks, decisions, and choices.

  • Groups the work into logical stages and milestones.

  • Navigated from the Table of Content, Index, Checklists, or related links.

    Attributes and Relationships

  • May contain a graphical representation that would be associated with the activity [Activity_Icon, Graphic]

  • Text description of the Activity [Activity_Name, Char, 40]

  • May contain a section or division designation, like IMF vs. BMF [Organization, Char, 5]

  • Revision date of the information related to this activity [Activity_Revise_Date, Date]

    Other Considerations

    None Gery Associates & Ariel Performance Centerd Systems for the Internal Revenue Service.

  • Example 2: TASK Object

    • Description

      • The TASK object provides a specific goal and action that is required to satisfactorily complete a step in an activity. Related tasks are grouped into activities that represent some valid, logical unit of work. Tasks may have many options and various representations associated with them. Tasks incorporate actions, alerts, references, actions, decisions, and other SPOs to complete their operation or function

    • Purpose

      • Tasks provide specific direction and execution of a required or optional step within a logical unit of work.

    • Key Functions

      • Provides specific actions to be taken and establishes a goal.

      • Decomposes complex tasks into simpler, direct sub-tasks, checklists, or selections.

      • Provides access to references, guidance, explanation, information/data, and tools that assist in the successful completion by the user.

    • Attributes and Relationships

      • Indicator for task progression and current task focus [Task_Icon, Graphic]

      • May support showing task status [Task_ Complete, Checkbox]

      • List of tasks may have a sequence number [Task_ No, Number, 3]

      • Text description of the task or specific action(s) [Task_ Description, Char, 40]

      • May contain related links to other systems, such as IDRS Command Codes, IRM citations, etc.

      • [Reference_ Name, Char, 25]

      • May contain related sub-tasks, checklists, selections, decisions, decision tables, and other objects

      • [Related_ Task_Sub, Number, 5]

    • Other Considerations

    • None

    A list of shareable performance objects to be expanded
    A list of Shareable Performance Objects(to be expanded)

    • Action

    • Explanation

    • Reference

    • Activity

    • Illustration

    • Selection

    • Alert

    • Index

    • Table of Contents

    • Checklist

    • Information

    • Task

    • Decision

    • Instruction

    • Toolbar

    • Decision Table

    • Navigation

    • Frequently Asked Question

    Assembled Objects:

    Combinations of Component Objects into a predetermined structure and form to achieve a specific performance or learning outcome.

    • eGuides (Process Guides)

    • Roadmaps (Workflow Guides)

    • Portal (can be workflow based)

    • Portlet

    • Instruction

    • Assessments

    • TBD

    Aggregated Objects:

    Combinations of multiped Assembled and Component Objects into a defined structure. May be nested. May contain more than one of an object type (e.g. multiple portlets within a portal; multiple eGuides within a Roadmap).


    Steps not necessarily in order
    Steps(not necessarily in order!)

    • Define the objects

    • Design the Objects and related style sheets

    • Pilot how they will be assembled or aggregated into even larger objects

    • Establish metadata tagging

    • Identify and test a repository

    • Identify and test a creation tool

    Issues the usual
    IssuesThe Usual

    • Sponsorship

    • Collaboration among groups

      • IT

      • Instruction

      • Knowledge Mgt.

      • Content Providers

      • Business

    • Models

    • Skills

    • Money

    • Tools

    Architecture necessary to
    Architecture Necessary to...

    • Scale efforts

    • Make a large-scale impact on performance

    • Leverage scarce design and development expertise

    What are the issues
    What are the Issues?

    • Leadership

      • Where does this belong?

      • Who is sufficiently credible?

    • Integration

      • Functional Silos

      • Artifacts

    • Fusion

      • Significantly different