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Top 4 Discussion Webinar Chat: A Great Idea and Best Practice Dialogue

Written by Bob Mosher

Originally published on the Performance Support Community website on 27 May 2014

Due to the success, amazing participation in our last webinar entitled “Top 5 Discussions around making PS Work,” and requests for copies of the chat, we decided to publish it as our next blog article. We actually started with 7 of the more popular discussions. We then voted on the group’s top 5 and had only enough time to discuss 4 due to the high level of participation! Here are the top “vote getters” followed by the chat streams.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Excellent idea sharing. Let’s keep it up!

Top Vote Getters:

  • SharePoint as a Performance Support Tool
  • Advice for Learning Department Strategies That Seduce Management
  • What PS can do for the Classroom
  • Identify the Right Solution

SharePoint as a Performance Support Tool

Participant #1: It’s the LACK of SharePoint that’s bedeviling my life (good word, btw).

Participant #2: Well, Participant #3, I’d just HATE to break SharePoint’s… heart.

Participant #3: I hear you.

Participant #2: @Participant #1 – True, SP can help solve some issues.

Participant #4: SP is a great content repository.

Participant #7: Yes.

Participant #4: I do not view it as a viable PS solution.

Participant #2: Participant #7 has helped us see that SP CAN be used as an EPS tool but you do have to work within its peculiar constraints.

Participant #5: Not using it yet, but wondered, does SharePoint have the ability to track stats around number of times documents are opened or discussion board accessed?

Participant #1: perhaps it’s the myth of SharePoint (and not having it) that’s so irksome.

Participant #8: Sure does Participant #5.

Participant #6: SP only works if it is structured well, and the structure is communicated to those who use it.

Participant #5: Thanks.

Participant #9: Agree, Participant #6.

Participant #8: Absolutely, Participant #6.

Participant #2: Okay, Participant #6, I can live with that 😉

Participant #2: So, SP becomes a stepping stone on the way to a true PS tool?

Participant #8: Right, Participant #2.

Participant #10s: Let the business see how PS using SP can be improved: “What if we could…”

Participant #4: Yeah, agree Participant #10.

Participant #11: We’re using a SharePoint 2010 platform using a mobile-responsive HTML5 template. We designed the solution based on PS principles like two-click access, concise content, task-level design, etc.

Participant #4: Nice, Participant #11.

Participant #2: Very nice Participant #11.

Participant #12: Participant #11, is the template canned? Built in? Or did you have to develop it?

Participant #11: We purchased it from Themeforest.

Participant #12: Thanks.

Participant #4: Really? Interesting.

Participant #3: @Participant #6 – great point about structuring content on SP…taxonomy is critical…and can soon be a limiting factor given a 256 character limit on pathnames.

Participant #2: Participant #11, so are the PS principles built into Themeforest template?

Participant #4: So to Participant #7’s point, adhering to the PS principles is the key. Regardless of the solution.

Participant #2: Or, I should say, is Themeforest’s design based on PS?

Participant #11: Participant #2 – no, we had to design the principles within the template.

Participant #13: Who makes SharePoint?

Participant #2: Microsoft.

Participant #11: The Windows-based authentication of SharePoint has allowed us to report  per user and determine most frequently accessed pages.

Participant #2: Thanks Participant #11.

Participant #13: Is it part of a package, that so many already have it?

Participant #3: I do.

Participant #8: Participant #11, do you have microphone capability?

Participant #11: I have an internal mic, yes.

Participant #6: We use SP as one of our toolsets, but being a tech environment, mgmt also assumes that people know how to use all toolsets in the system, which is not true. Often people are to intimidated and won’t say they don’t know how to do things ie. add information to wikis, post hyperlinks etc…

Participant #4: It is very popular in the corporate world. MS sells it as hard as they sell Windows and Office.

Participant #13: Participant #4 – thanks.

Participant #4: IT folks tend to like it because they can control it. They understand it.

Participant #2: The scariest thing I’ve ever said:  “I’m starting to think like SharePoint”

Participant #7: Great point, Participant #11. The stats are rudimentary but a good way to introduce the new way of measuring results for performance support.

Participant #9: Participant #2 : )

Participant #2: Agree Participant #7 — SP’s analytics are rudimentary.

Participant #7: Right on Participant #9!!  That is a first hurdle….

Participant #2: How about offering to build a PS tool for IS?? Might that get them on board?

Participant #7: Yes, Participant #4. The PS principles are what should drive everything…

Participant #11: SharePoint 2010 is the first time the Publishing Site feature became available. An SP Publishing Site with the features of Content Types and Page Layouts make it possible for Sharepoint to be a PS solution.

Participant #10s: Maybe partner with the helpdesk first, and the tech writers; buy 1 platform instead of 3 or 4.

Participant #2: So, the essence is the design, which really should be independent of the particular tool, right?

Participant #6: @Participant #2 – haha! you drank the KoolAid! Personally, I love it as a PS tool. We just need to find out better ways to spread the word of its greatness.

Participant #4: Yes Participant #2, you got it.

Participant #7: Yes Participant #2! For me, it is ALL about the design – and supporting the workflow as determined through a rapid task analysis…

Participant #2: right  Participant #7 — the workflow is the “backbone,” isn’t that what you said?

Participant #7: Yes – Participant #2.

Participant #4: Yes.

Participant #11: sounds good!

Participant #9: PERFECT!

Participant #3: Thanks! Would like to hear Participant #11’s input.

Participant #16: Thanks for being willing to share with us, Participant #11.

Advice for Learning Department Strategies That Seduce Management

Participant #7: Dinner and a movie….

Participant #2: LOL Participant #7.

Participant #4: I think we’ve talked about it a lot already – show the value in one project.

Participant #6: Collecting data on our professional development that has occurred over the last 3 years.

Participant #10s: Don’t ask mgnt for anything and carry on.

Participant #4: Don’t try to tackle the world.

Participant #2: Create PS using an existing tool…like SP?

Participant #13: We’ve had some success with sharing the ROI of PS; number talk to numbers people.

Participant #11: It’s a challenge for the client and management to see its value and to ensure they don’t mess it up : )

Participant #7: Recognizing an organizational pain point…and offering a solution.

Participant #7: Recognizing readiness…through actions not just words.

Participant #1: Focus articles on what your competitors are doing.

Participant #4: We were able to jump on a new system deployment.

Participant #11: We created a Performance Support community within the company’s social media platform to raise awareness.

Participant #3: Potential need to disarm threat status at peer level mgmt.

Participant #2: Build it without explaining it. Make it so good and so intuitive to use and helpful that users love it and do the seducing for you!

Participant #6: I’m all for aligning organizational L&D to communities of practices/professional practices and designations.

Participant #14: Show how it meets a distinct need within the organization.

Participant #4: We demoed the solution up the line to the point that we presented to the CEO and his directs.

Participant #4: Since then, he asks whether every major project is taking the same approach.

Participant #6: SWBOK (Software Engineering Body of Knowledge), BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) and Project Management Institute (which publishes PMBOK, the Project Management Body of Knowledge) have all become my best friends, especially when aligning competencies and best practices to the programs that we are delivering. (See

Participant #4: Exactly Participant #9.

Participant #4: Leaders understand solutions to their performance problems.

Participant #4: YES!

Participant #3: EPS adoption has cultural change implications.

Participant #4: We’re holding back on demand now.

Participant #11: I made a presentation to the top level director who promised to be an advocate and helped my participation with the learning technologies group.

Participant #7: Great point Participant #3 – be aware that cultural change needs to be nurtured and part of the process.

Participant #4: Yes, we’re working through change management with our colleagues now.

Participant #13: Make a plan to prioritize the requests that will come before putting out your first project!

Participant #2: Have you ever heard of anyone who created a PS proof of concept and it DIDN’T take off, didn’t become a boulder rolling down hill?  (Or are those people not on the call…)

Participant #4: Support teams are beginning to intentionally ask colleagues if they checked the PS first.

Participant #3: Participant #4…peer-level sponsorship is critical.

Participant #4: Yes, it is easy for a PS solution to fail.

Participant #3: Selling up is often easier than across.

Participant #2: @Participant #4 — tell me more.

Participant #17: How do you re-seduce management when your predecessor failed?

Participant #4: If it isn’t delivered at the right time and the change management is not handled well, it can fail.

Participant #5: The folks that will be using my PS will be remote and on the road all the time, at customer sites during the day and in hotels in the evening.  Any suggestions on dealing with poor internet connections to the PS tool?  Because it is proprietary information, it must be behind our corporate firewall.

Participant #2: Ah, yes, too big, too fast, too long, too many cooks in our kitchen.

Participant #1: Didn’t get alignment on measures of success.

Participant #2: So, small and significant is the opportunity you want to look for.

Participant #4: Yes, familiar issues for many projects.

Participant #3: Go back and read Participant #7’s post on governance. Words to live by.

Participant #13: Find a pain point.

Participant #4: Also, if you can’t communicate to the users how to support themselves, it can fail.

Participant #11: “Seeing is believing” and “One bite at a time” ring true for implementing Performance Support.

Participant #7: I worked for a Director that said they wanted change – but when it came to implementing it, they were resistant.  Just couldn’t get the organization to move forward.

Participant #6: Learned in Lean Six Sigma that we should always try to tackle projects within your sphere of influence, unless you have a champion at the table to assist you in selling your project, and make it take stock.

Participant #3: Absolutely it does.

What PS can do for the Classroom

Participant #4: It gives a great opportunity to improve the classroom experience.

Participant #16: Performance support makes the classroom more effective.

Participant #3: But with a new face.

Participant #11: Our Performance Support is integrated in a Flipped Classroom experience. The students read content/watch videos on the PS page, and then come in the classroom for practice/hands-on.

Participant #2: Cool idea, Participant #11.

Participant #19: How is PS different from KM?

Participant #15: Great for learning transfer.

Participant #13: PS has turned our boring classes into vital opportunities to practice.

Participant #1: I use the knowledge loss curve to demonstrate how it can help “kick start” the learning and PS sustains.

Participant #17: Resources the learner can actually take home and use.

Participant #4: Colleagues are able to focus on practice.

Participant #20: Classroom is an opportunity to teach how to use the tools.

Participant #4: And application.

Participant #4: Not on learning where to click.

Participant #7: Use the classroom to teach how to use the PS resources and tools to do problem based learning.

Participant #18: For one of the companies, the training became about using the Performance support tools, rather than about memorizing the content of their job.

Participant #6: PS would provide learners with application/practicing to apply the content.

Participant #16: Exactly – instead of sitting through lectures, classroom becomes a safe place to learn.

Participant #4: Yep, we’re doing more with flipped classroom as well.

Participant #17: We are having challenges with people being able to actually have the time to do the pre-work of the flipped classroom.

Participant #20: While training them, be sure they learn from the PS tools they will be using once “back on the job”  such as using wikis for the how-to’s.

Participant #21: Flipping allows the classroom to be used to explore, clarify and problem solve issues.

Participant #4: Classroom is application focused.

Participant #12: Show them where the PS info is. Test them by giving them scenarios and making them find it in the PS content. Or test them with a “scavenger hunt” to make it more of a game.

Participant #11: The goal is to have a PS portal underlying a MOOC/Classroom blended on-boarding program.

Participant #4: Yep, teach them when, where, and how to use.

Participant #4: @Participant #12 – that’s great!

Participant #6: Agreed! You get so caught up in getting through the content.

Participant #22: Classroom time starts with an activity using the EPSS so people know when and where to get the data. Lecture is greatly reduced and coaching is greatly increased.

Participant #4: Nice Participant #22.

Participant #21: Equally using the classroom to explore and problem solve implementation issues allows us to continuously refine PS tool development.

Participant #6: I’m a big believer or having participants complete pre-work before entering into training.

Participant #7: This means developing the PS first, so that is ready to use in the classroom.  Developing the classroom first, and then running out of time to develop the PS can sometimes be a reality.  Appropriate prioritizing is required!

Participant #6: The conversations generated, and the examples that can be shared among learners, is so powerful.

Participant #4: @Participant #7, we actually create OLT in parallel with PS.

Participant #12: ANY content that already exists can be considered PS. It doesn’t always have to be built from scratch. Depends what you have to train.

Participant #7: Great strategy Participant #4 – that way it is so nicely integrated!

Participant #3: @Participant #7, right on!

Participant #11: Classroom practice with Performance Support can be very beneficial when learners return to the workplace because they¹ve already had experiences with the PS tool they need to do their jobs better.

Participant #6: @Participant #22 – Coaching is so powerful! I often encourage my executives to really embrace organizational coaching as opposed to formal classroom training for a lot of our programs.

Participant #4: Agree @Participant #12. It is simply making it available in a PS way that becomes critical.

Participant #17: Pre-work does not work for our learners, it decreases their compliance and starts the training off in a negative manner.

Participant #19: Isn’t that the role KM has fulfilled for so long?

Participant #3: Trainers actually become more of a facilitator.

Participant #13: @Participant #12 – Existing content can be PS if it is accessed at the right level. We don’t want to serve up a 95-page policy as “steps.”

Participant #3: Yes, Participant #13!

Participant #12: Absolutely! I work more with online help and nugget training.

Participant #12: So it’s easy to provide a link to the exact thing that’s needed.

Participant #3: Build the PS assets with intent of bundling in the classroom or even online courses content.

Participant #4: Yes, it has worked well for us. We actually eliminated classroom training for a major system deployment. Team leads facilitate a brief conversation, each day, direct colleagues to the PS solution where they can also access online practice demos.

Participant #6: @Participant #17 – You might want to change the design of the pre-work and you are right it doesn’t work for everything or everyone.

Identify the Right Solution?

Participant #4: It is a very robust solution that colleagues have really liked.

Participant #2: Great question!

Participant #11: Identifying the right client is just as important but not in our control.

Participant #23: Call Center.

Participant #7: Great achievement Participant #4 – that is a tough sell getting folks to give up training sessions for PS.

Participant #4: IT system deployment.

Participant #3: Find a stakeholder with a visible and tangible pain point.

Participant #23: Easy win; business was onboard.

Participant #22: We started with a group that had high turnover because PS can reduce time to proficiency.

Participant #4: deployment.

Participant #13: Safety, it was an immediate need of the organization and we had access to SMEs.

Participant #17: IT training for a re-engineered product.

Participant #6: Interpersonal skills for IT Professionals – big gap.

Participant #7: Transition of 1800 staff into a new hospital facility.

Participant #3: Enterprise system rollout…SAP. Oracle, etc.

Participant #15: Developing WebEx competency for our Learning Consultants.

Participant #18: I developed for a Call Center because they needed to reduce Training Time while increasing QC scores, and providing an updatable base of information.

Participant #4: Unfortunately uptake was slow, but now it is booming and became the driver for the project that resulted in C suite support.

Participant #23: Able to show reduced call handling time for call center as result of PS.

Participant #4: Nice, Participant #23!

Participant #12: Implemented a knowledge base for customers from issues raised to the hotline multiple times.

Participant #11: A solution that requires quick mobile access.

Participant #5: Sorry, lost connection for a bit. Question for Participant #22 re: using PS in the classroom. When you first rolled it out, did you have a full solution in place before you changed your ILT to use the EPSS or did you phase it in some way?

Participant #22: The solution is never done – but a good portion was completed.

Participant #23: Yes, advise rolling out PS in a phased approach. Started with the most complicated info.

Participant #4: To @Participant #22’s point – PS is never done.

Participant #5: So you have some in place before your ILT courses were modified.

Participant #5: Thanks Participant #22.

Participant #23: If we built it right for that content, all the others should align well.

Participant #22: We always try to get the PS done ahead of or concurrently with ILT.

Participant #11: A solution that involves measuring performance impact with identified business results and leading indicators.

Participant #7: Yes — micro-learning components!

Participant #18: A big risk is how to do updates and verify the information in updates. This needs to be carefully planned.

Participant #4: Yeah, PS has to be there from the beginning or people quickly develop other life lines.

Participant #3: @Participant #22. Perfect!

Participant #11: It’s all about micro-learning at the topic or task-level.

Participant #13: Yep.

Participant #8: Participant #11,  you need to write a blog!

Participant #12: @Participant #11:  At the moment of need.

Participant #23: Write procedures that are task-based, not a system user guide.

Participant #4: Yes @Participant #18 – Maintenance has to be planned for.

Participant #2: So choosing the 1st project is super important. What’s the best advice for newbies to PS when they’re choosing the first project?

Participant #22: Do your analysis!

Participant #3: @Participant #23 – Task-based and bundled by role.

Participant #4: Learn RTA.

Participant #13: Limited, scratch an itch, be visible.

Participant #22: Audience, task, assess existing assets.

Participant #17: Assess what’s going on around you in your organization.

Participant #4: Yep.

Participant #12: @Participant #23 – if you use DITA authoring, you can build task procedures and also publish as user guide if that is also needed.

Participant #17: The upcoming changes for your stakeholders are critical.

Participant #7: The key is writing a great scope objective that guides your analysis.

Participant #2: This is excellent advice — thank you all.

Participant #5: Anybody have a scope design template they could share?

Participant #23: @Participant #3 – Yes, definitely! What do they need to know how to do? Helps with scope.

Participant #8: We do.

Participant #7: Agreed Participant #13 – Participant #8 has a great scope objective template.

Participant #4: If you are using existing content, keep in mind that much training content is not focused on context. Become comfortable with thinking about context – smaller is better. Training tends to be big and all encompassing.

Participant #10s: Focus on what employees have to DO.

Participant #7: Where did that hour go???

Participant #10s: Work with your tech writers.

Participant #22: Don’t forget content validation with existing content.

Participant #2: I’m glad you’ll be sharing the chat, because I need to read it over again to take in all the great advice, tips.

Participant #12: Love this format! Great to share this way.

Participant #15: Love it! very helpful.

Participant #3: This has been a great community share!

Participant #19: Can we get a copy of the chat?

Participant #23: Is there a way to share this chat?

Participant #14: Great stuff!

Participant #10: @Participant 8 – Attach the scope template to the email with the recording link.

Participant #5: I find this very helpful!  thank you!

Participant #17: @Participant #10 – Tech writers are key to developing your content.

Participant #4: This has been great!

Participant #8: I’ll do that along with a link to a video clip talking about it.

Participant #24: We should all become more active on the forums too. : )

Thank you all!



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