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What are just-in-time resources and why does your business need them?

Consider the following scenarios. Do you know if anyone in your business has experienced similar issues?

  • Ling and his fellow employees receive training in a factory in Hong Kong for a new piece of production line machinery in which the company is investing. Six months later when the technology is introduced, Ling realises he has forgotten most of what was covered in the training. He asks his colleagues to refresh his memory, but finds that they have not retained the information either. They end up searching online to try and figure out how to use the new machines. This represents a huge waste of time and energy for both them and the company, as well as a serious potential safety issue.
  • Décio is a project manager working in Rio de Janeiro. He is about to attend an important meeting in 15 minutes to update a client on the progress of their project. He’s been so busy that he hasn’t had a chance to update his knowledge on the subject matter of the project. He tries searching online, but as the content is very specialised he doesn’t find much. In addition, he’s dubious about the credibility of what he is reading. As a result, Décio feels unprepared and anxious about the project.
  • Delphine, a French medical researcher, is working with local experts at a site deep within the Amazon rainforest. Although she speaks excellent Spanish, many of the tools and species they are discussing are highly specialised, and she does not have the vocabulary to describe them. She has her mobile device, but there is no connectivity whatsoever for her to search online for the correct Spanish terms she needs. The local experts are patient, but it is slowing the work down and they only have a couple of days to get the task finished.

Coworkers using a laptop for some just-in-time resourcesJust-in-time resources

These are all situations in which just-in-time, performance support resources could be used effectively.
Most people now carry at least one smartphone device with them at all times, whether they have been issued with the technology by their employer or not. This has created opportunities for short, sharp elearning content. These resources can enable learners to:
  • Seek performance support for tools and processes, replacing the need for long instruction manuals
  • Prepare last minute for meetings and events
  • Brush up and continually refresh work-related knowledge
  • Benefit from spaced learning, where learners revisit previous learning after a break in time, to enhance retention and long-term learning

What makes a good just-in-time/performance support resource?

Performance support resources designed for mobile devices have huge potential to increase productivity, but remember that you may be competing with Google and other search engines as information sources.

Just-in-time resources must therefore be:

Up-to-date and accurate

Have you ever used a search engine to look for information, and been unsure of the accuracy and credibility of the content you find? This is one of the main advantages a just-in-time resource can have. As long as learners find accurate and helpful information using your resource, they’ll learn to trust it and come back again and again when they need help.

User friendly

Mobile users are accustomed to lightning fast connection speeds and intuitive user interfaces. Any resources you create must therefore be easily accessible, and allow users to drill down to the information they need quickly and efficiently.

Self contained

Remember the example of Delphine, the researcher working in the rainforest? Performance support and just-in-time resources will often need to be complete and self contained, without any need to connect to the internet, in order to make them useful as tools.

Contact LEO to discuss what just-in-time resources could benefit your business.

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