T&D: Sometimes “In The Moment of Need” Is Too Late For Performance Support

Underwater Welders Most Likely Need To Know How To Do What They Do – Before The Moment of Need

Of course this is an extreme example. And of course, their Performance in their Moments of Need might indeed be augmented.

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They might augment what they already know with an expert up above the surface providing them with Guidance. Perhaps the expert’s Performance is augmented with video from a camera on the body of the Underwater Welder – or elsewhere.

Perhaps our Underwater Welder is listening to audio prompts that she can control by her audio prompts.

And a Job Aid, even laminated, would not “get er done” – as they say.

And video might not work, projected like Google Glass on the inside of the mask – which could steam up at an inconvenient moment.

But most likely – the Underwater Welder needs to have most of their knowledge and skills – prior to all of their Moments of Need. Those tasks that are of the highest Risk (or Reward) might be augmented – as counting on “memorization” might be problematic – and just too Risky.

Just as Sales people might need most all of their knowledge and skills – prior to all of their Moments of Need. Or airline pilots and flight crews. Or Police women and men. Or Firemen and Firewomen. Or soldiers and sailors.

Or people needing to perform CPR … or the Heimlich Maneuver – which has been updated and renamed – in case you didn’t already know that. In case what you know – is out of date. And maybe you knew that – but could only recall the out-of-date practices.

In the 2006 guidelines of the American Red Cross/American Heart Association, the term Heimlich maneuver was replaced with the term “abdominal thrust” and the technique was downgraded for conscious victims. Guidelines now advise “five and five” — five back blows followed by five abdominal thrusts and alternating between the two until the object is removed. (https://news.psu.edu/story/170337/2010/02/10/health-shorts-heimlich-replaced-5-and-5)

If the Performance Is High Risk and/or Reward – Practice Practice Practice

Before the Moment of Need.

The Underwater Welder – and others – might need tons of Practice with reinforcing and/or corrective feedback prior to the Moments of Need – even if augmented with Guidance/ Job Aids/ Performance Support of some appropriate mode/media.

And they may need even more Practice later on – and continuously – to combat the Forgetting Curve. And to ensure Readiness.

Unless the daily/weekly job routine provides enough Practice with Feedback already to ensure Readiness.

Guidance/ Job Aids/ Performance Support

Consider this FIRST – IMO. But determine ASAP if the Risks and Rewards and the Performance Context are conducive to this approach to Performance Enablement.


And always consider whether the Performance Competence Requirements needs both Training before The Moment of Need … as well as Performance Support during The Moment of Need.


Keep the Performance Requirements – front and center.

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