DRIVER – A Repeatable, Agile, Discipline to Enable Learning Performance Guidance

Point-of-Work (PoW) is where measurable business outcomes are generated…or they’re lost…if not lost…compromised. I hope you can agree that Workforce Performance has a direct line to productivity and profitability at PoW. That single fact seems straight-forward to this camper and that if we truly seek positive business outcomes as our end-game, shouldn’t we focus our discovery and solution designs there first? It only took me 20 years to shift my thinking…and my results.

Maybe we really DO need training solutions…but then…maybe not. Why task precious resources to build on the premise that the workforce needs training; especially when there are five other sources besides People/Capability at PoW that may reveal the true root causes restraining performance. There is a gap in that approach, and we’ve all been guilty of it. Training drives performance…ummm…no…that’s a myth. Training contributes to potential…not performance…and, last I checked, potential does not pay the rent.

My own gap for the first 20 years of my L&D career was never considering there was a need to engage at PoW. Training WAS the standard solution after all, so why look beyond the obvious? Obviously, our L&D team were more focused on efficiently and effectively transferring knowledge which by the way was what we were scoped and compensated to do. The blind spot of never considering the PoW prevented us from taking our status-quo-methodology and solution design downstream to include sustaining workforce capability at PoW. Can you also say “Cultural Blindspot?”

Despite over thirty years in corporate L&D…only my last dozen or so focused on PoW. Things changed radically when I cut my performance consulting teeth at the hands of Joe Harless and Dana Gaines Robinson to name only two key influencers. After certifying in the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) discipline the “aha moment” struck motivating me to shake things up a bit and evolve my standard practice of following a Training request with a Training Needs assessment to something a bit more holistic, something ecosystem-wide. What resulted was an evolved discovery methodology called POINT-of-Work Assessment – PWA

One thing led to another and the PWA output immediately clashed against the existing training paradigm where every performance solution knee-jerked its way to becoming a training solution. While training solutions were relevant then…and always will be…at times – Training is not now…and never was…scoped to be applicable at PoW. Certainly, training helps, but training alone does not represent a sustainable solution due to rapid degradation of retained knowledge. Add in velocity of demand and continuous change, and neither L&D resources nor the training solutions they create can keep pace.

If our end-game is sustained capability of our workforce at PoW and enabling rapid engagement in value creation, we needed an evolution in our approach – a new DRIVER. (See Figure #1)

DRIVER UpdateFigure #1

The DRIVER discipline is based upon an expanded hybrid of discovery, design methods/tactics and technologies that extent reach to PoW to address task-centric, role-specific needs that manifest real-time within workflows. Foundational technologies are is Productivity Acceleration Platforms – PAP and Insight Curation Platforms – ICP The components of DRIVER have requirements for refined discovery skills (Performance Consulting) and agile design/development tactics (Intentional Design). More importantly, methinks, cultural mindsets that are locked and cocked to fire training at every performance challenge also require a shift in thinking.

Let’s take a closer look at DRIVER:

  • “D” DiscoveryHolistic Point-of-Work Assessment (PWA)
    • Strategy & Business Goal Alignment
    • Mapping Ecosystem Interdependencies (Ripple Effect)
    • Critical Business Issue (CBI) Prioritization
    • Task-centric, Role-specific Workflow/Process Assessment
    • Root Cause Determination
    • Evidence of Impact Criteria Verification (Level 3 & 4 Analytics)
  • “R” Roadmap – Ecosystem-wide Learning Performance Road Map
    • Competency Alignment
    • Solution Scope for an Holistic Learning Performance Continuum
    • Utilize Agile Concepts of 70:20:10 Model, 5-Moments of Need, SAM
    • Map Change Management Communications
    • Collaboration Source for Design/Development/Delivery Brainstorming
  • “I” Intentional DesignEvolved Scope for Holistic Learning Performance Continuum
    • Integration of Learning w/ Digital Performance Guidance (DPG) Assets
    • Agile Content Design with Rapid Development
    • Feedback Loop Supporting Iteration Refinement Best Practices
    • Deployment via PAP Technology
  • “V” ValidateConfirming “7 Right Things” Addressed Adequately at PoW
    • Accessibility by End-User @PoW
    • Task-Relevance @ Moment of Need
    • Effectiveness @ Moment of Need @PoW
    • Confirmation of Test/Pilot Assets Via PAP Feedback Loop from Users/ SMEs
    • Source Data to Support Asset Refinement Iterations
  • “E” EvidencePerformance Impact Analytics Acquisition
    • Execution of Business Impact Evaluation Plan Defined in “Discovery”
    • Acquisition of Data Targeting for Levels 3 & 4 Impact Evidence
    • Identify Potential Integration with xAPI Dashboards
    • Analytics to Confirm Business Impact for Leadership Reporting
  • “R” ReplicateSupport “Create Once – Use Many Times” Development Tactics
    • Rapid Content Management & Maintenance
    • Leverage Agile Content Asset for Rapid Re-Use
    • Seamlessly Re-Deploy Assets Across Ecosystem
    • Embed PAP & ICP Assets in Formal Learning
    • Enable Scalability

Notice in Figure #1 the PAP-enablement referenced in the “I-V-E-R” portion of DRIVER. Productivity Acceleration Platform – PAP is the foundational technology that enables building for and maintaining a Learning Performance Continuum…meaning the integration of the critical  7 Right Things (See Figure 2) providing a thread of continuity for Learner/Performer experiences from Point-of-Entry through to the Point-of-Work. 

7-Right Things
Figure 2

No LMS can do this effectively. I need solutions that are seamless, frictionless and ubiquitous with the ultimate priority of enabling performance at PoW.

Closing Thoughts

Yes, I’ve just tossed a paradigm shift squarely into your lap. So…what now? What do you do with this? Where do you begin?

I’d start with considering the reality that you truly do own a Dynamic Learning Performance Ecosystem first…and then consider assessing how effectively you’re supporting it…more importantly…how effective is the workforce generating business value in it.

My questions to you are these:

  • Does your L&D team have the performance consulting chops to effectively address the “Discovery” in DRIVER…accomplish a PWA?
  • Does your L&D team build road maps that are scoped to embrace an “Ecosystem-wide Learning Performance Continuum”?
  • Are you “Intentionally Designing” content components to satisfy attributes of “7 Right Things” at PoW during initial design/development efforts?
  • Are you piloting/testing components to validate accessibility, relevance, and effectiveness from End-Users in advance of launching the final solution?
  • Does the evidence of business impact you seek align with Levels 3 & 4 evaluation data points?
  • Is your content sustainable and scalable and capable of rapid replication?

Some who read this post may view what I’m suggesting parallels the task of eating an entire elephant. I know…too big to eat all at once, so grab a fork and take a first bite. Bite off defining your Current State of Readiness and head to ground zero and find out what’s happening…or not when it comes to workforce performance with a Point-of-Work Assessment – PWA  (See Figure 3)   Don’t rely upon a Training Needs Assessment as it only addresses 1/6th of the ecosystem in the People/Capability bucket. Use a PWA to include performance attributes of the remaining 5/6th of the ecosystem for developing a holistic learning performance solution.

Figure 3

I’d be happy to have an exploratory conversation with any organization interested in adoption of the DRIVER discipline or simply taking a step through a PWA process to define Current State.

Thanks for reading!  Welcome thoughts and ideas as always in your comments!

Gary G. Wise
Workforce Performance Advocate, Coach, Speaker 
(317) 437-2555
Web: Living In Learning