Point-of-Work Assessment (PWA)

Every organization owns a dynamic Learning Performance Ecosystem where the workforce learns and works by performing tasks by functional role. The most significant component of every ecosystem, regardless of business discipline, is where measurable business outcomes are generated –


While measurable business outcomes and value are generated at Point-of-Work there are several other outcomes not as desirable:

  • Delays and rework due to user errors and mistakes
  • Loss of key accounts or clients
  • Lost sales and poor service/product support
  • Exposure to business liability
  • Creation of material waste
  • Turnover due to employee frustration

Obviously, there are other tangible negatives not listed here that impact the bottom line of any business; however, a consistent common denominator remains the same…

All of these losses manifest at or in proximity to Point-of-Work

If Point-of-Work represents ground zero for all positive and negative business outcomes, a logical conclusion points to adopting a strategy and tactics that aggressively address the point where value is either created…compromised…or lost outright.

How do you get there?

Road mapping L&D strategy, tactics and technology to address Point-of-Work requires accurate knowledge of where you are right now along with associated gaps and challenges. That means establishing Current State Benchmarks specific to the learning performance ecosystem in which you operate today. Those benchmarking skills should be in-house, high priority, capabilities within every L&D organization.

This current state benchmark capability is called POINT-of-WORK ASSESSMENT (PWA)

PWA represents a repeatable, scalable methodology designed to assess the interdependent moving parts within every ecosystem that enable or restrain performance at Point-of-Work in several scenarios:

  • Responding to individual training project requests targeting performance gaps
  • Addressing large, enterprise-wide initiatives impacting workforce performance
  • Integration of new enterprise technology impacting processes and workflows

In every case there are implications of change at Point-of-Work, and this benchmarking task requires examining performance attributes across six core Ecosystem Discovery Targets as illustrated in the two graphics below:


Attributes, Embedded PS

NOTE: The Ecosystem Performance Attributes itemized in the above graphic represent a sample collection specific to an actual client organization…although many are common to all regardless of business discipline.

These Ecosystem Categories are common denominators and cross-industry agnostic. Performance Attributes are identified during a 4-Phase methodology:

PWA Methodology

  • Phase 1 – One-on-one or peer-level team engagement begins at senior leadership level as assigned and with the authority to accomplish the following:
    • Establish Point-of-Work strategic context and commitment implications
    • Set alignment of goal expectations
    • Provide top-view of current state challenges and relevant performance attributes
    • Share vision of future state capabilities
    • Establish tactical prioritization for subsequent PWA discovery interviews
  • Phase 2 – One-on-one or peer level mid-level management engagement follows with key functional stakeholder roles to accomplish the following:
    • Participate in discovery interviews to address current state per functional role performance across relevant Attribute categories targeted in Phase 1
    • Provide root cause hypotheses behind current state performance challenges and current steps taken toward mitigation and results to date, if any
    • Facilitate access to current state documented training workflows and protocols
    • Facilitate observations of current training delivery sessions (if available) and/or access to relevant legacy training content
    • Identify key individual performer roles and/or functional groups for subsequent discovery interviews
  • Phase 3 – One-on-one or peer level group forum interviews or surveys engaging Individual Contributors follow with key roles to accomplish the following:
    • Participate in discovery interviews to address current state per functional performance role across relevant Attribute categories targeted in Phase 1.
    • Demonstrate Instructor-led Training (ILT) and/or VILT if sessions scheduled available.
    • Share legacy training content across current state delivery venues.
  • Phase 4 – Strategist analysis of PWA findings for development of Recommendation Road Map to accomplish the following:
    • Prioritization of next steps relative to Performance Support System technology integration….

Following is a sample PWA deliverable showing Current State Practices and Transition Road Map specific to a Performance Support technology adoption effort.


Strategic Re-Think

PWA is the first tactical step in adopting a strategic re-think – a reorientation from long-held, deeply-embedded traditions of our existing Training Paradigm. Current thinking promotes Training as a solution to drive workforce performance and business outcomes. While Training solutions can contribute to performance, the more frequent result yields only POTENTIAL.  That’s not wrong thinking…it’s just not enough!

No real business value is generated, compromised or lost until the workforce has completed training. The journey to competency and measurable business outcomes are not reached until the workforce successfully and consistently overcomes individual moments of need at Point-of-Work.  

The strategic re-think related to adopting a Point-of-Work Paradigm is not a project…it’s a continuous dynamic discipline…as dynamic as the ecosystem it supports. It’s not just building a new training course…not just adding a new piece of software…nor simply plugging in new learning technology…at least not before establishing a current state benchmark from which to build an informed Point-of-Work Solution road map.

Is This Journey In Your Future?

There is another benchmark to consider – Is your L&D team “ready” to begin a journey of this nature or is your team at a “state of readiness” to begin the journey? Having brought a team or two to readiness in previous lives, ready and readiness are two distinctly different states.

Successful adoption is not a dramatic leap in skills and capabilities as much as it is willingness to see the entirety of the learning performance ecosystem through a Point-of-Work lens. The PWA methodology uses a template-based framework positioned in a workshop and supported with optional coaching as desired.

Already using agile design methodologies like ApplySynergy’s 5 Moments of Need, 70:20:10, or Allen Interaction’s Successive Approximation Methodology (SAM)? Even better! The PWA methodology serves as a front-end diagnostic that “informs” existing agile design frameworks already in place.

See Coaching & PWA Skill Development for details

See Engagement for adoption options to enable a Point-of-Work Paradigm

Click Contact to initiate an exploratory conversation