Point-of-Work Assessment (PWA)

Every organization owns a dynamic Learning Performance Ecosystem where the workforce learns and works to perform 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 that restrain productivity and negatively impact performance: 

  • Delays and rework due to user errors and mistakes
  • Loss of key accounts or clients due to lack of responsiveness and delays
  • Poor service/product support due to lack of agility handling challenges
  • Exposure to liability and safety concerns due to mistakes and noncompliance
  • Creation of material waste due to production errors
  • Turnover and employee frustration due to being improperly equipped to perform  

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 strategy and tactics that holistically assess current state performance and their root cause restrainers to pinpoint, prioritize, and road map solutions at the Points-of-Work where value is either created, compromised or lost outright.

Current State Performance Benchmarks & Solution Road Maps require adoption of a


Road mapping L&D strategy, tactics and technology to address Point-of-Work Solutions require holistic discovery to accurately identify current state performance gaps, challenges & causes. This discovery effort establishes accurate performance benchmarks and identifies root cause performance restrainers critical to mapping recommendations that involve a blend of learning, support logistics, and potentially technology-based solutions.

 Does your L&D team possess these enhanced
discovery, bench-marking, road mapping, and technology skills? 

The PWA represents a repeatable, scalable methodology designed to assess the interdependent moving parts (performance attributes) found within every ecosystem that enable or restrain performance at Point-of-Work. Following are four example scenarios where applying PWA methodology is appropriate:

  • Assessing L&D team readiness to adopt a Point-of-Work Solution Discipline.
  • Responding to individual training project requests targeting performance gaps
  • Addressing larger, enterprise-wide initiatives impacting workforce performance
  • Integration of new enterprise technology impacting processes and workflows

PWA benchmarking examines six categories of performance attributes that serve as Ecosystem Discovery Targets. (See Figure 1 below) Note that traditional Training Needs Assessment (TNA) only addresses a portion of the People/Capability attributes…in other words… only 1/6th of the learning performance ecosystem is assessed by TNA tactics. The PWA methodology additionally addresses the other 5/6ths of the ecosystem.

Figure 1

These Ecosystem Categories are common denominators and cross-industry in nature; thereby making the PWA methodology both business-discipline and industry agnostic.

How Much Chaos Comes with PWA Adoption?

Successful adoption of PWA methodology 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. There are two primary objectives:

  • First Objective – Use PWA discovery results to Change the Conversation and Shift Expectations beyond default training solutions using current state performance restrainers confirmed across the learning performance ecosystem. See Figure 2 below. Note that “Training” represents only a fraction of the attributes within the People/Capability category; therefore, in this example, the transfer of knowledge and skills only contributes something less than 20% to impacting performance issues. That fact alone stimulates a new, broader conversation about solution options above and beyond training.

Change Conversation
Figure 2

  • Second Objective – A blended Recommendation Solution Road Map to facilitate collaboration among the Strategist role and the ID/DEV teams for finalizing detailed design. The PWA promotes integration of 7-Right Things (See Figure 3 below) that inform intentional design guidelines while preserving compatibility with existing agile design methodologies like:
    • ApplySynergy’s 5 Moments of Need
    • 70:20:10
    • Allen Interaction’s Successive Approximation Methodology (SAM). 

7-Right Things
Figure 3

Click here to download a 7-Right hings_Infographic H (004)

Should Your Team Adopt PWA Methodology?

If your best training efforts are not consistently accelerating productivity and sustaining measurable workforce performance results at Levels 3 & 4, the answer is an emphatic YES!

The concept of enabling continuous learning is rapidly gaining traction; however, the continuity of learning opportunities are accelerating closer to…if not within…active workflows. Workflows are outside the scope of our existing training paradigm and the need to assess the entirety of the dynamic learning performance ecosystem becomes a new imperative. This leaves us with a new ground zero to investigate – Point-of-Work

What Skills Do We Need?

PWA is a methodology leveraging performance consulting discovery skills. Creation of a performance strategist role capable of assessment at the operational level in the ecosystem is often a common role/skill addition. The PWA is not rocket science, so any candidates with a little business savvy with solid questioning and active listening skills have the potential to utilize the methodology.

What Are Our Next Step Options?

Check out HPO’s new Point-of-Work Assessment Workshop & Coaching options!

For further clarification and discussion, HPO offers a free virtual overview presentation of the paradigm shift toward addressing a dynamic learning performance ecosystem used at national conferences (DevLearn and Learning Solutions 2019) that highlights:

  • The different conversation L&D should lead with stakeholders to shift thinking
  • Assessing learning performance attributes at Point-of-Work using PWA Methdology
  • Tenets of Intentional Design that adapts to existing agile design methodologies for solutions addressing Moments of Need in the workflows framing Point-of-Work
  • Productivity Acceleration Technologies for both tactical performance support in the workflow & strategic performance insight support to accelerate critical-thinking and informed decision-making.


Click Contact to initiate an exploratory conversation!