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Quick Tips: Designing for Performance Support

At Innovative Learning Group, we help organizations find the best solution for the need.

When a client asks you for a training solution, don’t just agree. Stop and find out more about the problem to be solved and the results to be achieved. If the goal is for workers to correctly do a task on the job, a performance support solution is called for in conjunction with formal training or on its own.

Performance support opens a world of possibilities; designing the right performance-support solution is crucial.


  1. Determine the type of support required. If the task requires:
    • Reference information, the solution should make it easy to access at the point needed.
    • Guidance, the solution should walk through the steps and/or provide help.
    • Precision/verification, the solution should help identify errors and suggest corrections.
  2. Determine the delivery format of the solution, ensuring that it’s easily accessible within the work flow. If the task is:
    • Computerized, the support should be built into the program or available via a link.
    • Not computerized, the support should be available in printed form.
    • Done “on the move,” the solution should be portable.
  3. Design the solution with the worker and task in mind.
    • Analyze the task, how the worker does it, and factors in the environment that may affect performance.
    • Target content for every piece of the task. Don’t group all content before step 1 assuming the worker will remember it at later steps.
    • Include only content that supports performance. Don’t include concepts, rationales, or background.
    • Structure the content so it’s clearly aligned with corresponding points in the task.
  4. Choose the right tool for creating the solution (e.g., you’ll need a specialized authoring tool to create computerized context-sensitive help).
A woman and some of her coworkers smiling while working in a computer lab.

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