Performance support


Performance support is hot. The theme is the main focus at learning events and the possibilities seem to be infinite. Based on didactics, creation and technology, TinQwise examines how you can use performance support in organisations.

What do you want to know?

  1. WHY. For which challenges does performance support have an answer?
  2. WHAT. What do we mean by performance support?
  3. HOW. How do companies use performance support successfully?
  4. RECAP.  What must you definitely not forget?


Performance support isn’t new. In fact, the term has existed since the 1990s. So why this renewed interest? It’s due to our current vision of work and learning, plus technological progress.

Organisational trends

  • Work processes are becoming more complex
  • Work processes are changing faster

  • Higher turnover of employees

  • Increase in multi-skilled employees

  • Emphasis on efficiency and KPIs
Organisational trends

Learning trends

Anywhere, any time, any device. With the arrival of flexible work, smartphones and tablets, learning is possible always and everywhere and it’s offered mobile first more and more often.

Communities. Learning isn’t something you do alone. There is an increasing focus on setting up permanent structures in which knowledge is shared actively and continuously.

Wikis. Content is becoming a shared responsibility around a particular subject or theme. Experts like the fact that they can change and/or supplement information themselves.

Learning as a business case. To an increasing extent, the effect of learning solutions on business performance is being recorded and measured

Quote  - Peter Block

Informal learning

We’re also embracing the 70:20:10 learning concept of Charles Jennings in large numbers. This includes three types of learning.

  • A structured programme
  • Learning from others

  • Learning by doing or experiencing

    Employers and employees particularly like the informal or on-the-job learning by practising, imitating and continuous feedback. (And that’s also exactly what performance support does.)

Informal learning
Quote  - Lee lacocca


Find the differences! There are many different definitions of performance support. They are essentially the same, but there are also interesting nuances. We include several of them below.


  • #1

    ‘An orchestrated set of services that provide on-demand access to integrated information, guidance, advice, assistance, training, and tools to enable high-level job performance with minimum support from other people.’

    Gloria Grey, Electronic Performance Support Systems

  • #2

    ‘A tool or resource, ranging from print to technology-supported, which provides just the right amount of task guidance, support, and productivity benefits to the user, precisely at the moment of need.’

    Marc Rosenberg, International Society for Performance Improvement

  • #3

    ‘A performance support system provides just-in-time, just enough […] help for users […] to enable optimum performance by those users when and where needed, thereby also enhancing the performance of the overall business.’

    William Bezanson, former Nortel Networks executive

Just for me, just in time

The essence of performance support is support in the right way and at the right time. In his theory about performance support, Bob Mosher describes five types of learning moments. For the first two, he advises formal learning, and for the last three, performance support. That’s how you sustain the performance.

5 moments of need

  1. When learning for the first time

  2. When wanting to learn more

  3. When trying to apply and/or remember

  4. When something changes

  5. When something goes wrong

5 moments of need

Design pyramid

  • It starts with the quick steps: insight into and immediate short help with the process and the tasks implemented in it.
  • This is followed by the details: supporting information for reference purposes with more details and in-depth information.
  • And then under those details again there are learning and people, from e-learning and simulations to wikis, chats, communities.
Design pyramid


We believe that everybody has the capacity to grow. Performance support not only helps you to work better, faster or more effectively. You can also use it to get the best out of a group.


When developing performance support, apply clear design principles at every moment and level of depth.

Design Principles


When you start working with performance support, there are many things you need to focus on. Where to start? These five points will help you make a good start.

Help do it. #buthow?

  • Find the primary processes.

    What exactly are you doing as an organisation? What are the critical activities? How can we really arrive at our product or service? This seems (deceptively) simple. However, it’s an essential step you need to focus on before you can work on effective performance support.

  • Pinpoint the tasks.

    Perform a thorough task analysis of the processes. Create a flow or a matrix. Or both, of course. Which steps are there? When does it get difficult? What happens? Why does it go wrong? Who are involved? How do they solve it? Which information is already available now?

  • Trust your people.

    Refine business objective with the business. Use the experience of seniors as well as fresh new employees. Continuously design and test with users in practice. After all, these are the people who should benefit. Take complaints and suggestions seriously.

  • Find the sweet spot.

    Which resource fits? Choose something familiar and comfortable. How do users experience the least inconvenience? What is a resource that is as embedded as possible? What do these people like? Which format costs as little time as possible?

  • Think of the big picture.

    The fact that you’ve developed a resource doesn’t automatically mean that it will actually be used. Also design the introduction while taking the novelty effect and the adoption curve into account. Also immediately configure a continuous process for maintenance and updates.

What does it produce?

Performance support results in employees who…

  • can be deployed faster
  • feel supported and assisted
  • behave more independently
  • show more commitment
  • feel useful in the organisation

Join us at the TinQtable

We regularly organise a TinQtable dealing with Performance support. We’ll meet business leaders, experts, HR and L&D specialists to share knowledge, cases and experiences. We ourselves also have a few interesting examples and insights.

Interested? Let us know!

Join us at the TinQtable