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The Five Moments of Need

Change is Hard, but Well Worth the Journey!!


By Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson

I know we talk an awful lot about Performance Support and related tools (EPSS's) on this forum.  I totally get that since the name of this community IS the Performance Support(PS) Community :)  BUT with that said, one of my favorite things about designing for the 5 Moments of Need (5 MoN), and including an EPSS in the blend, is the power and flexibility the approach brings to the classroom.

I've shared before that I was once categorized as "the classroom hater". Reading my own blogs and articles I GUESS I can see where that perception came from.  To set the record straight, that couldn't be further from the truth.  In fact, I still believe that the classroom brings certain elements to learning that, at least currently, no other modality can, such as empathy, real-time troubleshooting/feedback, and experiential expertise, just to name a few.  What I DO hate about the classroom is what we've done to it.  It has all too often become a dumping ground of too much content that's "taught" in too little a time limiting its ability to use of the power learning approaches I've listed above.  PS can do amazing things to solve much of that, freeing the classroom to do what it does best!

The fundamental problem is that too many L&D professionals and organizations still see PS as an add-on to there existing approach.  They want PS, but they're not willing to do anything differently to their training models and methodologies. They just want to "add" PS to the workflow and hope it all works.  To do PS right, you have to look at all 5 MoN FIRST and adjust accordingly.  I recently had a student in one of my workshops say, "I get and agree with all that you're saying, BUT the problem we face is we have too few resources, time and money to ADD this.  My department is already taxed to the max meeting the demand we have to create our current Training materials".

Ok, let's examine this statement a bit more.  In order for ANY L&D department to move to a true 5 MoN approach they need to change two important things - their mental orientation to what it is they build, AND a shift in the methodology to build it. Let's examine both for a bit.

The fundamental mistake this VERY qualified and well intentioned L&D professional was making, and we see this often, is evaluating the impact and addition of PS from a "training first" mindset.  When Con started his journey in creating the 5 Moments of Need methodology he realized a few fundamental truths - IF adopting the 5 MoN was going to work, that journey had to follow 3 rules:

  1. It couldn't take more time then current design models
  2. It couldn't cost more than current design models
  3. It couldn't need more resources than current design models

When we've seen the 5 MoN and PS implemented CORRECTLY we've seen it hold pretty true to these rules, if not cut down on a few of them.  BUT that starts by NOT designing for Training first!  If you do, PS will always be seen as an add-on and not an enhancement to an existing model.  Few have extra time, resources, or money for an add-on! If the gentleman referenced above keeps starting with tackling his current training load (and approach) first and hoping to get to PS later, it will never work!  Now, I'm NOT saying this change is easy and won't come with some "pain and sacrifice", few change efforts do.  Others on this community who've made the transition can jump in here, but many will say that the road to the 5 MoN didn't happen overnight, or without any angst.  Those who've stayed the course have arrived at an amazing place, but it took work, commitment and flexibility.

A second part of this journey is trusting the model and some of its strongest attributes.  One of the game changers is Critical Skills Analysis (CSA)!  CSA let's you create a TRULY blended approach to an overall Learning and Performance solution that allows the classroom to do all that it's called to do.  It also lets you reduce classroom time by 50% on average freeing up many resources and time needed to create this new blend.

This is all about change!!  About adopting a new view and approach to L&D.  That journey is an evolutionary one, not a revolutionary one.  The best part of this journey is that you can take it one step at at time and not upset the apple cart along the way.  Those who have done it have created change one proof of concept, and project, at at time.  Each one day arriving at the point where their solutions truly shifted to one that was "performance first" in analysis, design and delivery!