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ATD Blog

“Just-in-Time” or “Moment/Point of Need” Training in Today’s Enterprise

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Every year, our workforce is asked to learn more, faster, with higher levels of retention, and subject to greater risk if their training has failed. The various software systems and technologies helping to run the day-to-day business are under constant change. All levels of staff constantly have something new to learn in the pursuit of being better at their jobs and meeting performance goals. If you want to try to manage it all with your LMS (for some organizations, more than one LMS), it can be difficult.

Many would agree that we already have a data acquisition problem when trying to transition into a data-driven training model. After all, we are now in a data driven world. Just-in-time learning, also known as point-of-use or moment-of-use learning, should put the training and review materials where you need it, when you need it.

We know we need better analytics to prescribe learning, but just as important today is the ability to deliver that learning at the point of need. Reporting and delivery are the areas to focus on and discuss here.

Training is being delivered from many different sources, and getting simple insights back to the training team needs to happen. This is something that we think about at JCA Solutions. We love to crunch on these problems.

The technology exists today to deliver training at the point-of-need. But one of the problems of this rapid growth of technology allowing learning media to be delivered electronically is that the reporting of the technology can be locked into the vendor’s proprietary platform.


I believe that most of the companies that are offering the ability to deliver moment-of-need training are not able to sync back to your LMS out of the box, nor are they supporting the learning reporting standards (SCORM 1.2, 2004, or Experience API (xAPI)). So, these solutions end up being for specific training content only. The content has to be moved into the just-in-time training system rather than making it available from a centralized LMS or similar learning content repository.


Mobile Devices and Handhelds

Companies with big budgets are providing everything they need to know in an app or a hand-held device. There are available technologies out there that are working to be an affordable, configurable, downloadable application that will house and deliver your training in such a way. I suspect they offer insights on learner interactions, and I am almost certain you have to use their proprietary reporting to view those learner insights.

Embedded/Integrated Into Work Systems, Web Application, and Websites

It makes sense that many training departments are partnering with the IT department to find an integrated solution. Most of the business systems are web-based applications. That means people are doing their jobs in a web browser or web view, which also means that you can embed or overlay training exactly at the point-of-need. Manipulating the web browser or finding a solution that does this is one of the most cost-effective ways you could approach just-in-time training. If you have a strong partnership with IT, it could also be the most rapid

Ongoing Training Sustainment

Mobile, web-based, or other IT seems like it would be best if the content could be served according to training rules and managed from a centralized LMS or learning content repository. We should have access to systems within the HR function and the job performance function. Job competency models can inform learning profiles that can in turn inform training at the point of need. Would you like to extend LMS capabilities into other systems or mobile? Do you want to make training available while the learner is executing tasks? Each company represents unique business workflow or embedded training needs. One thing’s for sure: This is an “anywhere, anytime” problem, rather than an “in the office, at a desk” problem.

About the Author

Nick Washburn is director of business development for JCA Solutions. He has two decades of experience working with software companies and hi-tech entrepreneurs in learning management, and distance learning technologies conforming to SCORM, AICC, and xAPI standards. He has led the development and go to market of award-winning training technology solutions used by Fortune 50/500 and U.S. DoD. He is currently Secretary of the IEEE xAPI Standard Work Group, was a member of the ADL workgroup that created the Experience API (xAPI), and he continues to work in xAPI/LRS strategies for today’s learning enterprise.

1 Comment
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Good point Nick.
It makes sense to followup role-based training with a performance support resource. Where employees can have just-in-time support for the unlearned portions of the role-based knowledge. No matter where the employees are on the learning curve, they have a resource for quick on-the-job answers to questions.
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