Some Definitions

20130709-232002.jpg As I get this blog up and running I want to throw a few definitions out there to provide some context for everything that comes after.

Many of you likely already have a pretty clear definition for the terms Performance Development and Performance Support, and yet I’m going to take this first real post to set the context for what comes after.

Defining Performance Development
My definition of performance development is still a work in progress, and I think I’m really close.

Performance development is the broad set of activities undertaken to develop an individual’s competencies and skills, enabling their capability to perform a task or role in a way he or she has not done before. Activities might include, but are not limited to, course work of some type (classroom, elearning, virtual), coaching, mentoring, application activities, and assessment of skills application and knowledge.

I’m very partial toward the term Performance Development. I like that it goes beyond just training to encompass all of the strategies that can be employed to develop an individual. Training is very finite, with people typically attributing a defined beginning and end to the experience. Development though is an ongoing journey.

Defining Performance Support
To define performance support, I turn to Bob Mosher’s and Con Gottfreidsen’s definition, “Performance support is providing intuitive, tailored, and embedded aid to a person at his or her moment of need to ensure the most effective performance.”

I really like that definition of performance support. It speaks to what the experience should be like (intuitive, tailored, embedded), when it should be employed (moment of need), and why (ensure the most effective performance).

So, those are the two broad topics I’ll be focused on. I’m excited to get this going.

Please join in the conversation in the comments.


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