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Empowering the front line

HCI Productions specialises in Internet-based learning and performance solutions, including electronic performance support systems. The latter use an advanced database and an easy-to-use interface to give users access to the knowledge they need to help them carry out their tasks and responsibilities effectively.
HCI Productions Oy

One of the major challenges facing companies and organisations today is to provide the
right information at the right time in the right context to the right people. Supplying easy-to-use tools to front-line personnel – those ultimately responsible for business success – often proves difficult.

An HCI electronic performance support system gathers all the information resources people need into a single-easy-to-navigate interface to help them solve the challenges they encounter, learn more, and develop their capabilities.

Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) aim to overcome this by bringing together the information people need in their work, the training resources they need to develop their capabilities, and the tools they need to handle their day-to-day activities. EPSS technology is designed to make these critical resources available for use in day-to-day operations and accessible through a single easyto-navigate interface.

Leveraging the right information

Ironically, implementing an EPSS is often less about IT and more about mindsets. The key is to understand that the real value of information and documentation lies in what can be done with it. Information as such, however superficially ‘valuable’ or unique, does not generate competitive advantage. What does is the ability to use it when and where it can be of most benefit.

Creating a successful EPSS calls for understanding the user context and seeing what is really essential in terms of resources. All information is not of equal importance, which is why focusing on areas such as ‘must know’, ‘need to know’, and ‘nice to know’ is critical.

Solutions

As a result, the EPSS solutions developed by HCI Productions have typically concentrated on supporting core process descriptions, along with additional information, training resources, and electronic tools – linking the ‘what’ with the ‘how’. Solutions provide access to what users need to carry out their tasks and responsibilities. This can be reinforced by what HCI describes as ‘learning nuggets’, short eLearning sessions lasting a maximum of 15 minutes each, on selected key topics.

This knowledge is linked to forms and templates, procedures and agreed ways of working, and expert resources in the shape of electronic links to experts for assistance on specific topics.

In addition to providing a core database and getting it up and running, HCI assists in areas such as authoring EPSS content, learning nuggets, and other resources, such as ‘house-style guides’, designed to enable customers to take over the maintenance and development of content smoothly.

> Ari-Matti Auvinen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)