JIT and Knowledge Building LO16489

Vana Prewitt (vprewitt@mail.rdu.bellsouth.net)
Sun, 11 Jan 1998 15:18:52 -0500

Replying to LO16471 --

Hi to all:

the question about just-in-time concepts used to foster effective and
efficient organizational learning is not new and actually has a fairly
well-structured history. The practice of "just-in-time training"
predates anything formal or structured. It's called peer education, or
on-the-job training, or mentoring, or apprenticeships. It's been going on
for thousands of years and continues to be used today, although often we
do not recognize it as such.

How many times recently have you or a colleague asked that computer wizard
in the neighboring cube how to perform some esoteric function on the word
processor or spreadsheet? Sure, you could use the on-line help, call the
technology support team, sign up for a class, or read the unintelligible
documentation. But no, as a rule, we ask someone we know to help us out
because this technique has proven effective in getting the right answer

Take this example and apply it to questions about anything new (a learning
event). Our first inclination is to ask an "expert," which may be defined
as anyone who knows more than us about the subject.

The key to structured on-the-job training (or any other model of JIT
knowledge transfer) is that the players have defined roles and
responsibilities. In my work group, we all have a daily commitment to
learn and teach each other. Our success is measured in part on this

Avoid the danger, however, of assuming that because someone can do the
job, they can teach the job (or system, or knowledge, etc). People who
make good peer educators have special qualities and should be selected
carefully. To make them successful in their role, they need to have
appropriate support materials, access to information, etc. The job aids
that were mentioned early are very good examples of this type of thing.

Vana Prewitt


Vana Prewitt <vprewitt@mail.rdu.bellsouth.net>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>