What can advisors do to ‘Just-In-Time’ support?

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Reduce costs with just-in-time support

The concept of ‘Just-In-Time’, started as an inventory management strategy, which means having, “the right materials, at the right time, at the right place and in the exact amount”.  Wouldn’t it be better to get the knowledge when and where they need it as well as getting it in real time?

‘Just-in-time’ support and learning delivers support and learning to people when and where they need it. Rather than sitting through hours of traditional workshops and seminars. Users can tap into web-based information and knowledge, presentations, tools, processes, checklists and templates. Along with interactive advisors. facilitators and specialists to help them focus on just what is needed to address their frustrations, solve problems, achieve their wants and needs or, quickly update their skills.

 

“People can keep their everyday routines that will keep their businesses going. But when a good advisor in engaged they can suddenly be propelled into a better future”.  Peter Sergeant

 

The new model focuses on learning rather than on teaching. We use technology to create just-in-time learning and decision support systems that harness and disseminate the information and knowledge required. It also helps owners and managers to make more informed, better and faster decisions while they are learning on the job.

 

What is ‘Just-In-Time’ Facilitation?

‘Just-In-Time’ advising focuses on improving customer support and learning through the use of appropriate web-based cloud technology.

There is a need to give people support before they have to perform, or during their work on a particular task. They simply do not have the time or money to attend the next available workshop or seminar or find the right paper-based materials they need.

The use of modern technology allows advisors and facilitators to quickly gather information about people’s understanding of concepts and the actions they need to take, to better meet their wants and needs. Because it is not always practical or, is far too expensive to provide instant support, questions and requests are used to develop further materials to address support and learning gaps that are revealed.

When we get this ‘right’ using a mix of social media and website structures it will be a point of true differentiation for clients.

This diagram shows the various levels of support available.

 

If the support can be provided through the cloud, where support can be easily downloaded then it is obviously much cheaper than having to engage an advisor,  facilitator, or specialist one-on-one, particularly when travel is involved. ‘Just-in-time’ mobile support and learning is certainly a feature of the modern business environment.

 

What are the benefits of’ Just-in-Time’ Support and Learning?

  • Learn only what is necessary at the time. This is probably the biggest benefit to learning this way. In other words, you only spend time learning something that you plan to implement right away.
  • It cuts out the need to learn everything you need to about your business at one time. You can learn as you go and as the business grows.
  • Accelerate your learning. You don’t put thing off because you can’t get to a workshop or seminar to learn what you need to when you are starting a project. You become more action orientated.
  • Save time. You can get most of what you want when you want it without having to attend a workshop or seminar to learn about something you are going to take immediate action on.
  • Save money. It is not just the cost of the workshop, seminar or conference, it is the downtime in your business and the delays in projects that costs the most money.
  • Mostly what you need to learn about is not readily available when you want it, a bit like a taxi, they are never there when you want them. ‘Just-in-time’ support helps you get what you want when you want it. Think of a time when you wanted to learn something because there was something you needed to do, but you either couldn’t leave the business or didn’t have the money at the time.
  • Helps you to stay focused. Sometimes you go to a learning evening and come home with so many new ideas that you can lose focus. ‘Just-in-time’ helps you to keep focused on what is important to keep the business moving forward and achieving your aspirations.
  • Customised support. With traditional educational models, it is expensive to upgrade content. This compares with instant inexpensive changes to be made to online content as new information and knowledge come to hand. It is also easier to customise material to various market segments and even individuals. ‘Just-in-time’ support and learning are replacing the ‘one size fits all’ model as well as making learning more interactive.
  • The’ just-in-time’ model moves from being a supplier-driven approach that works efficiently for the organisation doing the delivery to a more consumer-driven approach that works effectively for the participants.
  • Learner-control. Support and learning access are time and place independent as well as being concerned with the functional use of information and knowledge that is practical and easy to apply.

 

How does ‘just-in-time’ work in practice?

An example might be; a business owner has just been asked by the bank to present their Business Plan before they can approve a loan. The owner has never produced a Business Plan and has no idea where to start or what to do.

By emailing, the ‘just-n-time’ help desk, a Business Plan template is immediately emailed back with instructions on what to do. If they are having trouble another email, or phone call will put them on the right track.  The learning comes at the same time as the problem is being solved.

We ask that your questions or requests are sent to us by email in the first instance, with a heading, details of the specific request as well as the urgency and type of response required. We also request that the email is confined to one specific topic at a time.

Some requests can be addressed in a few minutes while others may require some specific research on our part which may take several days, but we will respond to you accordingly.

There is no limit to the number of requests, but please remember we are not here to run your business for you, but to help you run your business. 

 

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Personal Experience:

Our experience tells us to expect the vast majority of requests will be answered within ten minutes and within the scope of your subscription. Should your request involve a larger input by an advisor or facilitator, you will be notified accordingly of a suggested course of action.

I have spent a lifetime being an SME and supporting SMEs and Non-profit organisations.  This has seen the evolution of The FAQ knowledge Base and our Knowledge Factory where we develop out thoughts, tools and checklists along with articles and presentations.

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