Greg DeVore

By: Greg DeVore on July 4th, 2021

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Which Articles Do I Need to Write for my ScreenSteps Knowledge Base?

You’ve been working on filling your ScreenSteps site with policies and procedures, but you keep running into a few problems. Mainly, you’re not sure what types of articles you need to write to help your employees do their jobs.

It can be overwhelming looking at everything that your company/department does and knowing that somehow you need to document all of it. Even if you already have some of your procedures documented, it is difficult to recognize what articles you are missing in your knowledge base.

How do you know what materials are missing? What needs to be included in your knowledge base to help your employees learn?

As the co-founder of ScreenSteps, I’ve talked to many companies who struggle with the same problem. That’s why we have started using the 5 Moments of Need. The 5 Moments of Need is a methodology that helps us break down complex procedures into manageable guides that help employees in the moment of need.

Below I give a quick overview of the 5 Moments of Need. Then I share how you can recognize those moments in your company and create content in ScreenSteps to help you address them.

What are the 5 Moments of Need?

Bob Mosher & Conrad Gottfredson created the 5 Moments of Need methodology to help Learning & Development teams identify the learning opportunities for employees.

Here is a quick summary describing each of the 5 Moments of Need:

  • Apply – When employees need to put what they learn into action
  • Solve – When employees need to figure out how to handle an unexpected scenario
  • Change – When employees need to learn how to do something a different way
  • New – When employees are introduced to information for the first time
  • More – When employees build off of previous knowledge

These 5 moments enable both traditional classroom training as well as workflow learning, where employees are empowered to learn while performing their jobs.

Which "moments" does ScreenSteps address?

While you can use a knowledge base like ScreenSteps to address all 5 moments, the knowledge base will be most effective at addressing the Appy, Solve, and Change moments.

Depending on how you want to help your employees in these moments of need, you may want to pair your ScreenSteps knowledge base with a Learning Management System (LMS).

ScreenSteps is best at addressing the Apply, Solve, and Change moments

Why? Because these are moments that appear when someone is in the middle of their work. They don't have time to leave their desk, go take a class, or to call up a supervisor or trainer. They need to accomplish their job right now!

If your articles are designed with these moments in mind, then the articles can be the just-in-time teacher your employees need. Your guides will save the day by giving the learners exactly what they need to accomplish their task, solve their problem, or adopt a new behavior.

But what about the New and More moments? You can still use ScreenSteps to help in those moments as well. In ScreenSteps, you can create PDF guides of your procedures that you can distribute during training courses.

Our customers will typically use our courses feature to prepare learning assets for these New and More moments. However, ScreenSteps courses don’t have quizzes and other interactive training tools.

If you want those tools to help train in the New and More moments, we recommend pairing ScreenSteps with a Learning Management System (LMS).

One of the biggest benefits of designing for the moments of Apply and Solve first, is that you will not need to create nearly as much classroom or E-Learning material. In fact, our most successful customers use their classroom training time to train their employees to use ScreenSteps in the moment of Apply, Solve and Change.

Classroom or E-Learning is better suited for addressing the New and More moments

Typically, you will use classroom or E-Learning experiences to address New or More moments.

New and More training are typically done in a classroom setting, whether that is virtually or in-person. Teaching in a classroom allows trainers to instruct large groups of people and cover important background information that prepares employees for in-the-moment training (the other three moments).

Other common formats for New or More training include self-paced courses, scenario-based training, and E-Learning options. Typically, these training options are what you would use a Learning Management System (LMS) for.

Videos can also be an excellent format to use as part of the self-paced courses. Your new hires can cover vital information and go back to review anything they need to clarify.

How to recognize these moments and use ScreenSteps to build resources around them

In order to prepare resources for your 5 Moments of Need, you first need to be able to identify when and where you need resources for each moment. Then you can build the Apply, Solve, and Change resources to help in these moments.

An added bonus is that you can use the ScreenSteps Browser Extension to suggest articles based on the context where the employee is working. This makes these resources available right in the moment when employees need them.

Start by designing for the moment of Apply

Too often, we start designing content as if everything we are teaching is "new" to the learner. But, once you’ve onboarded your employees, they have a basic knowledge for everything they are going to do.

Your Apply moments are going to build off of that base knowledge by providing resources that enable your employees to complete tasks by applying what they already know. Design your content to help the learner right when they need to apply that knowledge.

What does that look like in ScreenSteps? That looks like articles that are clearly written so that they are easy to follow. In ScreenSteps, you can create checklists for straightforward tasks, or Workflow Articles for more complicated processes.

Employees are able to apply what they know by checking off items from a list. In case they forget how to do something, you can include foldable sections so they have helpful information at their fingertips to help them apply their learnings. The questions in workflows can help guide them to the correct solution based on the situation they encounter.

How do you recognize where your employees need an Apply guide? Here are a few questions to ask:

  • What does your employee need to accomplish?
  • Do they have the resources available to help them accomplish this task without relying on their memory or the assistance of someone else?

Help in the Solve moments with troubleshooting guides

Often, we provide employees with guides to help them through the ideal scenario. But what happens when they encounter an obstacle or something doesn’t go as planned?

Learning resources you create for the Solve moment help employees solve the problem on their own. That means they won’t need to turn to a supervisor or ask a teammate for help. They can find the solution in your troubleshooting guides.

A troubleshooting guides does two things:

1. It helps diagnose the issue

2. It leads the employee to the right procedure to use in the moment

In ScreenSteps, you can write step-by-step Workflow Articles to help them complete tasks in the moment of need. These work as decision trees by asking questions. Workflow Articles are interactive so your employees' answers will lead them to a new question until they have resolved the issue.

Walk through your procedures. At each step, think about what could go wrong here? What are all of the possible results? This will help you create and build out your troubleshooting shooting guides to help in the Solve moment.

Update your guides as needed for the Change moments

Inevitably, you are going to have to update guides and procedures over time. That is because things are always changing. You need to add a step to the troubleshooting guide or remove an item that no longer applies to a process.

The thing is that employees learn your procedures and form habits around them, so the Change moments help them adjust those habits to incorporate the changes in procedures.

How will you teach your employees in these Change moments? Consider: Can you just update an article or does it need to be resolved in the classroom?

Using ScreenSteps, the perk is you don’t need to do a lunch-and-learn again. You can update your guides and send out a notification within ScreenSteps to let your staff know about the change. The next time your employees open the guides for an Apply or Solve moment the changes are already there to follow.

However, Change moments can become more moments depending on the extent of the changes. If it is a minor update, it is as simple as updating an article. If there are major updates, that may be a More moment. If you are switching out software, it becomes a New moment.

When deciding how to address a Change moment, ask yourself: Can you just update an article or does it need to be resolved in the classroom?

Need help documenting procedures for your 5 Moments of Need?

It takes a lot of planning and preparation to create support materials for your employees that will help them in each of the 5 Moments of Need. When you take the time to fill your ScreenSteps knowledge base, employees are better prepared to do their job.

While it can be overwhelming to strategize content and fill in the gaps for missing content, you don’t have to do it alone.

A ScreenSteps content coach can help your authoring team recognize the 5 Moments of Need in your company so that they can create articles to assist employees no matter where they are in learning and working.

We also have coaches to work with ScreenSteps customers on writing detailed help guides that aren’t overwhelming for employees to use. Our coaches help L&D leaders figure out which procedures they need to document to address these moments of need.

Talk to a ScreenSteps Rep

About Greg DeVore

CEO of ScreenSteps