One of the tenets of Instructional System Design is to do an upfront analysis starting with answering the question, “Can the students perform the task if they had a gun put to their head?” If the answer is no, than training needs to be designed, developed, implemented and evaluated… but if the answer is yes, a job aid might do the trick. This quick analysis tool is meant to strike right to the core of the training need and exclude subjectivity, and it is not meant to supplement a complete task analysis, if necessary. Job aids can be quite comprehensive depending on the task demands.
Joe Willmore has a book on developing effective job aids. An e-book format portion of it can be found by clicking here. The list below is broken up into extensive detail if you follow the link:
1. Collect task and performer data
2. Confirm that a job aid is appropriate for the work setting
3. Determine if training support is necessary
4. Select the appropriate job aid format
5. Select and develop the job aid
6. Validate the draft job aid
7. Troubleshoot the draft job aid
8. Roll out the job aid
9. Maintain and upgrade the job aid
I know it may seem fairly straight forward and not magical, but the book really does break the process down more by using analysis and flowcharts to determine detail and content. I recommend you check it out, and nobody is holding a gun to my head.