Job Aids (with Examples)
“A job aid is a repository for information, processes, or perspectives that is external to the individual and that supports work and activity by directing, guiding, and enlightening performance.”
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Looking for samples? Here's a zip file containing a variety of sample job aids: jobaids.zip
Job Aids in GeneralThe Job Aid Job Aid summarizes types of job aids. The Cube Template provides a template for a 3-d cube.
Agile SoftwareThese aids (from the xp123.com site) are for teams using Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum.
These job aids were developed for the session “Paper Toys that Teach” at NASAGA '03:
Further ReadingDisclaimer: The books use an affiliate link to Amazon;
when you purchase through them, you're helping support this site.
Job Aids and Performance Support: Moving from Knowledge in the Classroom to Knowledge Everywhere, Allison Rossett and Lisa Schafer, Pfeiffer, 2006.
Job aids are an aid to the broader challenge of performance support. The book is focused more on the latter (including online tools) than on job aids. It introduces a nice distinction: planners that help before or after a performance, and sidekicks that are with us when we work. The authors give advice on formats that help people decide about work or do it. They close by discussing principles, and strategies for implementation.
Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, Dan Roam, Portfolio, 2013.
This book focuses on "Visual Thinking", using several simple frameworks to get at different ways of thinking about problems, and different ways of portraying information visually.
This book isn't about job aids per se, but the visual approach will suggest ideas that may be useful in them.
A Handbook of Job Aids, Allison Rossett and Jeannette Gautier-Downes. Pfeiffer, 1991.
The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande. Metropolitan, 2009.
This book is an expansion of Gawande's interesting New Yorker article.
It's an exploration of how the relatively simple idea of a checklist
can be used to ensure that complicated things get done well. What works
for pilots also works well for surgery. I thought the article was enough
to get the idea, but the book was an interesting read for more depth.
Mapping Inner Space, 2/e, Nancy Margulies with Nusa Maal. Zephyr Press, 2002.
and Maal presents techniques for visual maps, a version of mind maps. You can
certainly learn the basics without this book, but it makes great use of color
and has lots of examples of maps and symbols.
Reinventing the Wheel, Jessica Helfand. Princeton Architectural Press, 2002.
This is a picture book of volvelles, wheel calculators.
You typically set a pointer to a particular value, and
windows or the edge of the wheel reveal an answer. If you have any
interest in job aids, or pre-computer calculators, you will
enjoy the history and pictures this book contains.
xp123.com - Extreme Programming and Agile Software
thiagi.com - Games for training
Bill Wake is a software consultant with a focus in agile methods such as XP and Scrum, and interests in design, games, and music.
Bill works for Industrial Logic, home of great e-learning in test-driven development, refactoring, user stories, and more.
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