Workplace Help

Performance Support: The Fast Track to a Solution

Cologne (GER), December 2017 - The REWE Group’s decision to introduce a performance support system was made back in 2014. The vision was grand: Direct workplace help would not only be created for individual software launches, but for all applications. With more than 500 IT applications, this not only meant an immense effort in regard to content creation, but also a change in learning culture. Mareike Heidemann-Jarosch of REWE Systems, the REWE Group’s IT subsidiary, remembers, "When it was introduced, workplace learning did not yet command the same importance as formal measures."

REWE Systems is responsible for all business areas of Germany’s REWE supermarkets and also for users in acquisition, accounting, and other departments in the main offices of the REWE-owned Penny supermarkets and some stores in its subsidiary Toom hardware chain: In total, IT support is provided for more than 500 applications. "Help systems require content," explains Mareike Heidemann-Jarosch. "We have decided to take a subject-matter-expert approach, which means the application supervisors share their knowledge and serve as authors for the help functions."

REWE Systems GmbH introduced the "SAP Retail" platform in purchasing as a beacon and, according to Heidemann-Jarosch "... used it to acquaint the organization with the new approach." Around 12,000 participants have come to appreciate the performance support system, based on the "tt knowledge force" authoring system, because "only a tool that enables users to quickly find content that addresses their problem can convince them." Help content is now primarily created for new software launches, releases, and updates.

"Of course we continue to offer classroom seminars," adds Heidemann-Jarosch, "but the use of blended learning - with reference made to the help system - is increasing. Following the face-to-face seminars, we always see a significant increase in the frequency of the performance support system’s use." REWE Systems plans a comprehensive evaluation of its activities so far and the system’s daily application in the middle of next year.

"When users face a problem, they always look for the fastest way to find a solution. This means that performance support should, ideally, lead to the solution in just a few clicks, and the steps should be as straightforward and precise as possible," says Heidemann-Jarosch. This demand will become even more important in 2018, when a performance support system that includes process knowledge, background information, and contacts is to be introduced in the REWE stores. REWE Systems’ small "Knowledge-Transfer Software" team is now confronted with the new challenge of creating intuitive usability and developing a didactic approach for the new target group in a new context.


Mareike Heidemann-Jarosch and Dany Rousseau will speak (in German) on the subject of "Quick Help at the Workplace" at the LEARNTEC Convention on 01 February 2018 from 15.15 to 16.00.