EPSS Revisited is a compendium of articles gathered primarily from four special issues of ISPI's Performance Improvement (PI) journal between July 1999 and December 2002. These were issues for which I served as guest editor during a period when I was refining a performance-centered design (PCD) methodology that the articles were intended to support. Other articles were gathered from additional issues of PI or Performance Improvement Quarterly for which Gloria Gery—who coined the phrase electronic performance support system (EPSS) and championed the EPSS movement starting in 1989—served as guest editor, or they were carefully selected to fill content gaps with respect to the PCD lifecycle. For example, additional articles appear that address return on investment, total quality, and Six Sigma—ideas that inform and motivate performance-centered thinking.
EPSS Revisited is a compilation that follows the essential framework of a performance-centered systems development lifecycle. What characterizes PCD is its primary focus on performance, with learning relegated—albeit importantly—to secondary consequences of doing. The ideas that Gloria Gery championed in 1989 were nothing new—at least not in the world of early childhood education, where everything is performance centered. What Gloria did was show how the same principles apply to adults and to the corporate bottom line. PCD underscores the flaws in tacit corporate assumptions such as, "If learning objectives are met, then employees will be able to do their jobs." It places the onus of usability and human factors engineering squarely on the shoulders of the software design and development community—moving far from old paradigms that favored sound technical engineering at the expense of human factors and tossed the end-user competency problems over the fence to the training department.