Knowledge and information are not quite the same thing. Knowledge is information that has been stored in memory, so it can be referenced without the need to refer to some external resource. This is an important distinction when you’re analysing requirements. It’s essential you find out what really needs to be remembered and what can be safely looked up as and when needed. There is a definite change in people’s expectations in this respect, because it has become so easy to search online on a PC or a mobile device that it seems pointless to try and remember all the information that’s relevant to your job. You’ll want to pick out those items of information that someone really must know if they are to perform effectively in their job. The rest you can provide as a resource.
Perhaps the greatest danger when analysing requirements is to over-estimate the amount of knowledge that people are going to need. The main culprits are subject experts who have long since forgotten what it’s like to be novices in their particular fields and think just about everything that they know will be interesting to learners and is important for them to know. A good way to resist this is to ask the question: “What’s the absolute minimum that learners need to know before they can start practising this task?” Again, this keeps the focus on performance.
Next up: When the need is for skills