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What is a GWIs platform vs a KMS?

Nathan Field
Head of Customer Marketing and Brand

This article is one of our favourites from around the web. We've included an excerpt below but do go and read the original!

Original source:
  • January 29, 2024
  • Digitisation

Transforming knowledge into action

The HINDSITE team frequently gets asked to help differentiate types of platforms and how we fit in, particularly for the METS and wider Advanced Manufacturing sectors.

Historically we have referred to ourselves as a KMS (Read: What is a KMS vs an LMS?), however as a deeper understanding of our customers and the way the product has evolved, so has the way we have described ourselves.

So, what is A Guided Work Instructions (GWI) platform and how does it differ from a KMS?


A Knowledge Management System (KMS) is primarily a repository for storing and sharing information. It's designed to accumulate, organise, and make knowledge accessible across a business.

In contrast, a Guided Work Instructions (GWI) platform does more than just store KMS content. It additionally provides interactive, step-by-step instructions that guide users through complex processes, adapting the instructions to real-time situations and user inputs for reporting. The goal of the GWI is consistent task execution.

(See table below for some comparison points with an LMS) 

Key differences

Nature of content delivery

Traditional KMS Static, waiting for content to be discovered by end users.
GWI platform Dynamic, offering tailored, situation-specific content in the context of step-by-step Workflows.

Adaptability to change

Traditional KMS Little urgency to update and slow to propagate to the front line.
GWI platform Highly adaptable with the ability to push Workflow updates instantaneously. Content is embedded in work instructions and so feedback cycle is quicker.

Ease of use in complex situations

Traditional KMS Can be overwhelming in high-stress scenarios due to the unfamiliar nature of content that is being searched for.
GWI platform Simplifies complex tasks as content is delivered only when relevant in the context of a Workflow, and when the user may not have realised they needed it.

Data capture

Traditional KMS Limited in capturing real-time job-specific data. New media and document content can be uploaded, but does not cater well to customer-specific data capture.
GWI platform Excellently equipped to capture diverse data points (numerical, text, decisions, signatures etc) during task execution, significantly enhancing the quality and detail of job completion reports.

Benefits of Guided Work Instructions for mining & METS OEMs

Enhanced efficiency and accuracy: GWIs ensure procedural adherence, reducing errors.

Real-time problem solving: Interactive guides provide solutions as situations evolve.

Improved training and skill development: GWIs offer practical, hands-on learning experiences that are statistically more likely to be retained.

Better compliance and safety standards: Guided instructions enforce adherence to safety protocols.

Customisation and flexibility: GWI can be tailored to specific roles and customer scenarios.

Detailed reporting and job accountability: The bi-directional data capabilities of a GWI platform not only determine the Workflow branches that users take through tasks but also capture critical data points throughout the process. This feature is invaluable for generating detailed, accurate reports on job completions, allowing for better tracking of performance, identification of areas for improvement, and ensuring accountability in operations.

When is a GWI the better option?

GWI platforms are particularly effective in situations that demand:

  • Quick adaptation to process changes.
  • Detailed guidance for complex or risky tasks.
  • Continuous operational improvements.
  • Hands-on training and skill development.
  • Strict compliance with safety and quality standards.
  • Real-time data capture and feedback for process refinement.

Comparison between LMS, KMS and GWI

To round things out, here’s how a typical LMS, KMS and GWIs in HINDSITE stack up against each other.

Learning Management System (LMS) Knowledge Management System (KMS) Guided Work Instructions (GWIs)
Primary purpose To facilitate and manage online learning and training programs. To facilitate and manage online learning and training programs. To facilitate and manage online learning and training programs.
Primary use case Classroom-based training before going on site or to upskill for career progression. On-site or in office access to historical content of how tasks should be completed. Every job/task requires a Workflow to be completed and guidance is offered as needed at each step.
Nature of content Course-based content, often including multimedia and assessments. Primarily static information; repository of documents, video and imagery. Dynamic, adaptable instructions tailored to specific tasks. Each set of instructions have visual reference content inline, and can capture data inputs for reporting and Workflow branching.
User interaction Passive - Structured learning paths with progress tracking. Passive - User-driven access to information - often requires searching. Active user engagement with real-time guidance and feedback.
Adaptability Regular updates to courses; can incorporate new learning material. Relatively static; updates may be versioned but still require searching to discover. Highly adaptable, with instructions that can change in real-time.
Customisation Course content can be tailored to different learning groups. Usually tied to video depth and length. Highly customizable to specific job roles and scenarios.
User data inputs Tracks learner progress and assessment scores. Limited; mainly focused on knowledge storage. Captures a range of user-generated data points during task execution.
Reporting capability Learner progress, completion rates, etc. Basic reporting on content usage and access. Detailed job completion reports with data validation and flagging.
Training and development Direct; designed for structured training and skill development. Indirect; used as a reference for information. Direct, hands-on guidance aiding in skill development on the job as-needed.
Compliance and safety Can include compliance and safety training modules, but is limited to point-in-time training. Provides access to compliance content and protocols. Ensures adherence to safety protocols through guided instructions and checks.
Real-time problem solving Limited to the scope of the training content provided. Limited; more focused on information storage. Excellent; provides solutions and guidance in real-time.
Scalability Scalable to accommodate more learners and courses. Scalable in terms of data storage and more users accessing content. Highly scalable, especially in adapting to process changes.

In summary

Guided Work Instructions represent a significant evolution in the way that mining and METS OEMs communicate know-how and ensure a high standard of work. GWIs are a more action-based, interactive, adaptable and practical approach, essential for industries where transparency, scalability, safety and adaptability are paramount. GWIs’ ability to capture and propagate bi-directional data further enhances its effectiveness, making it an indispensable tool for the future of mining.


The biggest cause of business risk to mining and METS OEMS is the inconsistency and lack of transparency in the way work is done (or whether it's been done at all).

HINDSITE ensures that every job is done correctly with Guided Work Instructions, standardising task execution throughout a product’s lifecycle, from assembly through to scheduled maintenance.

Set up each task with a Workflow, and arrange Workflows into Work Sets for each job. Historical best-practice is captured in video, image or PDF format and is delivered to the worker as they complete any given Workflow step. As they work, the worker provides data inputs, allowing a Workflow to adapt to their situation and populate the final report with evidence.

HINDSITE reduces the dependance on intrinsic knowledge and ensures that every worker has the know how they need to get the job done safely and correctly for the customer’s peace of mind.

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HINDSITE gives your frontline Guided Work Instructions to standardise a high level of service. This allows OEMs to scale operations and compete based on service delivery without additional resources.

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