What points are often considered when identifying changes that should be made to a business process or to an application that a business uses?
How will deployment of a new process or project make the business more efficient?
How much money can we save?
How will sales to customers increase?
All of these questions are asked at the start of a project to decide whether or not it will be done. But you know what sometimes ISN’T asked? How will changes to the business process or application affect our end users and the way they do their jobs?
Such an important thing to consider, and yet this topic of consideration is often overlooked when making key project decisions. Formulating a smart strategy to train end users based upon clear business objectives will help mitigate any loss incurred from users adapting to this new way of performing. So what things should be considered when putting together a training plan for end users? Here are a few items:
1) Maintain Productivity
Lest the entire reason for your project, to improve company performance, vanish entirely, your #1 objective when training end users is to make sure they can do their jobs with the same level of skill and efficiency they did before project deployment. Doing so may mean identifying the skill levels of your users, from junior to senior employees, and their individual learning curves. Bear in mind that, depending on your user group, a training plan may take several weeks to implement to make sure everyone is properly prepared.
2) Use the Optimal Training Method
There are several channels and methods that can be used to provide instruction to end users. If your final project will be widely used across a large geographical base, consider using a webinar or online training, as this will be the most efficient method for your users. If a project budget allows it, a more hands-on, in-person training session may be more effective depending on the class-size and on the type of instruction that is to be given. Finally, if changes are not so severe so as to disrupt work, perhaps all that is needed is a formal, clean instruction manual with visual aids to step users through new processes.
3) Plan a Schedule
As mentioned earlier, training end users may require weeks of classes, webinars, or computer-based training to make sure end users are up-to-speed on changes to their roles. I’ve found that rolling out an application in phases is also a viable option in some cases. This method leverages the “each one teach one” methodology where co-workers help to instruct one another on new processes and tools.
It is definitely important to consider all three of the points above when considering how to deploy your project. What plans for training have you previously implemented and how did they work for you? Please share your thoughts with us by adding your comments!
*Please note: our next blog post will be on January 6th. Have a great holiday and we will talk to you in the new year!