August 5, 2016

You’ve Chosen Business Software, Now What? The Importance of Training

by Colin Quinn

So you’ve made the tough choice, selected your software, implementation is now underway and you are shortly due to go live. So much to organize and prepare for and often the most critical and overlooked process of incorporating end-user training is forgotten – arguably the most important piece. Unless your staff are properly trained on using your new software, you cannot expect to reap the full benefits of your investment.

In addition to the having improperly trained staff there is often the challenge of the staff being resistant to change. You can ease employees reaction to a new system by explaining the reasons why a new system is necessary to create an understanding, outlining the benefits, and providing training, you will be on the road to your staff embracing these changes.

The key to planning the end-user training is reviewing the practicalities – How many people need access to the new system? How quickly do you want the staff transitioned to the new system? 

Once you have an idea of the above, you can decide on the most appropriate distribution for training. You may select hands-on in-person training with an instructor, manual based training, or even remote virtual classes, for larger groups you may also need to consider conducting the training individually or in a group focused session.

Selecting the best delivery method will depend on several factors:

  • The number of staff being trained and the timeline of delivery – this will determine whether you train as a group or  on an individual basis
  • How and where your staff are geologically located – finding the best location to conduct the training and consider virtual training classes
  • Grasping new processes – For example maybe practical training through the physical system with your data will speed up the learning process as opposed to a presentation on how to use the system.
  • The resources required for the training – Downloading software or using virtual portals, printed manual production?
  • The level of interaction required. – For example will role based training be necessary, would group activity increase understanding and raise motivation levels?
  • Who is best to facilitate and deliver training – does the software company recommend or provide training for staff or will you require an external/internal facilitator? Call us.

Creating the correct training environment is another consideration. One aspect of this is bridging the skills gap between staff, not all staff may require the same level of training, it could be more effective learning and time-wise to deliver tiered-skill level training to separate groups based on user experience.

Following this, the physical learning environment chosen will impact learning. Staff must be comfortable, relaxed, have the necessary tools and no distractions in order to listen, interpret and actively engage in the information being passed on to them. Yet often, IT and technical issues can get in the way of learning; the smooth delivery of training is key to those receiving training. By getting this right the first time, you will save time and money by avoiding unnecessary costly errors. Maintaining the benefits of your new system, is equally important, educating new starters, possibly considering incorporating updates and refresher training to be scheduled.

By having your End User Training Strategy incorporated into your planning when purchasing software, your business will operate more efficiently and maintaining a competitive edge while creating a culture that embraces change.

For more on information training solutions and to see our full list of IBM and Deltek training courses check out the link above or contact us directly: here