Round Out Your IT Project Investment with End-user Training and Communication

Holly-PetersenImagine getting to your desk on Monday, turning on your computer and a major application you use every day has been upgraded! The interface is completely different. There’s a 30-page manual on your desk and a phone number to call “in case you need help”. You can’t even remember if you were told that this upgrade was happening!

This is what many employees experience during major upgrades. Many companies will assume a low learning curve and that giving a manual to staff will suffice for training. They also rely too heavily on their IT staff to provide end-user training on-the-fly for those struggling to adopt. A successful technical implementation can easily be perceived as disastrous if the IT department is swamped with “how to” questions during go-live. So how can you protect the sanity and reputation of your IT department during your next transition or upgrade project?

Execute a Communication Plan

Don’t simply bombard users with emails to inform them of an impending change. Communication is a ground war. Create an awareness campaign and utilize many venues to disseminate information related to the project. Continue to gain endorsement for your project even after it’s kicked off!

Create a Pilot Group That Includes Non-IT staff

Skipping a pilot group can leave implementation teams with blind spots and leave the IT team scrambling to support frustrated end-users on day one. Pilot users, especially non-IT staff, can discover trouble areas before golive. Monitoring how end users experience and use the new technology is a far different practice than testing whether an application installed correctly and is working. The feedback from a tenacious pilot group can help project teams debug and discover areas to focus on in communication and training.

Blend Off-the-Shelf Resources with Custom Training

Off-the-shelf courses alone will not address unique needs of certain types of workers. Healthcare workers will use a system differently than Engineers than Financial workers. Not to mention each implementation is a bit different from the next. It is important to couple off-the-shelf material with custom content geared toward your users and environment.

Deliver Quick, “Just in Time” Training Sessions

Office staff often cannot be sidelined in day-long courses or travel offsite to complete training. However, in as little as 60-90 minutes, staff can have a focused overview of an upgraded or new system and understand how the upgrade will benefit them. Keeping this overview close to go-live ensures the new knowledge is fresh in end-users’ minds. Supplement classes with other content like short videos or quick lessons posted online or delivered to their inboxes.

Document and Post Frequently Asked Questions

Capitalize on the time spent answering common questions by posting answers on a company intranet, knowledge base, or SharePoint site and make it easy to find. Chances are, if there are several people asking the same question, there are many more who are wondering the same thing.

Augment or Outsource Transition Support Teams

Your current support teams might be in the same boat as your end-users when it comes to supporting a new system or tool. They may not be ready to provide support on day one. If your staff is ready to provide support, keep them focused on resolving complex technical issues and allow additional staff or an outsourced team to handle commodity project support. Don’t sideline a Sr. Administrator with password resets.

Virteva’s professional services, training services, and Service Desk teams are ready and uniquely qualified to help you with your next large transition project.