My webcast this week departed from my normal software-based presentations. Instead, I wanted to share my experiences and best practices learned in the past 25+ years working in content development, specifically as it relates to documentation and training and how they both play an important role in the successful implementation of new software.
The focus of my presentation was on the following three main objectives. The goal was to provide practical tips for each objective that you could takeaway.
You can watch the recording of my webcast by clicking this link. For a quick summary, you can read the key points below:
Tips for Training your Implementation Team:
- The implementation team needs to know all that the software can do to make informed decisions. Send them for training together so they all get the same baseline knowledge of the new software.
- At this point in the process, I don’t see a need for expensive customized training materials to be developed. (There will certainly be a time for this). I suggest focusing on standard software training offerings that are available from your training partner.
- Ask your training partner to have dedicated instructor-led classes for your own team that fits with your schedule and provides time for collaboration.
- Don’t try to fit in too much in too short a time or narrow the focus of the training at this stage.
Tips for Documenting your Standards and Workflows:
- Understand that good documentation takes time. Set aside the proper time and resources to ensure that it is done right. Don’t leave it for a team member to finish in their “free time”.
- Incorporate a documentation specialist into the implementation team whose sole responsibility will be documenting the standards and workflows that the team develops.
- Create an all-encompassing documentation policy to explain the objectives of your organization’s standards and workflows, define who must adhere to them, explain why they are being implemented and how to use them, describe who is responsible for governing and enforcing them, and even describe the change process that will be used to keep them up to date. Having this type of policy will help all your end users gain a better understanding of the importance you are placing on the standards to encourage user buy-in.
Tips for Training your Entire Design Team:
- Understand that training is not an insignificant cost. Do not delay planning for end-user training. I suggest you budget for it as early in the implementation as possible.
- Do not train your end-users too early or you risk everyone not being able to practice their new skills because the software hasn’t been fully rolled out for users to work with.
- Define and group users by role to help identify their learning requirements and to train them only on what they NEED TO KNOW.
- Train end-users first on what the new software can do, and second, on your company’s unique standards and workflow procedures.
- Focus on using standard software training offerings that are available from your training partner for “software skills” training and look to create custom learning content for the “standards and workflow” training.
- Consider all training delivery methods. Often the best solutions are a blend of Instructor-led in a classroom with online or self-paced eLearning.
If you are about to embark on a new software implementation, consider watching my webcast and I hope you learn some tips that can help. Questions? Feel free to reach out to me directly!
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