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User Training issues

By H1lariA ·
I'm sure everyone has run into this. I need some advise. I have a small group of users (65) that have been very used to doing things the "Old Way". We have a new (ok, 3 years old)server, network and are getting a new ERP system that will replace a 25 year old gem. If something changes on the way people are to do things, I send out detailed emails and reference help files in the appropriate application. They don't get read, are deleted or ignored. My boss thinks I need to hold training sessions each time I make a change to bring them up to speed. And then monthly on various application issues. Even when I have done this, it hasn't been retained. I'm a one person IT dept, covering apps, hardware, software, licensing and networking for 65 users. I know it's in my job description but isn't that just a little too much hand holding when I can barely get things done now? Doesn't the user have some responsibility for learning the tools to get their jobs done? Any help on how to get the information to stick? Signed, drowning in Puddletown.
Thanks.

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Definately Understaffed

by Black Panther In reply to User Training issues

We have 65 users on our ERP System, and 120 PC for Windows and are a 4 person IT department. ( One is a Manager ). We find that we are understaffed. One person looks after Windows, One Administers the Database for our ERP ( along with other systems ) and the other looks after the ERP Application and training for the users.

I honestly cannot see how they expect one person to do all ( what if you are sick! ) You definately need another person to help especially to do the training!

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re : Definately Understaffed

by haas.gtz-suedafrika In reply to Definately Understaffed

I too am one person IT debt.
we have 350 users county wide, running SAP and all kinds of other oracle based programs.
100 users have laptops, so you can imagine the logistical nightmare when it comes to security patches etc.
needles to say, I am overworked, but there is never a dull moment. its all about time management, and lots of overtime, but yes, if i'm sick , the Sh!t hits the fan in a big way.
when I approached the director to hire more people, his answer is always "no budget".
soon it will be "no IT staff" from my side, becuase i'm barely keeping head above water.
Any IT directors reading this?...never save money on IT, NEVER!

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Your boss is the problem not the users

by ks_mcdonald In reply to Definately Understaffed

Your boss is the problem not the users. They hold no one accountable for their action and until this is taken care of you will always have this issue.
We need to title this to how to get rid (firer) your boss.

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I agree....same here

by Maxedout In reply to Your boss is the problem ...

Hello, i agree! You have the responsibility to teach changes in all 5 aspects of learning. Once this has been accomplished...users will need to be held accountable for thier actions. If there is a change that has been missed, their manager should be informed and dealt with appropriately. This way you can weed out the ones who do it intentionally.

Good Luck!! IT is today's lifetimes...is always overworked.

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Print it out...

by chrisosara In reply to I agree....same here

Definately your dept is under staff. Convince your boss of the need for at least an additional hand.

You could for the time being, distribute printed copies of the skills the users needs to them as reference material. That way you can to a large extent make them feel responsible for their actions.

All the best.

Avin04

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Education Resonsibility of End Users

by fran.popp In reply to Print it out...

It may be time to present an idea to your supervisor.

1. Education Requirements of Staff.
- This should be a required goal of each of the employees by the company
- Training hours based on changes in the system (like 20-25 hours yearly)
- Handouts that the users must sign off on that they have received and returned to you or HR for record purposes... so if they say they didn't get it, the information can be referred back to in their HR files that they signed off on receipt. This will take care of the claim that they never got the information if they've signed off on it.
- Keep a procedure book in place w/filing alphabetically by application or procedure issue or dept/procedure w/date of issuance, and sign offs
- Have quarterly brown bag sessions or regularly scheduled, vs. full blown training on a constant basis. Then everyone knows there are changes that are implemented quarterly vs. constantly, which can be a large EU groan and ignore issue.

Hope this helps.

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Education Resonsibility of End Users

by H1lariA In reply to Education Resonsibility o ...

So far, I have distributed all of the training and network, application updates to the user via Outlook with read receipts. And filed each read receipt for each update. I have a checksheet now for orientation on the network at hire and have been lobbying to improve the computer skills of new hires. Unfortunately, some of the managers understand the least, so that is what the hiring standard is....
But for now, I'm covering myself and what I'm training. As far as doing anything well, I find that I can only; do so much and some things are getting done marginally. As usually with IT, most people don't understand the depth of the network or what time is really required and documenting every minute would be more than I have time for.
Thanks for your feedback.

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Distribute software/hardware upgrade plans to

by WorldBFree In reply to Your boss is the problem ...

user community. If the managers involved sign off on the plans, and there are "drop-dead dates", i.e. hard and fast dates for cutover, then delete the old software and/or hardware as they fall off the back end after the DDD.

Users who have not gotten up to speed with the documentation/training you have provided are out of luck.

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Two totally different expertises

by haileyan In reply to User Training issues

I am on the same boat. It does not help that I hate training either. I am a technical person not a trainer. I beleive that both arenas are their own specialties and take years to master. How can we be expected to do both? How can we be expected to do both well?

You can't. I think you should express to them that training is it's own expertise and you are not a trainer. You can do it if you must but you are not going to do it well enough for people to retain the information.

See if you can find someone who trains at a reasonable rate. $50 - $75 an hour. Find someone friendly who does not mind the users asking questions via email from time to time.

Maybe management won't think it to unreasonable to have a professional come in.

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I feel your pain...

by Sleek1 In reply to Two totally different exp ...

I too am a one man IT department, and I am new to my company (6 weeks or so). I support roughly 50 users, currently in a rudimentary workgroup environment, and I am scrambling to plan and convert into an AD structure while trying to manage the existing environment. I barely have time to formulate the step by step process of planning the conversion because I am so busy putting out little fires everywhere. It also falls to me to train our users on new software, the functionality of each, as well as inform them of the newly written (yes, me again) policies and standard practices kind of stuff.
I'm not sure if your budgets would permit, but I had the idea last week of setting up a cheap little wireless hotspot in the conference room specifically for training purposes. This would allow for some "hands on" training for our users and would increase the likelihood of retaining the knowledge. Existing laptops could be used for the training scenario, provided they are new enough to contain a WiFi card. And yes, I know that the wireless cards should be disabled by default for obvious security reasons, but perhaps the 45 seconds needed to enable/disable each card would help the users see and understand WHY they should retain the knowledge we throw at them. Just a thought, hope it helps someone.

Incidentally, anyone know of a good, free step by step outline for planning an Active Directory conversion? It would sure save me ALOT of time.
Best of luck to you all....

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