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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.

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Taking Sue's Comment One Step Further

by Brooks Fancher In reply to This is what I do!

Taking Sue's Comment one step further, if you have a small intranet site, then go ahead and buy a program such as Camtasia, Robodemo or Turbodemo. These are full fledged programs that take screen capture to the next level.

You can actually make hands-on tutorial style software training modules out of them. You know, like the "Video Professor" does.

You can make it so that the user actually clicks on the portion of the lesson that you are trying to convey.

This is great for those people that seem to need more practice with new software.

Also, try to empower the people and instill a sense of pride in learning the new software. It does wonders for most people if they have the resources to help themselves learn something and that they fell a sense of accomplishment when they are through.

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get users to help themselves

by rossw In reply to User Training issues

if theres no budget for IT then maybe you could get some of the users to help you out. pick out a few good IT literates and train them well, they can then hopefully pass there knowledge down. You can use them as a first point of contact in their department for support as well. meet with them regularly and make them feel involved. Theres always a few who want to get into IT and you can use that.

Obviously you have to get there bosses to agree to it first, but you should be able to sell it to them.

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Excellent Answer!!

by ECoyne In reply to get users to help themsel ...

Rossw is absolutely right! There ARE always a few employees looking to get into IT. They would be very willing and because they aren't "bogged-down" with technical baggage, they would probably communicate to the other employees better.

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by ingemar In reply to get users to help themsel ...

I think this could be a very good solution if management is in on it. It works well. Educate them yourself of pay a pro to do it.(I would choose the later.) It pays of real soon. When thing change, you inform or educate your PowerUsers. You should have at least one PowerUser at every department. They will in turn educate their co-workers.

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Turnkey Program

by Liz Lagrotteria In reply to get users to help themsel ...

I started a "Turnkey Program" at my company where I had the managers of each department identify power users. Then I trained them and gave them handouts, etc. to pass on.
The biggest task is to at least train the end users to go to the power users first, before coming to you.
I also created "quick cards" that I laminated and hung around the building. These addressed everything from how to log on to the network to common ERP commands.
The other problem I had is that everyone wants to dumb-down the programs. I found that if you gently feed them bits of information, they will eventually catch on - you know, the old "teach a man to fish" concept.

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This actually works!

by Jrats_Revenge In reply to get users to help themsel ...

I am also in a situation where the IT department is small. (2 actually... I do all the hands on IT work, network administration and enduser support and My supervisor takes care of the Administration stuff) I support over 410 endusers in 6 locations. Not a pretty setup but one I have gotten used to over my 4 years of Employment with my organization. To help supplement the lack of cloning me and placing one in every office, we have point personel in every remote office who have been trained by me to handle simple non critical technology issues (IE. email issues, printing issues, simple program help etc...) These point people also have other non technology duties and have a greater repore with the people in their offices as they work in the trenches with them daily. Having well trained point people in each office certainly has reduced my workload from the insanity it once was! As we all know that when one is in a help desk capacity it is important to also inform the endusers and teach them as much as you can when assisting them with their problem. Doing so will allow them to learn and grow as they troddle down the information superhighway. In my opinion, a well imformed enduser also helps diminish the amount of repeat problem calls and it usually makes them feel a little better when they KNOW what to do to fix that simple print issue or when you've tought them well enough for them to clean off spyware on their systems. It makes them feel good. Just my 2 cents worth.

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Implementation Issue?

by fitzb In reply to User Training issues

It seems to me that there's an implementation issue here. You said that you give them instructions on how to do the new system but apparently they don't care. Why? Is it because they can go back to the old system? Slowly kill the old system(maybe by module) then they will be forced to need to learn the NEW way of doing things.

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Management on Board

by fanchant In reply to User Training issues

Boy, for a second there I thought you'd gotten my old job!
You can train and document until you're blue in the face, but if management is not willing to hold end-users responsible for retaining knowledge they are trained on, you're stuck. As a one person IT department, you really need that management buy-in.

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Has to come from the top.

by ley1963 In reply to Management on Board

I worked at a company that installed solutions at financial institutions. The ease of the installation was directly related to how much backing we had from the senior managers at the site. If management backed us up 100%, people conceeded and learned the new software, really being forced my mgnt to change. If management was split, or some managers resisted, the staff varied in their dedication to change their old ways.

To get management to back you up, you must hit them where it hurts, the pocketbook. If you can prove to management how the staff's lack of knowledge on the new system is costing them money, they will get behind you. If they don't see any financial gain, getting their support will be difficult at best.

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Paper Trail

by nzamparello In reply to User Training issues

Simple solution for knowledge retainment... Paper trail... Have your users sign off on classes you've taught... File them away... If an issue ever arises about any subject matter you've taught you can hold that over thier head by saying "You signed off on this saying you know what your doing.." Works great for the military, should work for civilians.. :-)

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