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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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You should have help on the ERP system

by shorne In reply to User Training issues

One bright spot. You mention that you are getting a new ERP system. Whomever you have contracted to design and implement this system should build training into the process. Why not get them to concentrate on training a few key super users, perhaps from accounting and HR. Other users will realize that those are the go-to people for user issues and only deal with you on technical problems. I've done this and gone as far as pleading ignorance (I honestly don't know how to adjust a year end entry in Accpac) to ensure that people get help from people who understand the software and the business process.

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Cross Billing

by anon-ra In reply to You should have help on t ...

My department found out the if we "cross" bill the users department from which they are from for the trouble calls that they make, it decreases the amount of "easy" calls that we get. This also lets the Managers of these departments know which users might need remedial training. By "cross" billing, you open up a wealth of information that could be used later on. Another reason that we do this is because IT departments are never a profit center. We spend tons of money and never really have any to show for it that a non IT manager of VP will understand. By doing this, it gives them something tangible to see and understand. There is a lot more that I could write about the benefits of this, but I'll end my comment for now.

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Excellent thought

by H1lariA In reply to Cross Billing

I may have to look into that. We don't have a formalized Help System here. It's usually managed by task assignment, email and IM. Not to mention the people who will stop me on the way through the building for the "quick fix". A more formalized system with time tracking will be useful.
Thanks for your thoughts.

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What's in it for me?

by battlea In reply to User Training issues

Don't forget the "What's in it for me?" communication before the detailed instructions. Try to find an advocate(s) within your group that may be willing to be the "super user", provide peer support, and bring others around. It's not an overnight approach; but it works.

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Excellent Idea...

by Sleek1 In reply to What's in it for me?

I agree with you, battlea. Peer support (or is it pressure) is a surefire way of motivating the users without being "in their faces".

Incidentally, has anyone else noticed that each page of this discussion forum is loading "Avenue A, Inc" to your browsers? It's a known privacy threat. FYI. Its easy to block, though...

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Just Do IT

by leonard_aj In reply to User Training issues

I was with a company that used Fourth Shift MRP system. I had to train personnel each time a change was made that affected the user interface. Often it included developing handouts. Here are a few keys: Plan, plan, plan the implementation, schedule the date for the change, train, train, train, before the change and, on the actual implementation date; be well rested and prepare for a very busy day.

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Implement the new, phase out the old

by jtlatmcl In reply to User Training issues

It seems like a big part of your problem is that users continue using the old methods/systems despite repeated attempts to train them on the new one. Anytime you get a new system/application you need to plan on training and some hand holding during the beginning. You also need to phase out the old system/application. Management needs to understand that this is an important and natural part of the I.T. cycle.
The big benefits to this are:
1. After you phase out the old system, users will rapidly become proficient on the new one... but some won't until the old ways are gone!
2. You won't have to spend time supporting TWO systems to do the same thing. That should be a big no-no, but at a lot of places, unless someone is willing to be a nit of a 'bad guy' and force the change, people like to stick with what they know, even if something is better.

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80% of 80%

by dracowiz In reply to User Training issues

I too, have the same problem, compounded by the prima-donna effect that IT doesn't bring in the money.
It has been said that Trainees retain 80% of what the are taught, then teach 80 % of that, which is obsorbed at you guessed it 80%...

The important things should be taught in excess of that.

The Principles of Instruction (USAF) told us to Tell em what you are gonna teach em, Teach em the information, interspersed with alot of humour to help make the point(s) then tell em what you taught em.
Taking the time to teach them -- even reteach them will generally save you time in the long run, most of my help desk calls are due to poorly remembered -- poorly learned (80% - 80%) information.
No we shouldn't have to, but it will be ITs fault if its broke, and training is also a good chance for PR.


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Management support

by blarman In reply to User Training issues

Your manager needs to become involved. If the users are blatantly disregarding the new app and the training you provide, they need to be shown the door. It is their responsibility to do their jobs, and jobs sometimes require change. If they aren't willing to change and use the new system, they need to be replaced with someone who will.

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Who moved the Cheese

by flyfysher In reply to User Training issues

You mentioned you are getting a new ERP system. Get the system providers to help you train your users. Your company is probably paying big bucks for the new system - even if you have to pay for an outside trainer it would be worth it. Convince your boss this is necessary. Compare new system price to value to your company when the users actually start using the new system. Also, get your boss to use his influence with other mangers - get everybody involved in the project - you have to sell it. Do your homework.

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