The training method is never a one size fits all solution. End user adoption of enterprise software should be a high priority for your organization and it's important for IT departments to address the training requirements by role to deliver the most cost effective solution that will increase end user adoption. There are a number of options for driving awareness and education to end users but not all are effective or cost-effective and this can vary across roles. When thinking of end user education, you should evaluate just-in-time learning solutions as an effective tool that delivers affordable and practical training for end users while they work.
Today’s popular end-user training methods have their strengths and challenges when considering your options for an EPM rollout:
- Classroom training - sending end users to classroom training is a luxury and should be reserved for roles that are heavy users within of EPM and hence have the most impact on the success of your implementation. This type of training makes sense for Project Managers, but sending hundreds of project team members to classroom training is expensive and unnecessary considering their usage of the tools are very light.
- Remote instructor-led - a popular alternative to classroom training that is less expensive but can still be an effective way to teach concepts. The challenge with e-learning, however, is that it tends to be too conceptual and is not helpful when end users are stuck using the software. This is a good alternative for Project Managers that are upgrading from a previous version of EPM and should be able to learn with a less hands-on approach. Or Administrators that need to understand the conceptual design and configuration of the system but can augment this with on-demand help videos often available on the internet.
- On Demand video training - a cost-effective and practical approach to end user learning where making it very intuitive for end-users to access in-context while they work. This is ideal for the EPM users that have a much lighter role in the overall use of the system such as Team Members or Resource Managers. These short “How-To” videos should be customized to demonstrate specific organizational processes that show how complete the tasks they need to perform. Users can pause while they try things out and then continue when they are ready to move on.
- Books and help manuals - while arguably the least expensive option, books and help manuals are not frequently used by end users. They tend to be difficult to navigate and are not very practical 'on the job' aids. This should be used as a reference only for administrators.
- Internet Search - an increasingly-used learning tool, irrespective of the enterprise software, is Internet search. End users use Internet search to find tips and tricks when they need it, and to look for easy to consume videos and/or articles. While Internet search is popular among users and has some advantages, it also has many challenges: Your EPM environment will certainly have customized features and better ways of doing things that end users will not be aware of and if relying solely in Internet search, end users may never progress to using the software in the most efficient and effective way. Internet search is also inefficient and not always effective; users can spend a lot of time looking for the answer and because there is so much information, users can be distracted easily from what they are looking for by adverts, links, images and many other techniques that are designed to keep their attention. Internet search is not always authoritative and up-to-date Users may find what they think is the answer but it often turns out that the instructions don't apply to the correct version of software.