It’s a fact that, as they near completion, most projects end up under intense time pressure to deliver on time and to budget. Unfortunately with all the wiggle room used up and the once sensible budget running dry many project managers and steering boards see user training as an area that can be squeezed without affecting the quality of the overall delivery.
But user training is too important to be treated as something that can be dropped in order to hit a key delivery point. We all agreed that at the start of this post.
Relying on an easy to use and intuitive interface is not going to ensure your project’s success. Similarly just because the new system is faster or has new features will not deliver project success. The reasons for this are easy to understand but easily forgotten. Implementing and training a new application or system is not just about “how” to use it, in fact the how might only be half of the activity - super important is “why”.
Let’s consider a couple of scenarios.
First, reduced or dropped user training. This common scenario can leave many employees frustrated and anxious. They have a new application that they likely find difficult to use and have little or no concept of the business benefits. If your project introduces new or changed workflows then it is likely people will attempt to user your application with the old flows in mind. Now imagine if your application supports compliance or regulatory or security procedures. Eeek.
Finally let’s consider a scenario where implementation and end user training are considered first class project citizens. In this scenario it is much more likely that your end users will be engaged and open to changes in workflows, giving your project a fighting chance at being successful.
Okay, so let’s think a little about how we protect allocated budgets and training time from the rush to the finish “cull”. You should remind business stakeholders that if the application is not a success then likely neither will their strategy be a success. Remind marketing and communications teams that they will need to find alternative avenues to communicate key business messages. Remind HR teams that if implementation and training is not delivered then employee satisfaction KPI’s may be compromised. Remind technical stakeholders that if training is not completed then their teams and helpdesks are likely to be impacted with increased support call numbers. This might sound all machiavellian. It is not. The point is that these groups know all this. Sometimes they need a little reminding.
Given just a little time and a sprinkling of creativity it can be surprising how many options you can generate that will help ensure a considered and valuable training element remains a key element of your project. Here at Rex we have many years experience managing and delivering successful projects to exciting companies. Our combination of experience and training ensures that our project plans are realistic, pragmatic and achievable. Read more here.
Remember : A measure of project success is not managing a project to correct or replace a previous project
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