Are you in the middle of a big training project? Or, are you about to start one? If things are a little overwhelming, mistakes are happening, or maybe aren’t going as smoothly as you hoped, we’ve got a great set of easy, practical and real-world tips that can make that project a success.
AXIOM partner Linda Wade has offered up her Top 10 Training Project Mistakes as a series and we think these ideas can really save you a lot of time, money and stress. Linda has an extensive background in helping Fortune 500/1000 companies build global strategies to roll out Siebel CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. She’s no stranger to large scale training projects!
Getting your project on track from the very beginning is essential to its success. In case you missed them, here are the first four problems that many people run into and great ways to avoid them:
Tip 1: Failing to Obtain Executive Support
Tip 2: No User Involvement
Tips 3 & 4: Failure to Quantify Objectives and Lack of a Training Plan
Tips 5 & 6 focus on the collaboration part of your training project. Making sure your team is doing the right testing, and training your management team, too. A properly informed and trained management team is essential for full support on your project. You’ll need them to support you as you get this project off the ground, and for them to be role models and support systems well after the initial training project kicks off.
- Testing? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Testing!
There is a direct relationship between the documentation process, training development, system configuration and user acceptance testing (UAT). Testing is a critical step in any process and has a huge impact on the final training materials. Because testing can uncover issues that could affect your training development cycle, it is essential that the training team be an integral part of the testing team. Testing results (and the inevitable development delays) will usually result in the adjustment of the deadlines by which training deliverables will be due.
We encourage our clients to keep the training team involved in the testing process. By having the training team assist with creating test scripts, and/or actually performing the tests, you are ensuring that the end users point of view will be part of the solution. By keeping the training team in the loop, you will make sure your project is fully integrated and the training experience for the end user will be more effective.
By having the training team assist with test scripts, and/or actually performing the tests, you are guaranteed that the end users point of view will be part of the solution.
- Forgetting to Train the Management Team First
Making the time to train management is important to ensuring their support of the project. Because managers are the key to ensuring the process change, training them prior to the end users will help support your overall project goals because they will adopt new behaviors first. They will then become instrumental in implementing change within their teams by becoming a role model; reinforcing and supporting new behaviors.
Look to have your managers support your vision by giving one of them the role of the transformation manager. Duties include:
- Communicate the end user benefits (“What’s in it for me?”).
- Develop the employee’s capacity to change.
- Challenge employee beliefs and rumors
- Ask for solutions instead of complaints
- Thank people for their involvement/engagement.
- Newsletter articles
- One on one meetings
- Team meetings within the area should reinforce benefits of the change
- First line of support
These are all great times and any one (or all!) can really push your project forward in a positive way. Stay tuned for the last 4 tips of this series and avoid even more common mistakes!
-Have a thought on our blog post? Please comment below, we love to start new discussions!