I was meeting with a prospective client last week when I put my foot in my mouth. Those of you who know me personally know that it’s not an uncommon occurrence. The reason it happened this time was over their plans for training. They had planned an interactive computer training for their users at the end of the project. I can understand why they wanted it. Neat, and easy to maintain once set up. A good training program like this is a great idea. If anyone new comes on board you can always refer them to this or to documentation.
And it’s not enough.
My experience has been that you can put all the effort into the implementation, but don’t expect that everyone gets software right away. Some people will of course, but you have to plan for those who won’t. The non-tech users, especially those outside of finance who don’t sit in front of their PCs all day. In person training is vital to a successful implementation. You don’t need every user to be trained by us, but training the trainers is the minimum. They all need in person classes.
During training people will check email and phones. They won’t be engaged. If you’re looking them in the eye while you’re speaking and checking over their shoulder while they work through exercises (you’re going to add in exercises to the training, right?), they’ll get it a lot better. It’s not that they can’t be trained the other ways, it’s that you have a better chance of success.
If you’re thinking, “Well, we’re only rolling this out to finance users” my question is; why? Hyperion can be expensive. So can the implementation. Very few companies want to spend this much for only a few users. To get the most out of the system, let the most people use it. Security is there. You can have more than one cube for data without adding to much to your overhead. The spreadsheet interface for non-tech users is something that almost anyone will feel comfortable with.
I’ve run out of time to write about the other part that I planned to include; Why engagement with the end users during the process is vital to the success. Look for it next week.