W hen it comes to the successful adoption of a new technology, change management is a vital part of the process. Training is just one part of change management. Unfortunately, all too often it’s viewed as a check in the box and not on par with other parts of a technology implementation.
I would argue that training should be viewed equally, if not more importantly, as a driving force behind change management, especially when it comes to the adoption of a new technology.
According to Margaret Rouse, “Change Management is a systematic approach to dealing with change, both from the perspective of an organization and on the individual level.” Over the last four years, we have provided training for more than 300 implementations, trained more than 20,000 end users, and spent more than 1,700 training hours supporting and educating our clients, partners, and suppliers on using the Beeline technology. Some clients handled change management better than others did. For those who handled it well, their VMS Implementation process went much more smoothly. This experience allowed us to gather a large amount of feedback and data, which revealed some common themes related to training and change management. As a result, we have some advice for clients who are currently going through the training process with their end users.
5 Ways to Make your Technology Training More Successful
Work with the experts. We would not expect a client to listen to us if we were giving advice on banking or insurance practices, as we are not experts in those fields. We do consider ourselves experts when it comes to Beeline training, however. Our methods have been proven over the course of numerous implementations. All Beeline trainers are certified on our technology and have delivered hundreds of sessions. If you’re not confident in the expertise of your technology partner’s training team, it may be time to find a new partner.
Engage your users early. The earlier users are exposed to the technology, the more comfortable they are when the system goes live. Beeline takes a stepped approach beginning with a change management module that explains how users will be impacted by the new technology. Using this in conjunction with additional self-directed/self-paced modules, we are able to begin familiarizing users with the system well in advance.
Don’t overcomplicate things. Process is extremely important; however, it should not be overwhelming. Process has to blend with the technology. Keep it simple. If you cannot explain the process in fewer than 10 slides or in 15 to 20 minutes, it is too much. People will become too focused on the process and lose sight of the technology.
Rehearse your message. Everyone knows you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure your message about the system is both consistent and positive. Users who receive this type of messaging will more easily adapt to using the change in technology.
Cast a wide net. Don’t overlook training for any of your groups. As a best practice, we provide training for all users of the system, from the program team or VMO to the hiring managers, suppliers, and even approvers. It can hurt adoption if any group – even the casual user – is not included in the training process.
Taking these steps ensures that training becomes an extension of change management, and in our experience, clients and partners that have followed these guidelines have had a much easier time adopting the system. This proactive approach creates a smooth transition for end users and means fewer wasted hours for retraining.
Learn more about our training approach by downloading our Training Readiness Overview whitepaper today.