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Let your employees relive the best days of their lives by providing continuous IT education

‎04-19-2012 10:28 AM - edited ‎06-25-2015 03:20 PM

Susan Merriman

WW Leader of Emerging Technologies, HPSW Education


How much do you remember from your schooldays? Could you still dissect a frog? Perform advanced algebra? Conjugate an irregular French verb? Reproduce the periodic table of elements?


If the answer to any of the above is a resounding ‘No,’ then you, like so many of us, can’t recall everything you’ve ever learned. And the same is probably true of your employees.


So even if your staff are considerably more attentive than they were during their schooldays, chances are they’ll forget at least some of what they learned during the early stages of your software deployment. And while it may not be necessary for your workforce to retain everything they learned in school, it’s essential that they can use your software efficiently and effectively throughout its entire life cycle.


The merits of lifelong learning

Recent research by Vanson Bourne suggests that one of the main problems with companies’ IT education plans is that they focus too heavily on initial training sessions.


Training content is ‘largely based on what is being used today, rather than what is strategically required in the future. This indicates a reactive approach to training assessment, rather than a proactive approach based on what will deliver long-term business value,’ the report states.


A separate study by IDC1, meanwhile, found that training is ‘important during the ongoing life 

cycle of the application as new users are exposed to the application because of promotion, hiring, or the expanding use of the application within the enterprise.’


The IDC report added that while follow-up education usually occurs at a much lower volume or intensity than the rollout training, ‘clients almost never have ‘zero’ training needs.’


So what’s the best approach to follow-up training?

Firstly, don’t treat follow-up training as an afterthought. Ongoing education should be accounted for within the initial training strategy outlined at the start of your deployment. 

Secondly, bear in mind that no one knows your software better than your vendor – but no one knows your end users better than you.


And finally, don’t waste your IT staff’s time on follow-up training and troubleshooting advice that could be 

better delivered online. Remember that end users are often reluctant to turn to the IT help desk for advice: statistics show that people will encounter a problem five times before making that call.


The ideal solution is one that gives employees instant access to an online database of training materials and how-to guides. And allows IT staff to customize the vendor’s basic training content to suit your workforce’s specific needs. Frequently asked questions can be dealt with quickly and efficiently if help desk staff can edit training materials on the fly – so next time they get a call about a particular topic they can tell the end user how to find the answer online.    


One such product is HP’s Adoption Readiness Tool (ART), which offers high-quality, pre-built training content that help desk staff can easily modify to reflect your end users’ specific needs.


So what’s your organization’s attitude to follow-up IT training? What methods or materials have worked particularly well in your workplace? 


Introduction to HP ART>


HP ART Demonstration>



Related links:

HP Adoption Readiness Tool (ART)


1 – IDC MarketScape: Worldwide IT Education and Training 2012 Vendor Analysis [#232870, February, 2012]


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