Training. That’s the first word. It is the first step on the way to a newer, better understanding of the latest software. But if only the implementation of training was as easy as saying the word. Training companies know that the challenges are there for all to see. Software training means that you will be facing a large group of employees. They are at different learning levels with different learning styles and are often dispersed all over the globe. So how do you make this happen? What are the challenges for a training company?
The fact that your trainees are from all over the region, all over the country or all over the world presents a geographic challenge immediately. The distances travelled and the cost that this incurs can be prohibitive. Technology itself allows access to people in different areas via Skype or Face Time but these are not always ideal teaching methods. It is a challenge that can be surmounted by using training consultants to provide training for you. Companies will try to take short cuts in this situation but the benefits of having a team that is fully trained an operational on the latest software is of paramount importance to the future of the business.
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A related issue is the fact that you may be teaching people who converse in a different language to you, or people where English is not their first language. This is a barrier to effective learning because communication is absolutely key in the learning process. If you cannot be understood and understand fully the person who you are training and teaching then this becomes time consuming and drawn out. There are cost implications of training taking much longer than budgeted and a drain on the time of the trainer who could be moving on to the next learner or the next project. The Learning Leader must take all of these factors into account when they are planning and implementing a training program for their software project. It is vital to take variables on board and to make plans to counter them, such as multilingual trainers or allowing more time for training to take place.
Everyone has a different learning style, and a one size fits all approach does not always get the best results when it comes to software training. Training vendors all over the world have encountered this problem on a regular basis. It is linked to the issue with geographic diversity. If you can’t reach a trainee then you can’t adapt to their own particular learning style. If you can’t take their learning style into account then you may not be able to deliver the most effective training. Training at its best is a great experience. If it is planned and delivered well then it can make the difference between ineffective and effective organizations. And ultimately a successful software roll-out.
Right at the very start of the process you need to conduct a training needs assessment to see where the skills gaps lie. As a learning leader, you need to fully understand what your employees understand. You may have new employees that have had this training with another company, you may have employees that (as we have already seen) have more basic training needs. The needs assessment will establish exactly where you are at this moment in time. It is only by knowing where you are that you can determine where you need to go with the instructional design of the courses.
As you can see, there are many areas to consider when setting up and implementing a training program for new software. A training company with experience with software user adoption can help you with this and are experts in tackling these problems.