Training is a major factor – and one that is often skipped – in achieving ROI on enterprise software implementations. When individual users are appropriately trained on software, they are more likely to embrace it and integrate new practices that increase their productivity. As user adoption grows across the organization, companies experience exponential gain.
An enterprise data and analytics solution – a “single source of truth” – is exciting for any company. Analytics systems offer impressive potential – a 360° view of the organization, deep analysis, better decision making, increased productivity, and opportunities for business growth. However, because organizations are in a hurry to realize bottom-line benefits of their new analytics solution, they often cut critical corners like training—ultimately resulting in low user adoption of their analytics solution.
There are several factors at play:
>> Organizations are under pressure to quickly justify their software investments
>> Employees have less time than ever for formalized learning but are expected to perform at high levels of proficiency and adapt to ever-changing requirements
>> Small training budgets
Meanwhile, potential users of analytics system are unaware of features and tools that could simplify their work and help them be more productive. In order to promote user adoption and position yourself to take full advantage of your analytics investments, training must be prioritized and incorporated into any technology implementation project.
Prior to deployment, create a training plan that anticipates the needs and reactions of your analytics system users. Following is a checklist to help guide you on your mission to ensure user adoption.
Give users a macro-level view of the new system. At the beginning of training, give all users a conceptual overview of the system, how it works, and benefits to encourage buy-in.
Give users a micro-level view of the new system. Create and distribute role-specific training, tailored to the needs of each group. This allows users to focus on the essential tasks that they need to perform to be succes.
When users clearly see the rationale for the implementation as well as their role, they are more inclined to commit their energies toward making the project work.
Fully budget training expense as part of the rollout. The time to secure appropriate budget is at the beginning of the exercise, not later when resources are stretched thin. Here’s an industry benchmark to consider: 8% of total project value for new implementations and 5% for ongoing projects.
Identify beta groups. Allow a small group of users early access to the system to incorporate important feedback and fine-tune training prior to launch.
Identify power users to help with post-launch support and training. One or two power users within each team can help answer questions and ensure consistency. Power users can become advocates for the project, helping set an example for others.
Resistance to change is part of human nature. However, it is critical that expectations are clear to users—and that both negative consequences and rewards are linked to achievement of expected targets.
Some organizations have created corporate universities to ensure continuous learning. Others have introduced the role of Chief Learning Officer (CLO) to the executive team as a signal of the critical importance and value of learning. No matter what structure you adopt, there should be ongoing learning.
Training should include a blended delivery approach that includes both theoretical and hands-on applications as well as ongoing follow-up sessions. Also, maintain a training manual that can be referenced by new hires and users who need a refresher.
When users have the support of the organization to further deepen their knowledge and expertise through collaborative learning and practical application, they can enhance the organization’s overall knowledge base, contribute best practices, and innovate on behalf of the organization.
Provide users with reference materials and/or implement a support channel, such as a help desk, to serve as a central resource for questions.
External users, such as partners and customers, will have different training needs depending on their role. Determine who needs to receive training and who will administer the training.
Analytics8 offers a range of training services to teach your team the new processes, skills, and knowledge you need to be successful and productive. Our trainers aren’t just trainers; they are consultants who have real world experience. They are comfortable going off script to adapt to your team’s needs. Our main goal is to set your team up to succeed. We can conduct training at an authorized training center or do custom onsite training, depending on your needs.
– Analytics8 client
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