No Jitter is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

8 Tips to Ramp Up User Training


I was recently on a call with a client and an industry analyst, and the client asked if end user training would be necessary when the new communications technology system was implemented. To my surprise, the analyst said, "No." The theory was essentially that the new system should have a user interface that is easy to use and, like a smart phone, users should be able to figure out how to use it on their own, without training.

While I certainly agree that systems should be easy to use, I think that the smart phone analogy is faulty. Smart phones are an individual tool; they are not necessarily part of an eco-system. Yes, you can install apps that increase interaction with a selected group of your BFFs, but that doesn't make it the equivalent of a corporate communication system.

Today's enterprise communications technology has many capabilities that can enhance the way people work together. However, features like presence and IM are not valuable until they are used by many people within an organization. And getting people to change the way they work is not always easy; people need to have a reason to change how they've always done things. This is where end user training comes into play.

?>In order to get full use (and full value) from an investment in new communications technology, people need to use its capabilities. User adoption is critical to improving productivity with these tools. While some users will figure things out on their own, most will need training to understand and utilize the capabilities.

Sadly, training is not a priority in many places. Vendors will often propose a "train-the-trainer" method, rather than training all of the end users. This often leaves end users with diminished, second-hand information delivered by people who don't understand the full capabilities of the new system. When vendors do provide training, often it's training that:

I recently worked on a system deployment with a client who did an excellent job of end user training, and they can serve as a great example of how to ensure training is effective. The company has a staff member who is responsible for user training, and who has background and education in training adults. Here are some ideas to try with your users:

"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communication technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.