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Problems with software implementation

There can be many reasons why software is not used after its introduction. You can ensure that this is not the case in your company.

No successful sportsman, when he first starts to learn a new piece of sports equipment or a new discipline, gets a "train-the-trainer" course of eight or perhaps 16 hours. Nor will any musician learn an instrument in the same amount of time using the "train-the-trainer" method.


Unfortunately, more time is rarely invested in key users when introducing new software. Afterwards, the key user is left to his own devices and is often expected to introduce his colleagues to the material with this basic knowledge. It is obvious that this is not enough and can lead to employees not using the software after such a short training.

It is quite possible that a medium-sized company - when considering TCO - invests 750,000 CHF in an ERP or 250,000 CHF in a CRM solution. But if only 4,000 to 6,000 CHF of this is invested in the "train-the-trainer" concept, the company is saving at the wrong end.

The reasons why savings are made on training and education can be:

  • The software company does not want to increase its bid price for the product unnecessarily.

  • The decision-maker wants to keep the investment as low as possible. Therefore, training costs are kept to a minimum.

This is how software products are ideally trained

For the implementation of new software, the company should create a continuous training plan. This should be individually tailored to: the skills, performance level and potential of the person(s) to be trained or the processes in which the software is integrated.

Targeted training stimuli are known to lead to learning success. Step-by-step instruction in the new software and independent testing under expert supervision facilitates familiarisation. However, any training also makes you tired and your receptiveness is exhausted at some point.

A didactically sensible training with exercises that can be carried out independently can, however, make employees want to continue and familiarise themselves more deeply with the software. This can be, for example, imagined use cases from the employee's own work area. This gives the employee the opportunity to familiarise himself with the new software, try it out and become friends with it - a relationship develops.

Winning in teams

In a sports team, not everyone trains alone and not everyone trains according to the same plan. There are slower players who need to be trained for speed. The less agile ones need more stretching exercises and coordination skills. Accordingly, each member of staff should also receive his or her special training for his or her particular position. Tip: Do not only strengthen the weak. The goal must be to raise the overall performance average. Think of the processes in the company as moves in a ball game. These only work smoothly if everyone has the same understanding of the processes and everyone knows the passing variations and running paths of the other players. This gives the processes more security, the employees generate better expertise, they have more fun and everyone has the feeling that they have been included. None of the particularly good "players" complain about having to pull the weaker ones along. A nice side effect is: that the team spirit also improves. In the best case, everyone works towards a common goal: to improve the company's results with the help of the new software. Only when all users have a sense of achievement with the new software can the company benefit. Conclusion: The training of the trainers and the continuous training of the users should absolutely be the focus of a software introduction.

The Project Training Concept

The training outlined below is not designed for the short term, but for a longer and sustainable period of between one and two years. As in sports or music, it is refreshed again and again and adapted to the performance level or the goals:

  • Needs analysis Which professional, personal and IT competences does the employee/team need? Which processes need to be trained with priority 1?

  • Determine training goals What are the individual objectives for the employee/team/department or process

  • Define training controls What are the milestones in this training programme?

  • Training Controlling Who checks the learning or training progress, when and how?

  • Training programmes What are the basic trainings for the individual staff/teams as well as specific key users? How often do repetitions take place?

  • Special training sessions or modules Who gets special/additional training sessions?

  • Quality assurance Feedback and observations of the training sessions provide new insights. The training plan is continuously adapted and documented.

Tip: Don't forget to celebrate reaching a special training goal!

What are the benefits of high training costs for the company?

Additional training costs when introducing new software can pay for themselves after a short time. The reasons for this can be manifold:

  • joint training improves the understanding of processes, making them faster, more effective and more economical

  • Processes are questioned and improved

  • The system is used more efficiently when interrelationships are known or the functionality has been trained

  • Silo thinking is no longer necessary

  • smooth processes increase customer satisfaction and loyalty

  • the economic goals are achieved more easily and quickly

Final tip for the boss:

Have the courage to relieve your employees of unimportant and unnecessary tasks before introducing the software. It is easier to train without ballast. (computerwoche/bw)


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