There are a multitude of approaches that can be implemented when you’re rolling out a significant software training initiative. Which training approach is right for you, your team, and your organisation, is largely dependent on one or more crucial factors.
For businesses big or small, budgets, for example, are a continuous constraint. If your budget simply won’t stretch to the training programme you initially envisaged, there’s always Plan B. And often Plan C, D or E.
Your target audience for the training might be based in different countries, across different time zones. The size of your team and the number of users to be trained might make Plan B almost impossible.
Then again, maybe it won’t be costs, countries or headcount that will be the key deciding factors that determine your training approach. Time is a critical factor, whether it is time allocated to training or project delivery time constraints.
Whatever factors you’re faced with, there is a training approach out there for you. And it will fit any which way you need it to. The key thing here is to have a training approach defined at the start of the project which contributes to the change management approach, and also delivers the necessary skills to ensure users feel comfortable using the new software at launch.
So, which approach is right for you? That depends on all of the above, and on you. Once you’ve figured out what’s really influencing your decision, consider the following training approaches.
F2F is arguably the most effective training method. It’s key to the change management process, driving adoption, advocacy, awareness and stakeholder buy-in. But, it does come at a cost.
Generally speaking, although not always, F2F can be the most costly training method. And not just because the training service provision is high-cost, either. There are perceived ‘hidden’ costs that need to be considered.
F2F is labour intensive due to limited class sizes meaning more time spent by trainees not doing their day job. There’s a potential cost to the environment, too, with travel causing carbon footprint issues.
Your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy might, therefore, need to be considered as well. Will distance or travel be a CSR infringement, therefore policy might prevent you from implementing a F2F training programme?
Then, there’s the language barrier that you might have to consider. With two-way communicative clarity being critical to any F2F training, each trainee will absolutely and unequivocally need to be able to understand trainer – and vice versa.
Unlike eLearning or Webinars (which we’ll discuss below), F2F is a one-off exercise. It can’t be paused, rewound, or replayed on-demand using a digital device. It’s an in-person exercise, so would need to be re-run as such when the need arises.
eLearning has transformed the way in which training is delivered and consumed. It is a self-led training discipline, meaning end-users can access training materials on-demand, whenever they need to and wherever they are. This speaks to two of eLearning’s many advantages
– efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Unlike a F2F training programme, end-users are not required to spend time away from their desks, either individually or collectively. They can spend more time doing the day job they were employed to do, whilst incorporating eLearning into their existing workflow.
eLearning materials are reusable. One set of materials can be housed on or offline, readily accessible to end-users even after completing a course. In essence, a content bank for continuous improvement and ongoing development.
Not only is this more efficient and cost-effective than other training methods, it can be more empowering for end-users, too. This, in turn, garners a sense of ownership of – and responsibility for – their own personal and professional development.
There are longer-term factors that need to be considered before opting for an eLearning programme, such as maintaining materials to ensure they’re up-to-date. But, the ‘pros’ – reduced costs, efficiency, ease of access, end-user empowerment and continuous improvement – seemingly outweigh the ‘cons’.
Similar in some ways to eLearning, Webinars harness the power of the Internet to provide a training experience that has some fairly striking similarities to F2F, paired with the cost-efficient element of eLearning.
The negative environmental impact of using planes or trains for travel is no longer a factor.
Webinars can generally be made available on-demand, too. Recorded in real time as they happen, but available post-training online.
One definite difference between Webinars and F2F, though, is the lack of open, two-way communication. It’s not necessarily as blunt as a trainer talking at its trainees. But, there’s certainly less freedom and scope to talk to trainees in person like with F2F.
There is, however, often the functionality for a text-based or verbal Q&A session with Webinars, which can provide the open forum end-users need to get instant answers to queries or concerns.
Train-the-Trainer does exactly what it says on the tin. External, expert trainers will train one or more people inside your organisation, so they can become in-house trainers or champions for Veeva Promomats end-users. The Trainee, becomes the Trained, becomes the Trainer.
There are obvious benefits with a Train-the-Trainer approach. For one, the person selected to be the champion will have the benefit of knowing internal processes and procedures inside-out, whereas an external trainer won’t.
It’s likely they’ll already have a working relationship with the internal Veeva PromoMats end-users they’ll be training. Colleagues. Possibly friends. There’ll likely be a level of trust there that even the most expert of external trainers will seldom be able to garner in a relatively short space of time.
Their ears will be closer to the ground, so the chosen champion will be able to provide more context around the training, software and usability. He or she will have a solid understanding of how it’ll impact users day-to-day role, or address any fear of change.
Of course, unless a specific, new role is carved for the chosen champion, they’ll still be required to do their day jobs. So, the likelihood is that they’re going to need at least some support from external trainers.
Which Approach is Right for YOU?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It’d be great if there was. It’d make everyone’s lives that little bit easier during what can be a fairly challenging time, migrating from ZINC to Veeva PromoMats.
Taking on board the influencing factors you’re faced with – be it budget, time, geography, trainee volume, all of the above or anything in between – is the first step to deciding which training approach is right for you.
If we lived in an ideal world, your training shopping trolley would probably include a F2F programme, with an online portal of on-demand eLearning materials, quarterly or bi-yearly ‘refresher’ Webinar wraparounds, and a Train-the-Trainer-style Veeva PromoMats champion internally.
The reality might not quite be this holistic. But, your training initiative is vitally important in the deployment of Veeva PromoMats. Before, during and after.
At Bright Affect we are experienced in establishing training approaches and plans, together with the delivery, to support global (and local) software rollouts. Why not get in touch so we can discuss your requirements and help you shape the right training approach for you.