As part of their growth strategy for 2021, many companies are planning to upgrade to Salesforce Lightning. In the third of our articles focusing on introducing Lightning effectively and efficiently, we’ll be examining why training should be at the heart of your change management strategy for a smooth transition.

62% of businesses find software transitions harder than expected and 55% said that they went over budget (Velostrata and Dimensional research 2017). And the single biggest barrier to a successful, pain-free migration was that employees simply didn’t know how to use the new system. Coming to grips with new software can take longer than anticipated.

Traditional training may not be enough to make new skills stick

How do you make new skills stick? The short answer is that you can’t cut corners or take the chance that one or two webinars or intensive training sessions will be as effective for software training as they are for other skills. The average employee uses up to 8 apps already, so introducing another one as complex as Lightning can be a challenge. Faced with a large amount of new information, some may struggle to recall it when we actually log on.

Over 7 days information retention of software training drops to just 15% ( In a month, 98% has evaporated completely (Hermann Ebbinghaus).

A steep digital learning curve may become an even steeper forgetting curve. The answer is to tailor your training differently. It can be an undervalued but highly powerful tool for delivering real and lasting change.

Learning in the flow of work

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them” (Aristotle)

Bright Affect’s software training for Lightning is based on the context of the user’s day. You learn within the app itself – in the flow of work. It’s as though the training is running in parallel to your own working day.

Learning systems that enable learners to work and learn simultaneously are the game changer. Contextual learning – in-app and on-demand – is more effective, more affordable and more memorable than traditional classroom-style training. There is no time lag between getting the information and putting it into practice for real. Employees don’t have to down tools and lose a whole day to a training session. In the post-Covid working environment, virtually all of employees’ work is performed on digital systems and apps.

Prior to your migration, we create a virtual system where users can practice. A safe and secure ‘sandpit area’ providing a soft landing to make mistakes in.

The essentials for a successful migration to Salesforce Lightning.

At Bright Affect we believe that training is the key to a successful migration to Lightning. The best training approach should encompass the following:

· Communication

In a sound change management plan, communication and training work hand in hand. Give staff regular bulletins of the big change, when it’s coming and why. Once they see the benefits – increased efficiency leading to higher productivity and better customer relationships – it makes sense to learn how to use the new system. Without effective communication, your workforce will be less enthusiastic and even actively resistant to the new software. Some may even find workarounds to keep using the old system after switchover.

· Phased training

Before launch, plan in short, sharp instructor led (ILT) or virtual instructor led (VILT) training sessions to get the ball rolling. Keep these sessions focused on basics – how the system actually works in the context of the end users’ workflow. You can leave all Lightning’s ‘bells and whistles’ until post launch.

After launch, provide full, on-demand content such as tutorials and interactive guides that users can access in the flow of work. Bright Affect creates easily accessible digital content to remind them of key features they may use infrequently. Our contextual learning solution is embedded within the Salesforce Lightning app itself.

What training can do (and what it can’t)

Training is about building a new knowledge base. It can’t replace upfront communication and it can’t create a buzz for the arrival of a new software system. Training is integral to a successful migration, but to be really effective it has to come in after awareness and interest have already been created.

Time to crossover to contextual learning

We don’t want people to be “addicted” to the learning platform, we want them to learn something, apply it, and then go back to work.” (Josh Bersin)

In a recent LinkedIn study, managers cited their number 1 challenge as ‘getting employees to make more time for learning. The employee responses showed clearly that a contextual, in the flow approach to training was what they wanted from training programmes. 58% want to learn at their own pace and 49% want to learn in the flow of work.

High time to cross over to contextual learning. This is one Lightning strike that you can predict. And together we can manage.