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Are your users applying old ways of working to new technology?

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Optimum's James Webb shares his advice on how to keep user skills as up to date as your technology.

The biggest barrier to making the most out of your investment in systems is your users. This is more often than not the cause of inefficient processes, rather than a problem with the technology. Where users are unsure of how to use systems correctly, processes are stalled and tasks are likely to be left incomplete.

Considerations:

  • In the long-term you need to consider attrition rates: how well are users retaining process knowledge?

  • What happens when you have new joiners and role changers? Flash forward a few years and suddenly only a fraction of the initial workforce has had formal training. Avoid the 'chinese whispers effect' of passing process knowledge on; users may be passing on their bad practice to new joiners!

  • As the system evolves and is upgraded, how will you ensure that the skill set and process knowledge amongst end users is as current?

    Solutions:

    • You need to embed long-term training solutions into your system development strategy. This can include refresher training, monthly/quarterly training surgeries and properly documented procedures for new joiner training.

    • Have an up-to-date suite of materials and documentation available for users to access as required and make them aware of where it's stored. This will help minimise support calls received.

    • Conduct business efficiency reviews, analyse process reports and use performance metrics to identify where the most incomplete or inaccurate processes are occuring.

    Optimum can provide a range of services to cover all ongoing training needs, including updating your training documentation to reflect system upgrades and running training workshops to combat knowledge drain. Find out more at www.optimum.co.uk

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