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Implementing a new IT system


We are about to implement a new IT system company-wide. The new system will affect all areas of the business and the interface will be very different from what staff have been using up to now. Does anyone have experience on how to train 150 people on the new IT system, what are the main pitfalls etc. Any help/advice would be appreciated. Many thanks Zsuzsanna

3 Responses

  1. New IT system

    In my experience

    – Get end-users involved in developing the learning. Systems are just tools, like a pen, to do a job. Never lose sight of this and get caught up in the in’s and outs of the system. What’s in it for these end-users.

    – Training to be as relevant as possible to peoples job roles. Might mean coming up with a number of variations on the course. Please, please don’t go down the ‘And this button does this and this button does this’ route.

    – Don’t just rely on training sessions. If you do, you’re destined to fail. Make sure you have deskguides aplenty and ‘champions’ who people can go to for advice in each of the areas of your organisation. Also, if feasible, informal,drop in workshop-y sessions over a lunch have proved quite a hit at my workplace.

    – If you have an IT department build up a good relationship with them pre any learning intervention. New systems, in my experience, always have the dreaded ‘teething problems’ that can act as serious blocks to learning. A techie can be your best friend in these situations.

    – Because I don’t know your organisation I don’t know if this is possible but try and get a ‘dummy’ or ‘test’ version of your system, populated with data from your organisation, to carry out structured training sessions. Trying to convince people of the benefits of a new system (because you’re going to have to ‘sell’ to a certain extent) while using Minnie and Mickey Mouse as examples is haaaarrddd work (Believe me, I’ve had to do it!).

    – Be prepared for alot of ‘the old system was loads better’ resistance. Dig into your change management toolbox for how to deal with this one!

  2. Another couple of ideas ….

    Adding to James’ excellent advice try to set up some tasks based around real live procedures but use dummy or test data as this helps them to relate the system to their daily work.  I previously trained people to use a purchase requisition system so we set up dummy orders based on the most common tasks which users were likely to face.  Also try where possible to highlight any good points to make quick wins with the users.  For example we’re rolling out a new email system and I point out ways of identifying messages only addressed to the user, blocking all unread mail into one window (particularly useful with the web version as it doesn’t show the number of unread items) and previewing messages without opening them.  Always grab opportunities to reflect the better features where possible.  Another method which worked well for me was a two-hour session to describe a new IT feature and combine some chalk and talk along with a quiz.  Users then got some of the background and therefore the context behind the reasons for the rollout along with time to ‘play’ and get a feel for the new screens.  The quiz was very relaxed, no prizes, no tricky questions and some groups completed questions en masse by shouting out answers to each other.  We found it worked well for us. 

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