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Internal IT Training Dept: Looking for ideas!


As an internal IT training department we provide training on bespoke and standard business applications. We use some e-learning but still find that classroom training has the best response. We are currently undergoing a review of the services we provide and are looking for ideas! We would like to find out what services people in other such departments offer. Any ideas, from the small to the large would be much appreciated.

Sam Pitchfork

5 Responses

  1. Looking for ideas!
    Hi Sam

    It may be an obvious observation, but how many times do you get calls from people saying things like “my hard drive is full”? Another good one would be “why is my computer so slow”? There are doubtless many other questions, that on the face of it may sound inane, to IT professionals. The classic question has to be “why is there is no network connection” This often occurs after the cleaner has pulled out the desk the previous night!

    I have found that whilst training people in bespoke software applications, many of my delegates know very little about their PC’s, i.e. the use of good common practices (deleting temp files, defragging, deleting old e-mails etc.). I have also been amazed by the number of people who are ignorant of computer viruses, and still use personal floppy disks on company machines. So, in answer to your question, there is a good training requirement here. From a business perspective, this training will reduce the amount of calls to your department, and improve the efficiency of all concerned.

    If you have that much time on your hands (only kidding) you may want to look into providing training/services in the use of web surfing, explanation of cookies, browsers, pop ups etc., as this will be invaluable to many of your internal customers. You may be surprised, as I have been, that whilst people can use bespoke applications, they have never been taught some fundamentals. In some cases, I have asked delegates to open a Word document or Notepad, only to be faced with confused looks!!!

    I would strongly recommend that you ask your internal customers what extra services they would like you to provide. If you are concerned about the amount of varied responses, compile a list of possibilities, with a check box type form. As with all training objectives, they should be in line with business objectives. To that end, it could be a perfect time to liase with the training department.

    Just an idea!

    Good luck


  2. Training Needs Amnesty
    Following the other comments answering this I know of one organisation where they declared a “training needs amnesty”; many managers had never actually been taught how to use their computer but were damned if they were going to admit that as directors/senior managers they couldn’t do something that a school leaver could do. The IT department ran a VERY confidential one to one coaching programme to help senior managers come up to speed with the technology. A prime issue was Powerpoint usage by managers….many had no idea how to blank the screen for example…no one had ever taught them.
    Another IT Department I was involved with ran “legends in their own lunchtime” sessions for 30 minutes in the middle of the day in subjects like how to send a shortcut (thus preventing thousands of out of date copies of document circulating on the intranet) or how to transfer calls, hold calls, set up conference call on the space age phone system.
    They were brilliant

  3. Analyse Calls
    It’s worth spending some time analysing reccuring issues and then tailoring some informal coaching or training to match these issues.

    It also wouldn’t hurt to ask the user when they have regular issues with an application or hardware item if they would benefit from refresher training etc.

  4. Internal IT Training Dept: Looking for Ideas!
    I am involved within a local authority IT Training Dept. It is essential to work with the clients and respond to their needs, if possible. Not all solutions are best solved in-house and we have close links with a good local provider of IT Training for specialist or one off IT training needs. We are lucky to have a Frontline Helpdesk and work closely with them to ensure that any regular problems are addressed in the relevant course, or if necessary run workshops and awareness sessions to ‘refresh’or update knowledge. We also offer ECDL with the majority of learning for this undertaken by on-line training with workshops and full courses if necessary. I suppose the most important item from all of this is communicate with users, managers and departments and revamp courses as necessary. Offer a blend of learning to fit in with peoples work patterns. Agree that people always say they prefer the classroom situation it makes learning more or an event than sitting alone going through an on-line learning package.

  5. Thank-you
    I’d like to thank-you all for taking the time to post your comments. It is interesting (and reassuring!) to note that the pitfalls we face are common to others. I believe this highlights the natural difficulty of being an IT Training department that comes somewhere between both IT and HR and yet focuses on the needs of the end user. But where else could you place such a team?

    Many of the ideas we would like to implement match those submitted, although there are several great new suggestions that have given us food for thought. Again the fact we have similar ideas is reassuring – we know we are on the right track. Now we face the hard task of consolidating the suggestions and seeing how we can shape them to suit our particular user community.

    Thank-you again for your valuable input.

    Sam Pitchfork


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