You assembled the right project team, did your due diligence, negotiated a great deal and now you’re ready to implement that cool new cloud solution you purchased. You’ve got a plan for training for your software investment, right?

All too often organizations don’t give enough thought to training when they buy new software. One of the benefits of modern SaaS (Software as a Service) technology is the frequent addition of new features. That means training must go beyond the initial implementation, it has to be ongoing.

“Roll out is slower than expected, we’re struggling with adoption”

“No one is taking advantage of the new features & they are huge time savers”

If these comments sound familiar, then there may be flaws in your approach to training. We don’t all learn the same way or at the same pace, so there should be some flexibility in our training programs. Globalization, teleworking, remote teams and contingent workforces demand a new approach to training, which is why eLearning is becoming so popular. There is nothing wrong with ILT (instructor led training) but it is not always a good fit for the always-on, digitally connected world that we live and work in today. As the lines between work and life continue to blur we need control over when, where and how we access information.

Components of a smart eLearning plan:

1. New feature internal training
One of our first steps when releasing new features to our SaaS technologies is internal training. Team members can attend in person, join via a web meeting, view a recording of the session or view the Help section of the application. I select the approach that fits my schedule and knowledge; sometimes I’ll attend in person and then watch the recording for a refresher, other times the Help section is all I need.

There are also different approaches to the new feature training; a high-level approach for sales and marketing which focuses on value proposition and a more detailed approach for those on the implementation teams and in product support.

2. New product training
Companies that purchase software should take a similar approach to maximize their investment. Make sure people can access training content when and where they want so they can move at their own pace or as their schedule dictates. That means a plan for eLearning must be developed. Technology is generally intended to help us do our jobs better whether that be efficiency gains or presenting data in a way that aids or improves decision making. The same is true for new features, but if users don’t receive training no one may be using those cool new features, so your organization is not taking full advantage of the investment made.

3. Develop use-cases
Training shouldn’t just be “select this and “click here it should be aligned with business issues you are trying to solve for specific use cases. By taking this approach you can tailor training to the audience which will make learning more efficient and meaningful.

According to a study done by the Brandon Hall Group, 70 percent of companies that align learning with business objectives improve their revenue. Whether you’re making a new software investment or trying to make the most of what you have, be sure you’ve got a training plan that includes eLearning.


By BJ Johnson
Access originally provided this post to Learnkit