Technology rollouts can be expensive and time-consuming to execute properly. Here’s how to ensure they’re successful.
From planning to development to implementation, new technology rollouts take time. Imagine that you’ve sunk months — or even years — into selecting or designing a new platform, only for it to be met with frustration or all-out dismissal by your employees. Of course, a new tool going entirely unused represents an everything-went-wrong sort of worst-case scenario, but the good news is that with the right strategy and preparation, you can dramatically improve your odds of a smooth technology rollout.
While individuals in directorial or facilitative positions might have a good sense of the kinds of software or devices that will be beneficial to a business, if this understanding remains sequestered at the top and doesn’t get communicated to end users, the rollout’s return on investment will be drastically reduced. As such, end-user training is often the secret ingredient to a successful technology rollout.
What Is End-User Training?
In a technological context, end users are the people who actually use applications and devices. Within most businesses, end users are employees, and end-user training involves both making sure that employees know how to use new technology correctly and efficiently and ensuring that users receive ongoing support as application or device updates arrive.
End-user training is an essential component of any successful system implementation, and developing a plan for it should be one of the first priorities for teams tasked with managing rollouts — even before an initial build is ready for testing. You can (and should) do your best to troubleshoot potential problems proactively, but if you’re rolling out a new technology to numerous employees or clients at once, issues that you hadn’t considered will almost inevitably arise. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — in fact, it helps you iron out the bugs of your deployment — but it can feel like problems are coming at you from every direction, and putting out every fire at once can be exhausting and incredibly time-consuming.
How Should End-User Training Be Carried Out?
The crux of successful end-user training isn’t an instructor’s mastery of subject matter, but their ability to translate information in an accessible and engaging way. Instructors obviously need to know what they’re talking about, but being a subject matter expert doesn’t necessarily make someone a good instructor. That’s why it’s a good idea for individual departments to have a point person who takes ownership of training and onboarding new hires to various systems (rather than, for instance, relying on IT to handle it). This point person can tailor end-user training to fit the specific needs of their department, framing training materials in terms that a new hire will understand.
As such, it’s important to ensure that the people tasked with carrying out end-user training have strong enough communication and interpersonal skills that they’ll be able to assess how their audiences are responding and make adjustments as needed. The risk with leaving IT instruction to IT professionals is that IT professionals tend to take an approach that is either too technical or too simplified when dealing with nontechnical colleagues. In many cases, those who know how a piece of technology will be used within a specific departmental context are better suited to striking an appropriate balance between detail and intelligibility.
What Are the Benefits of End-User Training?
If employees are given new software or devices with no training, they can become frustrated or confused. End-user training helps organizations eliminate roadblocks to tech rollouts and allows employees to take advantage of the increased productivity and efficiency that new technologies often provide. End-user training also goes a long way toward helping employees feel supported, which paves the way for future rollouts.
Ultimately, a technologically savvy employee pool can help businesses meet their strategic goals more effectively — and robust and effective end-user training strategies are one of the fundamental building blocks to developing such a pool.
At Epiphany Management Group, we’re proud to offer 24/7/365 remote IT support — including comprehensive end-user training. From in-person sessions to webinars, we provide a number of flexible and effective options that can be tailored to your specific needs and end users. Contact us today to learn how our suite of digital services can ensure the success of your software and device deployments.