The Four Essential Components Of An Essential End-User Training Program

When getting wrapped up in the nuances of developing a new software program, it can be easy to forget about the final goal of the program: to serve the end-user. If you do not train the end-user on how to use your product, your software will fail because your users will simply not use it. Make sure that you plan end-user training from the very start.

1. Be Sure to Budget for End-User Training

End-user training must account for a large percentage of the total budget of the software development. Most software development teams need to expand somewhat to hire a few team members who can help free time up for end-user training. The reason why end-user training development cannot be rushed is that a successful training program takes into consideration the unique needs of the user.

2. Choose the Right Trainers

The training program must connect with the end-user. Subject matter experts are an important part of this process, but they should not be placed in a training role because they will not necessarily know how to connect with the end-user. Rather, the subject matter experts should be training those who have a background in education.

The trainers need to be knowledgeable of instructional scaffolding, which is the process of raising or lowering the training program to the level of the end-user's expertise. As the trainers work with the end-user, they will be able to assess the extent of their abilities and raise or lower the difficulty of the training program.

3. Interview the End-Users

Of course, the best way to know if the training program is effective is to simply ask the end-user. They will be able to explain the parts of the software program they had difficulty with and can act as consultants to fine-tune the training program. Also, the supervisors of the end-users should be involved in the interview because they will often have a broader understanding of what works and doesn't work within the context of current projects.

4. Use the Right Format

The next factor to consider is the format of the training program. Will your employees be trained individually or will they be trained as a group? Individual training is ideal, but if the software needs to be implemented promptly and if you have to train a large number of employees, individual training might not be realistic. Also, while it might be easier to have all of your employees in one room, if they are geographically spread out, you will instead need to have the end-users trained through a webinar.  

For more information, contact Walker Strategy or a similar company.