Bringing new technology into a business is a challenge
Think back to the last piece of tech your company adopted. How many users are now “power users?” How many sort of got it working? How many have yet to even start using it?
Companies ranging from tiny startups to mega-sized fortune 500 companies have and will continue to see some of the time spent deciding on the right technology, the money spent on purchasing and enabling it end up written off as a loss. In some cases, this is a cost of doing business. The solution proves not to be the right solution and failure is not an end point, its a data point, so move on. Yet many tech adoption failures did not have to be– if only an appropriate training program had been part of the adoption process.
The nature of the typical learning curve creates an inertia that is difficult, and potentially costly, to overcome. More and more companies on the selling side of the equation have put much effort into helping the decision makers in the purchasing process climb the learning curve mountain– to allow them to see the value in their product and decide to buy it.But what about after the purchase? What about the majority of potential users in a business? There is typically less hand holding offered or even available.The nature of the typical learning curve creates an inertia that is difficult, and potentially costly, to overcome. Click To Tweet
A correctly planned training program will allow you to overcome the three key challenges to getting your organization to successfully adopt a new technology. These challenges are: a lack of a clear understanding of its real, practical benefits to the end user, a lack of ability of those users to put the technology into practice and finally, the onboarded, but marginally competent users.
Challenge 1: What will it do for me- or why do I care?
Often the hyperbole of the sales page does not live up to the actual implementation of a product on the ground. But let’s assume that you have found the right solution. While you can decree this is the solution of choice from above, it is likely more effective to ‘sell’ the solution to the rest of the company. Although this may seem strange, if you can show the benefits to the end users – the employees- it is more likely you will increase their motivation to at least try the solution.
Challenge 2: Sounds great- how does it work?
O.k. You’ve gotten some interest. Now you want to find a way to effectively onboard your future tech users? Typically, this is through a brief ‘crash course’ in the technology. Users get a day or so of training to learn how to enable it and run through the features. The challenge here is that if users don’t immediately engage their learning, they find the short-term learning from the course quickly fades and the learning curve remains an obstacle- now without the support of an instructor!
Challenge 3: Moving users beyond being Mildly Competent.
The final challenge in adoption is, perhaps surprisingly, the moderately competent user. These users are utilizing the new technology, but at a less than efficient level. The cost here is no longer one of adoption or non-adoption, but rather optimization. The cost here is time wasted and not making your users as efficient and effective as possible is yet another (financial) failure.
Why On Demand Training provides the best solution to the three adoption Challenges
While there are a number of potential ways to address onboarding, ramping up, and optimizing new users of new technology, an on-demand solution is likely the best overall modern and cost effective solution to technology training. The primary alternative — Instructor led training (ILT) — is simply the continuation of a very hands on teaching tradition that you have experienced since grade school. While providing in person guidance can be beneficial, the costs associated with hiring external expertise for in person training is costly and typically fails due to its not being embedded in a larger learning strategy.An on-demand solution is likely the best overall modern and cost effective solution to technology training Click To Tweet
The growing popularity of MOOCs in general education is perhaps a reflection of the acceptance and value of on demand training across a range of academic disciplines. In the context of our onboarding strategy, on demand training can provide the initial value proposition to new users by showing the technology in use (Challenge 1) and ramping students through the initial onboarding (Challenge 2). If a system is (correctly) set up to be on demand after the initial learning period, users will have the training content available to review at any time necessary. An added benefit is that training content can be updated to stay current and immediately available. As a final step in the process, additional advanced content can be provided to students to move them past the basic competency at a speed they are best able to integrate into their schedule (Challenge3).
While I don’t discount the value of other forms of learning, the value proposition – your company’s ROI- of on demand learning makes it the best solution for technology onboarding. It reduces or eliminates many of the extra costs of employee learning (travel, schedule disruption, poor long-term learning, …) Along with providing the necessary training, an on demand learning framework will ease employees’ new technology onboarding process and improve learning outcomes with minimal disruption.The value proposition - your company's ROI- of on demand learning makes it the best solution for technology onboarding. Click To Tweet
John Starmer, Director of Education @john_starmer