In today’s modern business environment, it’s important for organizations to have structured training plans and change management procedures in place. After all, they are bound to face changes more often and more rapidly than ever. When developing training plans and change management procedures, many project teams underestimate one important thing. Below, Rob Prinzo, whom many of you know as one of the co-hosts of #PMChat, shares a lesson he learned about developing training plans.

Lessons Learned In Training Plans and Change Management

by Rob Prinzo

Training and change management continue to be the Achilles’ heel of business transformation projects. One consistent lesson learned that I have seen in regards to training and change management is that project teams routinely underestimate the technology skill sets of end users.

Let’s face it, implementation team members are fairly tech savvy and often assume end users will pick up concepts quickly because they do. I have been involved in several projects where the project team’s mentality was “people book their airline tickets on-line and shop at Amazon, so they should be familiar with web based systems or self service functionality.” These same team members were shocked to find out during training that the users struggled with Microsoft Office and basic web navigation.

When developing baseline expectations in change management and training plans, don’t forget (that even in 2013) there are still a lot of people who dial the 800 number to buy airline tickets, write checks at the grocery store and don’t shop on-line. Project teams should use these as baseline assumptions and work their way up from there by assessing the technical skills of the end users. Change impact assessments should be conducted early on in the project to properly asses end user skills and provide the time to necessary to develop different levels of training based on end user competency.

A one size fits all approach only works if everybody is on the same level, which is rarely the case in large organizations. If different training levels are not an option due to time or budget constraints, consider offering pre-training in basic system concepts or informal learning labs for those users who need it. Additional training offerings, learning labs or small group help sessions should be made available post go-live as that is when it’s often needed the most.

About Rob Prinzo
Rob Prinzo is the founder and CEO of The Prinzo Group and senior consultant with the firm. Rob works with organizations to develop and implement strategic plans, conducts workshops on the implementation of enterprise technology and is the author of two project management books: No Wishing Required: The Business Case for Project Assurance and Project Soup: Recipes for Managing to Success.

Twitter: @robprinzo
Blog: http://robprinzo.com
Company Website: http://prinzogroup.com

We would love for you to hear your stories about lessons you have learned while working in project management. Share them with us! Send them to kim[at]onedesk[dot]com.

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