The Trainer’s Role in Migration
BackBy Lindsay Edmonds Wickman — May 2008
When an organization adopts new software or hardware, employees easily can be frustrated with the process if training is not integrated into the transition.
“[It] can be used as a tool, not only to prepare businesses for the move, but also to help them maximize their investment,” said Sandy Dubose, a trainer with Certiport, a provider of digital literacy and desktop productivity training, assessment and certification solutions.
Because training is a necessary element of a migration, IT trainers should be well-versed in the new technology so that they are prepared to train others.
“[Trainers should] train others, so there’s not just one person or a handful of people that have expertise,” Dubose said. “Make sure at least one [person in each department] is certified and knowledgeable [about the software or hardware].”
By dispersing this knowledge and training key people throughout an organization, trainers will save their IT departments a headache.
“If you don’t provide some type of training, your IT department will be bombarded with questions and calls,” said Karen Pickles, another trainer with Certiport. “With training I recently did, [we trained] all employees, and we were able to eliminate major issues. All the staff and employees were actually looking forward to the migration, and our IT department did not receive any calls.”
If an organization is migrating to new software or hardware, Pickles and Dubose recommend involving all employees in the transition so they understand what’s happening.
“Everyone is going to need some level of training,” Dubose said. “Of course you want your trainers to have that highest level of training, which would be certification, and then [you can] move other employees along at a staggered pace.”
The skills in training non-IT employees during a migration are no different than those needed to train IT employees, although the pace and topics may differ.
“Use best practices,” Dubose said. “We start with an assessment tool because it’s important to know where people’s skills lie so that you can address individual needs. With training the trainers, we use remote sessions to help with any problems they might have during the training. And [during] the instructor-led training, we use demonstrations of the most difficult task in the software, and tips and tricks.”
For a migration to be successful, IT trainers must start early and train and certify key people within an organization as soon as possible.
“Get your key people who use the software on a daily basis certified, and then they can become your go-to when you do a full migration,” Dubose said.
There must be a migration strategy detailing how and when training will be rolled out to each employee to ensure workers are comfortable and prepared for the change.
“As you’re preparing for migration, prepare your staff and all of your workers,” Pickles said. “Don’t just change on them over the weekend. I have talked to several organizations [where] that’s happened, and employees have been frustrated. Anytime you can eliminate and alleviate fears and frustrations, you’re going to have a more productive worker.”
-- Lindsay Edmonds Wickman, email@example.com