Role Of Training In System Transformation/Change Programs
Monster Ztudio/

Training In System Transformation Programs

When a company or organization undertakes any sort of major change, it is viewed differently by different users. For some, it is exciting, for others it is threatening. One of the questions that contribute to creating the threatening mood in users is: "Will I be able to cope with the new processes and technology and be productive in the new environment?"

This question offers a clear signal to the need for a well-planned training program for all impacted users/workforce.

What can be fulfilled by training?

In general, when an organization undertakes a change/transformation program in order to modernize its IT systems and business processes, the organization expects its workforce to appreciate the change, produce a sense of acceptance, show commitment to the change, create a positive mindset, alter behavior, acquire new knowledge/skills, understand new ways of working, adapt to new systems, incorporate processes and practices, be productive from day one of the launch of new systems, and so on.

Now, to be frank, let’s not believe that a training program alone can fulfill all these expectations.

A training program is surely the answer to help the workforce acquire new knowledge/skills, understand new ways of working, adapt to new systems, processes, and practices, alter behavior, and be productive from day one in the new environment.

However, to help the workforce appreciate the change, produce a sense of acceptance, and show commitment to the change, the organization needs to plan other change management activities.  Such as: achieving the buy-in from all stakeholders, running the change communication campaign, forming a momentum for successful implementation, eliminating uncertainty and ambiguity about the change in users’ minds, dispelling any fears about the change, and so on.

Role Of Training

If the users are trained well and feel positive about the change, the organization can surely roll out new systems and then go live with minimal confusion and loss of productivity.

Generally, organizations spend an enormous part of the budget on system transformation programs, but unfortunately, don’t factor enough dollars for end-user training. In many cases, a makeshift or poorly planned training program is executed. As a result, the user-adoption of new systems gets a big hit. Further, the feeble user adoption leads to the productivity drops in the new environment post-go-live. And the productivity drops and in return, it can impact the overall Return On Investment (ROI).

A change, big or small, driven by internal processes or external market, requires users to change and adapt to the new ways of working. Hence, training of all impacted users is not just important but it’s vital for the transformation program to be a success.

Role Of Learning And Development (L&D)

A team of experienced Learning and Development (L&D) professionals realize the seriousness of user adoption, and can design and deliver the outcome-oriented learning content, backed by proven learning modalities, strategies, practices, and innovations; and, in sync with learning psychology, type of learners, desired knowledge/skills required, etc. In short, they do not just create learning content but design a learning experience for effective acquisition and application of knowledge and skills.

Structure Of Training In System Transformation

In a system transformation program, end-user training should not be left to the end. Planning a training program should be in parallel with the entire system rollout schedule. For the efficient training program, a Tailored, Timely, and Task-oriented (TTT) learning content is required. The tailored training strategy with multiple learning modalities helps the employees learn the new systems, processes, and functionalities. The training should target to achieve maximum retention, high transference rate, and maximum user adoption.

Also, the training materials should not be designed postulating that the training is a one-time event. A significant portion of the training content should be also designed to offer Just-In-Time support during the actual work activities, as part of continuous learning, post the training sessions. Learners respond better to training material if it is stimulating enough to hold their attention, relevant to their job roles and is flexible; also, if it is convenient, simple, natural, effortless, and it sticks.

You should never approach every learning requirement in the same way. It can eventually disengage your learners. A training program should offer a mix and match depending upon the audience types, their locations, their type of skillset required, the complexity of the subject matter, the feasibility of using modern technology to deliver training, and other training requirements. In short, variety is the spice of learning.