Three Keys to Software Training Success

December 11, 2013

We build three keys to success into every SuiteTraining(opens in new tab) course. That's because we know companies don't under-invest in training because they don't believe in educating their users, but because they fear throwing away good money on poor instruction. Fortunately, it's easy to identify the major blunders that prevent people from connecting with material that can make their lives easier.

The first key to training success is to take a role-based approach. Even the most enthusiastic and technically-oriented mind will get overwhelmed by training focused on features and screens rather than concrete, role-based tasks. By focusing on the individual's tasks, training stays relevant and students are more engaged with the material. Most business applications have far more features and functions than a typical user will need to complete typical daily and monthly tasks, and the role-based approach helps sort out the vital components from the niche capabilities few users will ever touch.

Focusing on business processes is the second key. Although many users have roles where they spend almost all of their time on a few basic screens, such as inventory or customer records, some need guidance that spans a much greater range of capabilities. Again, there is a real risk of becoming lost in rabbit holes of hundreds of fields and dozens of screens, and quickly losing sight of the objectives which matter most to the user. Designing training around business processes, such as the quote-to-cash cycle, provides structure and gives greater meaning to the lessons. People connect best to information when they understand how it contributes to the organization's operations and goals, and business processes provide an easily-recognizable framework.

Finally, training should be given on the final, fully-configured application. Too many organizations are tempted to rush out and train users on an unfinished product so that the project can be launched sooner. This is a mistake, because during the configuration process, business processes are often being redefined and the exact steps required to perform basic business tasks may change before the project is completed. In many cases we recommend holding off on all training until the go-live date. Spending time on coursework to master a skill only to find out that the process and the buttons have changed is extremely frustrating and can undermine productivity and success.

These three keys help produce users who are focused, capable and confident in their abilities with a new solution. Unsure how these principles can apply to your business? Check out one of our SuiteTraining courses and see for yourself!

-Dean Sprankling, VP Worldwide Education Services at NetSuite

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.