I was wondering if anyone has suggestions on a training workflow. My team and I (4 of us) are trying to coordinate a training workflow for our Diocese. We are transitioning the whole Diocese into a new database system (47 churches). We are trying to assess the best ways of doing all this.
Ideas tossed so far.
- One day Regional Training (North, South, East, West)
- One day local training (the 3-4 nearest churches to our team) - train them and then have more ‘trainers’ to
- Forget ‘in-person’ and do it all over Zoom
- Forget Zoom and do all recorded videos.
Lessons learned in the last transition (mix of live and recorded) we had a few years ago.
- Not all the IT people showed up for training
- Not all the people who came were IT
- Some didn’t watch the recordings
- Some didn’t attend live
- Some decided to do the tinkering on their own which caused a mess of problems.
Boy, it really depends on the people involved, their ability to travel, how difficult using the new system will be for which people, and the budget for training.
If it’s really important to get everyone on the same page and field a lot of questions that everyone probably has, and you are all in the same geographical region, one regional training, livestreamed, and then chopped up into individual lessons to be sent out later seems good to me. If retention is important to avoid issues later, sending out the individual lessons on a drip campaign may work better than sending links to all the files at once, but that assumes there will be time to absorb the training before launch. After launch people will want all reference materials at once.
Communicating whatever is needed to prevent tinkering should be done multiple times. I’d consider scheduling a Zoom call or trainer visit with each individual church (10-15 each) to make sure everything’s covered and they don’t do anything foolish.
The route I’d advise against is training more trainers, although if you know who trusted users are in some of these churches, perhaps they could be given a test instance to play with ahead of launch.
Let us know what you do!
To the extent that you can run the old in some locations while you transition to the new in others
- Pick a set of some (4-10) locations close by to transition first
- Require the locations to nominate a transition captain (or transition team leader) and team secretary as the primary points of contact for your visits and follow ups
- Prepare a plan that includes pre-visit videos (with quizzes) followed by on-site, in-depth sessions followed by a “throw them to the lions” (or toss them in the deep end) period followed by an on-site refresher period
The target outcome would be to have the teams become nearly independent … e.g. they need only to do calls or video chat for problems.
At the end, review the success of the above approach and revise it with the goal that you and your team are to be even more successful training the remainder of the locations.
And award the first set of transition teams with some sort of fun bonus points or accolades before starting the main efforts, just to get the good news out.
My last major software transition was for a mission critical 24/7 system with $10k per hour downtime cost. It was worth the expense to have IT support people on site all the time to help with training and issues. I’m guessing you don’t need that level of support during transition.
My belief is that people do better the closer the training is to actually using the system. Train one day then start using it the next with adequate support available. Can support be handled remotely or do they need to be on-site? Is the system used all the time or only certain days like Monday after Sunday services?
I would be remiss if I didn’t say, hire an instructional designer, training developer, or learning and development specialist.
It should be pointed out that the trainees are probably volunteers. Some will have the necessary energy to learn and others won’t. Some will have time to attend training, others won’t. A structured, mandatory training is unlikely to work.