What we have to learn to
do, we learn by doing." --
Aristotle (384-322 BC), Greek philosopher)
Training? On an intranet? Why?
Hmm. Aristotle does have a point! In
one sense the beauty of hyperlink based technologies is that they are very intuitive to use and the best way to learn is arguably by using the technology.
However, formal user training may well be required on your project in a number of areas that are, perhaps, less intuitive. I will take each in turn:
Content Management Systems (CMS)
If you are implementing a CMS with the portal
(whether as a standalone package or by using a rudimentary system that is integral to the portal product you have purchased) then some from of user training is essential.
In a CMS, there are three key roles; (a) the author, using standard, pre-supplied templates to build pages, (b) approvers, who sign-off to say
the paged are 'good to go' and (c) deployers. who post to live.
A separate training course is
probably required for all three roles (although distributed learning techniques could probably be used for all but the latter).
Collaboration Technologies (Teamrooms)
Some portal products incorporate workgroup
technologies that allow people to share calendars, allocate tasks, thread discussions and manage documents.
Where you are deploying
teamrooms, there are a number of specific technical - and behavioural - skills that need to be trained, so that teams extract the best value from working with the technology.
For example, people need to get out of the habit of holding long discussions by email (with multiple cc:s) and emailing different versions of documents to each other and then
storing them locally.
It is likely that you will also wish to delegate certain community moderation and administration responsibilites to super users within the business.
There will, again, be particular skills associated with this that will require training.
In-line help and training
Whilst intranet technologies are otherwise fairly
intuitive, it makes sense to take advantage of the hyperlink structures to add context-specific, in-line help on particular portal functions.
For example, if you have a
personalised part of the portal set-up, which users can configure, you are likely to improve the uptake of this by drawing attention to it and providing in-line help to users
exploring the function for the first time.
The following five-step approach should be used to put together
your plan. Where time and resources permit, the formal tools (see right) may prove useful.
Training Goal - the overall results / capabilities you hope to attain by implementing your training plan
Learning Objectives - what the user will be able to do as a result of the learning activities in this plan
Learning methods / activities - what user will do (classes, tutorials, etc.) to achieve the learning objectives
Evidence of learning - these are results that someone can see, hear, feel, read or smell
Evaluation & Certification - to review & assess the quality of evidence and judge whether the learning objectives were achieved or not
You should consider the extent to which the existing training
resources of your training functions in HR and IT can take on the Intranet training piece. It does not make a lot of sense to re-invent the wheel and, besides, the behavioural and technical
elements should be bread-and- butter for these guys!
It is also a sensible approach to utilise the Professional Services Organisation of your chosen vendor to work with your existing teams to design the plan and courses. Then you can manage the
actual training yourself.