Train Your Users When Implementing New Construction Software

The word “potential” is rarely used to describe the amount of success that implementing new software can have on a business. Many companies assume that they’ll be able to purchase and install new software and that they will immediately have new found success as a result. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. The truth is that the best software in the world is only as good as the people that use it. In turn, the people that use the software are effective in using the software if they are properly trained.It doesn’t matter if your talking about construction software, manufacturing software, accounting software, project management software, inventory control, and so on…there are so many different ways to enter and edit data and transactions in any system.Therefore, it can be argued that the quality and depth of training that your end users receive is more important that the actual software you choose to use. If each user of your software is operating with different ideas of how to input data and what kind of data to input, the functionality of the software will suffer.So how do you make sure that your end users are properly trained?For the most part, there are three main ways that vendors offer training on their products. Of course, training can also consist of a combination of the following three methods, but for the purpose of this article, I will focus only on the following three training methods:1) In-house
2) Off site (at the vendor’s location or an independent location)
3) Internet-basedIn-house training is exactly what it sounds like. Representatives from the software vendor will come to your location and train your users to use the software properly in their “home” environment. This makes sense for several reasons. First, people that learn to use the software in the environment that they will be using it are more likely to become comfortable with the software much faster. Second, people are often more “open” in an environment where they feel comfortable, meaning they’ll be more likely to ask questions, voice concerns, and so on. Third, not having to deal with distractions like travel plans, staying in hotels, etc. allows users to focus completely on the task at hand – learning the new software. Finally, completing the training on-site gives companies the ability to look at old reports, data, etc. as they will be readily available, as will executive management personnel in cases where they need to be consulted on decisions involving software installation, data manipulation, etc.Additionally, a number of decisions must be made during the initial software setup that are much easier to accomplish when training takes place on-site. Things like job-cost or project-cost coding, payroll accounting, and purchase order tracking are good examples. A number of these decisions require specific information, which is, of course, much more readily available at the headquarters of the business that plans to use the software.However, on-site training also has a few key disadvantages. First, since the vendor has to send representatives to the customer’s site, the training is generally done over an intense period of a couple of days. Beyond the travel costs and time associated with this, there is also the issues of losing time for daily tasks that still need to be completed as well as the potential to give employees so much information in such a short period of time that all of the relevant information is not learned.Training at the vendor’s site or a separate location can be successful if it is possible to arrange for all key personnel to be at the training…and possible for the company fund their travel expenses. The main advantage of doing the training at the vendor’s location is that all the vendor’s staff will be available so that if technical questions come up that the “trainer” doesn’t know the answer to, those answers can be found.Additionally, completing training away from home has the advantage of reducing the distractions that arise at the corporate headquarters.Completing Internet-based training programs has the main advantage of flexibility. Training sessions can be scheduled for employees independently of each other, meaning some employees can handle the daily operations of the company while others train. This results in a much smaller loss in productivity during the training process. On-line training also has the advantage of allowing users to progress at their own speed. It eliminates the idea of users failing to learn all the necessary skills as they will be able to progress through the training program at their own pace. Of course, the downside to this advantage is that it could take longer to properly train everyone, which can delay the amount of time before the software is completely implemented and ready to use.In conclusion, the “right” software training for each company will likely be different and will depend on a number of the factors mentioned above. The most important thing is to ensure that training is done and that it is thorough. Training is one area where it is essential to ensure that all necessary resources are dedicated.

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