The concept: Less-is-more

The user training is a tiny part of a major IT project. But our experience shows that it is often that tiny part that makes the project into a failure. Our training concept secures that you can reap the advantages of the new system.

The basic idea of the concept is to produce understanding and autonomous users.


To produce understanding

Less quantity: Don’t give the users details and don't show screens.
More quality: Develop high quality visual explanations which can be used by all the trainers.
Situational perspective: The departure point should not be the system but the daily functions of the users.

To make the users autonomous

Focus on understanding: If the users understand the principles they will be able to transfer their understanding to all parts of the system.
Establish mental maps: If the users have a well structured mental map of the system they will be able to work and learn independently.
Make the users feel safe: If you don’t “drown” the users in details but show them that the system is easy to understand, they will feel secure and thus be able to learn independently.


How do we structure the Hands-On sessions?

One of the basic principles of our method is that we work with templates which cover all aspects of the user training. This enables us to make the production very efficient.

 The most important template is the Hands-On template:

The Hands-On session is divided into three steps: The Introduction, the Exercise and the Wrap-up. In the Exercise the users work independently with an assignment. Usually they don’t need help because of the basic understanding they have acquired in the Introduction.

If they have a problem they consult the Navigation Sheet before they eventually ask the trainer.

The Introduction is extremely important because it is meant to make the users understand the principles and to be motivated for the assignment. Typically it will last 15 minutes. The trainer will never show sequences of screens during the Introduction. If we have to explain how a screen is functioning we will make a raw sketch on the whiteboard or PowerPoint. The Introduction consists of three elements, the so called three P´s: The Problem, the Principles and the Procedure and each of the P´s will produce a specific part of the understanding and each part will use a specific tool to get to the target.

The Problem is the departure point of the session and the goal is to make the users understand the relevance and thus make them identify with topic. The tool is a situational example, where the users can recognize their own everyday life and identify with a need for a solution. This element will typically last 1-2 minutes.
The part dealing with the principles is the major part of the Introduction. The major tool is visual explanations of high quality which enables the users to understand the principles embedded in the system. This part will last about 10-12 minutes.

The last part of the Introduction is the Procedure, which visually shows the steps that the users are supposed to go through during the assignment. It will last 1-2 minutes. 



How do we develop high quality user courses? 

The “toolbox” that we have developed through more than 30 years contains a lot of operational solutions that all are based on our unique experience and our theoretical concept. This means that our consultants have a very concrete approach to how user courses can be developed.

Our belief is that the only way we can evaluate training material is to test it “live”. This means that the trainers develop the first version of a session, which is tested and evaluated. Next the trainers adjust the session and it is tested again and often fine-tuned again. At last the trainers produce the documentation, which enables them and new trainers to use the material exactly as planned. As mentioned the concept offers very specific solutions to all the steps in the developing process. For example a standardized way of making the documentation.


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