Thursday, June 2, 2011

Making it Relevant...

You know the "What's in it for me?"  otherwise known as WIFM.  This is the hardest part of creating training on software. 

You want to show users all of the neat bells and whistles - how cool is this!  Look, I can post my emails straight onto the record.  It'll let me find people I worked with 20 years ago.  I can change the colors of my activities to Hot Pink!  Woot!  Well, none of it matters if WIFM isn't there.

I've found that adding WIFM is much harder when your trying to get people to learn about the "How-to's" of software.  Especially when you have the reluctant learner who's taking the class because his manager told him to. 

How do we cross the hurdle?  Relate back to something that they currently do manually without the handy dandy tool your about to teach them about.  

I recently had a trainng session with users that were moving from one office to another and had everything in file cabinets.  You know, the type where you get a paper cut whenever you're looking for someone's file from 1995?  The new location had 1/10 of the filing space.  They needed to figure out a process really fast to scan all of their documents electronically and store them in such a way that they'd be easy to find.  We now had WIFM.  But it doesn't always fall in your lap.

One I approach I've been using is ask the end users outright -- why are you looking for training?  It may take some prodding, but eventually the answer comes out.  Even if its "because my manager says I need it."  We must then look at what's in it for the manager that his employees use this piece of software to create WIFM for the end user.

Time and Money are the biggest reasons for us as adults to want to take on something new.  I can't help you make more money, but this is how I can save you some time.

You can follow some simple steps:
  • Find out the current business process. 
  • How are they currently doing the task that will be replaced by the new software? 
  • How will this process be more effecient? 
  • Factor in the learning curve -- it'll get worse before it gets better.  Be honest and upfront about that. 
  • What can they do now that they couldn't do before? 
  • WIFM is different depending on the person's role, find out what roles exist and what drives the different users.
  • Finally - never assume you know what they need to know!

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