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IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
12/19/2014
08:36 AM
Grumpy IT Guy
Grumpy IT Guy
Commentary

Technology Training: Why We're In Hell

Is the problem the death-by-PowerPoint training that everyone hates? Or that our enterprise apps look worse than Keith Richards with a hangover?

(Image: Matthew Simmons/Wikipedia)
(Image: Matthew Simmons/Wikipedia)

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jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/19/2014 | 11:18:00 AM
Too true
If we have to provide training on our applications that we build and sell to our customers, then we missed the boat. If you know the business the process the application works with, you should be able to use the application to do the business process without much in the way of training.
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
12/22/2014 | 5:09:31 AM
Re: Too true
"If we have to provide training on our applications that we build and sell to our customers, then we missed the boat. If you know the business the process the application works with, you should be able to use the application to do the business process without much in the way of training."

Jaggibons, without proper customer education how they can understand its operation and functionality. I remember MS is conducting training (direct and through third parties)for their various products.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/22/2014 | 3:46:10 PM
Re: Too true
...without proper ucstomer education how can they understand its operation and functionality.

The goal should always be to build and deliver and application that doesn't require training. When I think of really well designed applications, tools like Gmail and TurboTax come to mind. The applications are intuitive and do their function really well. I know it isn't realistic for all applications to be super easy. It should be the goal we all strive toward.
Gigi3
100%
0%
Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 3:25:14 AM
Re: Too true
"The goal should always be to build and deliver and application that doesn't require training. When I think of really well designed applications, tools like Gmail and TurboTax come to mind. The applications are intuitive and do their function really well. I know it isn't realistic for all applications to be super easy. It should be the goal we all strive toward."

Jagibbons, you are right about certain things and self sustained peoples. I know many people's are putting effort to learn themselves with the help of help tools. 
SaneIT
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50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/22/2014 | 7:25:44 AM
Re: Too true
If I had an inventory control system that was was easy as Amazon I think I'd spend half my day asking if I had died and this was IT heaven.  I like the concept of making things easy but sadly even those easy things trip people up when they actually have to do things with it.  Sure you can tell someone to "buy something from Amazon" and they'll figure that out but tell them to buy something specific, in a specific color and get the best price without shipping overseas and the story changes.  Sometimes that complexity it built in because we don't work in such a simple environment.
TerryB
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0%
TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
12/19/2014 | 1:09:22 PM
You have a training budget?
That right there qualifies you for Company of the Year. I'm impressed.

But I'm with you, any training that involves someone reading a Powerpoint to you in the training session makes me about as grumpy as anyone can get. Especially when more work went into the branding of the Powerpoint slide show than the actual content they are training on.
Brian.Dean
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50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
12/20/2014 | 2:45:50 AM
Re: You have a training budget?
If a task needs to be completed then all that is needed is the application and Youtube. In an enterprise setting, if the app has a decent amount of scale/users then, plenty of documentation and videos exist for it as well. Training here is dependent on the employee's desire to complete a certain task using a certain application, and the apps that require training are often times so complex that training becomes an on-going process -- one that a 1-hour training session cannot replace.
David F. Carr
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50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
12/22/2014 | 8:55:53 AM
No amount of PowerPoint will save you
No amount of PowerPoint will make a crappy corporate app better. That also goes for cheerful infographics with circles and arrows explaining how easy to use it is.
PedroGonzales
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50%
PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
12/22/2014 | 10:19:43 AM
Re: No amount of PowerPoint will save you
With all these talk about usability and easy of use. There still many companies that seem to ignore this when desining their applications.  Specially, the applications that are crucial to a business process
SaneIT
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50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 7:55:05 AM
Re: No amount of PowerPoint will save you
@David, I've seen entire training manuals made in PowerPoint.  Not only does it not make things better, when over used it makes them much worse.  I remember standing behind someone while they flipped through the slides to find the part in the presentation that covered what they were trying to do it was a very painful experience.
jagibbons
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50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 8:21:02 AM
Re: No amount of PowerPoint will save you
Documentation and training are parts of the overall project that often get cut when development falls behind (QA too). The result is a sub-par application with no materials to assist support and users. Sad, and preventable.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 7:25:39 AM
Re: No amount of PowerPoint will save you
@jagibbons, I'm sad to admit this but I've heard "we don't have time to document the last changes just get it out the door" more than once.  It's funny because those late changes/updates/features are almost always the first things people ask about.  They get the documentation that was put together as the project was progressing and it feels incomplete.  The best part though is hearing the sales team sell those changes "well this is an undocumented feature that not many people know about".  That makes me cringe because the intention is often that the majority of the user base should know about it.
jagibbons
50%
50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 8:20:21 AM
Re: No amount of PowerPoint will save you
That kind of situation can really build animosity between sales/marketing and app dev. It is not healthy, but all too common.
kstaron
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50%
kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 10:14:05 AM
change will equal training
Whenever something changes, let's face it, somebody is going to need training. If there wasn't a need, you wouldn't need half the people staffing the IT help desk. Something intuititive to you is going to be alien to somebody else. In an ideal world the training could consist of a 1 page cheat sheet to make sure everything goes well combined wit a few minute video showing how it's done. After you make the app as easy and functional as possible, you need to do the same for the training. (Hint: powerpoint does not help you there.)
SunitaT0
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50%
SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 1:38:27 PM
Re: change will equal training
@kstaron: the author is not wrong. Most people who undergo internships aren't upto the mark. They accomplish two things: firstly they don't secure a job, secondly they simply waste the time of the trainers. IT trainers have it the harshest. 
SunitaT0
50%
50%
SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2014 | 1:41:13 PM
Re: No amount of PowerPoint will save you
Training using powerpoint can be helpful if the slides are easy enough to follow. Lets face it, when we take a course at a company, trainers assume that we already know 50% of the course. Simply nobody is going go wade you through the basics. In this case PowerPoint can be a boon and a curse. Used too much and you would ensure zero understanding of the topic, and if used too little would create knowledge gaps which are again very tough to deal with when a person actually secures a seat.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2014 | 7:10:38 AM
Re: No amount of PowerPoint will save you
@SunitaT0, I'll agree with you that many times people just need a little reminder or a slight nudge to grasp a piece of software but I'm talking about entire SOPs put together into a PowerPoint presentation.  I guess the idea was that someone would watch the slide show as they did their job and follow it step by step for the rest of their career. I find that the slideshows rarely teach anything, they do inform but they are typically very surface level.
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