Tuesday, January 02, 2007

So Much for My New Year's Resolution.....

Warning: Negative Ranting Ahead

We had a teleconference with our vendor's trainers today to discuss the training plan.

This was a long meeting.....

After telling us last week that they would have as many trainers as we need for our upgrade, the vendor changed their tune and told us that they had not intended to be involved in the upgrade training. To make matters worse, the boss had informed them that there were 10 potential trainers on our side. We managed to clear up that interesting piece of miscommunication with the vendor and the boss. As a result, we are getting 2 trainers and we (probably me) will make up the difference (60 + hours of training each week for 2 weeks).

From looking at the training plan, they calculated that there were only 600 people max that required training. Even though I had put the number of users in large bold print at the bottom of the page.

Lesson learned - put the number of end-users to be trained in large bold print at the top of the page since no one reads that far.

The good thing about the vendor pointing out that they only thought we could train 600 people is that it let the rest of my co-workers know that we really AREN'T going to get to everyone face to face. Or even in training of any sort. Period.

I am hoping that the gap between how many we can realistically do classroom training with (600) and the number of people requiring training (2000+) validates my work developing an e-learning infrastructure for our organization.

I'll admit, I didn't get that feeling at the time..... The Boss informed me that morning that he wasn't sure anyone was going to use the system I had so carefully put together. I'm not entirely sure that this meeting changed his mind.

To improve my mood further, I was informed that we have all of the documentation that will be available for the rollout. This material consists of an incomplete Release Manual, an incomplete System Administrator manual, and a collection of 10 tutorials (30 minutes total) that make little sense without repeated exposure. I've watched each of them 3 times.

This means - no end-user documentation and no useful tutorials for our implementation.

The final straw, the vendor stating: "Your employees will have all of our tutorials done by the time they get into the classroom, right?"

I am very proud of myself for not ripping the phone out of the wall and stomping it into little tiny pieces. Thankfully, there were others in the room who managed to restrain themselves from the same impulse.

There are points in any software implementation project - whether it be for eLearning or other enterprise solutions - where the gap between the client and the vendor is as large as the Grand Canyon. And the only tools you seem to have to build the bridge is a donkey, rocks, and some cactus.

This is one of those points.

And like any point, this too shall pass......

1 comment:

Paul Kremer MAICD, MIES (Aust&NZ), AAIM, Dip Elec Eng (lighting) said...

Hi Tom, I am a frequent visitor to Karl Kapps' blogspot, I stumbled on his page when searching for learning design research and material for am first attempt at a book.
I have posted a couple of excerpts on a new blog spot at
I would love your feedback. And any additional information you may have that would assist in my quest to help society would be great also.

Thanks Rgds Paul