We have finished another round of training pilots. This time, we've focused on the week 1 trainings for 3 general staff categories:
- Clinical Staff (Nurses, Medical Assistants, Technicians)
- Front Desk staff (the people you meet when you check in for your appointment)
- Administrative Staff (Medical Secretaries, Managers, other administrators)
- With our emphasis on basic navigation, similarities with the old version, and general workflows - we easily cover the material in less than 80 minutes for the clinical staff and administrators, less than 50 minutes for the Front Desk. This included technical problems and user questions. It's nice to hit your benchmarks.
- By the end of the class, all 3 groups felt comfortable with the program - especially since we told them that there was a 2nd opportunity to get the material the next week and that there was going to be significant online support during go-live. Telling them they had a safety net seemed to open all 3 groups to learning and made them feel better about the program and the process. We found it best to tell them first thing in the training rather than waiting until later, or when we were asked. Receptiveness was higher the earlier we told them what their safety net was.
- The groups also liked that we seemed to understand that the "real learning" would occur in the clinic during those go-live weeks - rather than expect them to know everything when they walked out the door. We designed the upgrade training to essentially get them started. NOT tell them everything.
- We found a couple of minor educational gaps, that we will add to the final training. Fortunately, these additions will not impact the time significantly.
- The client (us) trainers will have to lead the morning classes the Monday of training week. The questions the vendor trainers will receive during their practice trainings to our Super Users will not reflect the types of questions they will get during the training week. This will give the vendor trainers an opportunity to observe before we throw them to the wolves. We are also realizing that there is no way we can give them the amount of corporate context they will need in the time we have to develop the train-the-trainer sessions.
Overall - we were THRILLED that these pilots went so well. All of us have been worried that our staff end-users would have difficulty with this upgrade and that there was no way we could train them in the limited time available.
Our next plan ... let things sit for a week. Late next week, we will invite the users from these pilot classes back to a "2nd training". The 2nd training will consist of assessing how much they retained.
We're treating this as a way for us to see how effective our plan is. Not as a penal thing for them - since many of our end-users suffer from serious classroom anxiety. We plan to make this plan very very clear to the users. Besides, our pilot students now have extra exposure to the product. If the project keeps getting pushed back - we will repeat this process in 3 week cycles with a new batch of people. That way, when we get to the real training, more people will have touched the product.