Blog Posts Process Analysis

Project Delivery Process D760

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

D760 – User and Management Training

SIIPS Delivery Processes (D).png


SIIPS D760.pngAnalyse the needs for education and training of those users and management affected by the new systems.  Define and agree an approach to this; plan that approach in detail then prepare educational materials and conduct training sessions according to that plan.


Full user training is vital both to the efficient use of the system and also to its acceptance and successful take-up.  Ideally the programme will deliver training shortly before users gain access to the system and use it to carry out their jobs.
The key to the success of any training programme will be its relevance to the people who receive the training.  Adopting the perspective of the trainees and linking the system skills covered during the training to their day-to-day responsibilities and tasks – which could be different from the tasks and responsibilities carried out before the system was implemented – will increase the chances of success.  User training is ideally business focused and not based on the system functionality.
The training activities will need to focus on the identification and availability of:
  • training materials and deliverables (training guides, tutor notes, etc)
  • environmental prerequisites (venues, equipment, etc.)
  • trainers
  • trainees
  • a stable database and a working system for training.
Training materials should be suitable for further staff training after the project is completed.  Self tuition or computer-assisted techniques are particularly useful for this purpose.
It may be important to provide management and non-user staff who need to have an interest in the system with overview training so that they understand the scope and purpose of the system and how it will affect them.
Although training will typically take place near the implementation date of the system, the activities to make this happen will have to start a lot earlier.  The following steps may need to be considered:
  • defining the training approach
  • identifying the training needs
  • detailed planning of the training activities
  • designing, developing and dry-running training courses/modules
  • mobilising trainers
  • setting up the training environment
  • preparing training attendees
  • inviting and booking attendees
  • delivering training
  • monitoring training attendance
  • sustaining the learning effort beyond implementation date.


This process is normal practice.


Prerequisites (Finish-Start):
  • L050 Define and agree change management approach
  • L060 Setup/revise/agree communication plan
  • L160 Mobilising resources
  • L100 Define organisation, people, support requirements
Prerequisites (Finish-Finish):
  • R010   Foundation
  • R020   Statement of vision, objectives, do-wells
  • R050   Future business processes
  • R090   Organisational impact
  • D750   User procedures and
  • D730   Identify human and organisational issues
  • D740   Plan and activate human resources and organisational change
Dependent procedures (Start-Start):
  • live running


  • scope and business objectives of the project
  • detail of desired organisational changes
  • details of staff and managers involved
  • details of new systems and procedures


  • Training approach implementation paper
  • Skills /training profile matrix
  • Outline course /specifications
  • Tactical training plan
  • Training courses / materials
  • Training notes


  • Examples: Staff Management Skill Profiles
  • Examples: Staff User Skill Profiles
  • Example deliverables to be supplied
  • Example IP14 – User training
  • Training Schedule example
  • Vendor system functionality documentation


Effective user and management training delivers user and management capability to apply the system effectively to carry out business responsibilities.  For users and managers to be capable of doing so, they need to be both able and willing.  It is, therefore, crucial for any training programme preparation to consider both aspects and to address willingness as well as ability.
The diagram below summarises how this could be organised:
SIIPS Training Programme Preparation.PNG

Training needs analysis

The training needs analysis aims at identifying exhaustively what training is required for subsets of users to enable them to operate the new system effectively.  This information will form a basis for the definition of the training approach and the design of courses or modules to become part of the training programme.  
For training to be effective, it needs to enable people to use the system in a way that supports the business objectives.  To identify what system knowledge and business skills need to be covered in the training, two elements will be considered:
  • how does the system support the users to deliver business objectives?
  • what are the current skill and knowledge levels?
To obtain the correct information, the following analytical steps could be considered
  • what are the business objectives?
  • how do different (groups of ) people participate in the business processes to realise these objectives, i.e. which different business roles can be distinguished?
  • what are the critical contributions each business role needs to deliver, i.e. which do-wells apply to each business role?
  • how does the system contribute to the do-wells for each of the business roles?
  • which skills and knowledge are required for each business role to realise their do-wells and hence the system benefits?
The result will need to be compared with the existing skills and knowledge level for each business role.  By performing this gap analysis, the training needs for each business role will be identified.  This information is usually summarised in a skills/profile matrix.
It could be useful to consider different kinds of skills and knowledge at this point to ensure that there is a clear understanding of all training needs to enable users to realise the projected benefits of the system.  Some of the training needs could be non-system training (see R090).  How all these different training needs are met will need to be discussed with user management and a clear definition of responsibilities between the business and the project team might be required.
Typically a distinction is made between in-depth training and awareness training.  It is also useful to distinguish between keyboard training for end-users of the system and training of those people who use system outputs.  This will range from an operational output, such as a changed format of the picking list, to new management information and reports.  In some cases it could be useful to identify “prerequisite” training such as the need for all trainees to have attended a session on “how to use a PC”.
Training needs analysis work can usually draw upon work done during the requirements definition phase and will also benefit from linking in with D730 (identify human and organisational issues).
During the training needs analysis work , project team members will need to work closely with users to identify current skills and future skills needed.  Involving senior users and management in agreeing and signing-off the proposed skills matrix will build an early understanding of what training is needed.  The local diagnosis and local planning activities described in D740 could be a useful route to involve the business in the training needs analysis.

Training approach paper

Strategic options on how to meet the training needs as identified in the skills/profile matrix are defined in a training approach implementation paper.  The purpose of this paper is to define the needs and options, and to agree the preferred option.  It will need to be discussed with and signed off by user management.  Involving senior users and key sponsors in the development of this paper and thus building their understanding and commitment to the option chosen will influence the level of management support the training activity will experience at later stages in the training development and delivery.
This paper will document:
  • the general requirements for education and training as identified in the skills/profile matrix
  • the strategic options available
  • a recommended approach and justification of the choice
  • detailed discussion of key aspects.
This will require the following aspects to be considered:
  • the proposed delivery mechanism and selection guidelines:
    • eg  train-the-trainer cascade
    • CBT
    • self-study
    • individual coaching
  • the proposed training development & delivery approach
    • eg  in-house training development/delivery
    • outsourcing of training development
    • outsourcing of training delivery
    • off-the shelf training
  • identification of project team and business resource responsibilities
    • eg  links with existing training programmes and structures
    • required business sign-off
    • links with other business activities
    • composition of training team on project
  • link between the training approach and other project activities
    • eg  communication
    • procedure development
    • system development and changes.
It could be appropriate to combine the development of the skills/profile matrix and the training approach implementation paper and only publish one document instead of distinguishing two steps.  This will depend on:
  • the size of the project;
  • the number of different business roles affected and;
  • the importance the client organisation attaches to training.

Designing and planning training

The training needs analysis has identified:
  • which subjects (skills/knowledge) need to be covered in user training
  • which business roles require training and education
  • what subset of subjects is applicable to each business role.
To start designing and planning training, the subjects to be covered will be grouped into modules and courses. For each module or course a specification will be developed.  This will identify:
  • objectives of the module (i.e. skills/ knowledge covered);
  • key learning points;
  • training mechanism;
  • training duration;
  • content outline;
  • prerequisite skills;
  • targeted business roles.
To maximise the tie-in between the training modules and the business needs, it will be useful for user representatives, both inside and outside the project, to sign off the course modules.  Their review could focus on the following points:
  • tie-in with the business objectives
  • completeness of proposed content
  • tie-in with the agreed training approach
  • potential to integrate with ongoing training programmes after implementation.
In the case of large training programmes, consisting of multiple modules, the modules will be combined in a course programme for each business role.  A detailed tactical plan will then be worked out on the basis of numbers of people to be trained and the projected duration of each course.  The tactical plan may cover:
  • course development
  • set-up of the training environment
  • identification and mobilisation of trainers
  • course testing and updating
  • preparation of the users before training
  • invitation and booking of trainees
  • training delivery
  • attendance monitoring
  • sustaining the learning effort after training
  • handover.
These activities need to tie in with other project and business activities, more specifically
  • the timing of training attendance needs to take into account other business activities, e.g. seasonal activity levels, year-end figures;
  • other current or planned training programmes can support or be contradictory to the system implementation training;
  • e.g. operational staff training may become superfluous as the system will change the operations significantly;
  • training will be an essential tool to plan and activate human resources and organisational change (D740).  Both processes therefore need to plan and work in parallel.
Vendors sometimes have highly developed documentation, for example, provides documentation on a CD ROM or online.  By training the users on such specialised documentation will enable them, once you are gone, to reference information that might not otherwise be within the scope of the original training documentation.  Also, consult with others who have delivered training in given areas to find out concerns which might not be apparent.
The tactical plan will need to consider the interdependence between the training development process and a number of other processes that are happening simultaneously and could provide an input to the process or a mechanism to support the process.  It is particularly important to consider the links with:

  • D3xx-D6xx :
design / prototype / build tasks.
The training programme may be trying to hit a moving target.  The way in which the training needs pick up changes to the system’s detailed design should be considered.  The issues resolution process may be used if appropriate.
  • D750 :
prepare and instigate user procedures and manual/electronic information.
It will be essential to the training development that the developers are informed of what the user procedures are. Any changes to the procedures will need to be notified to the training developers and integrated in the training delivery
  • D800/810:
D800 – plan, prepare and conduct user/system/acceptance and integrated testing and D810 – plan, prepare and conduct technical tuning and volume testing
The outcome of the testing activities might determine whether training goes ahead or not as scheduled.  Any difficulties encountered before training will need to be notified to the trainers so that they can decide how to prepare the trainees for it.  Also, any difficulties experienced during training will need to be investigated and solved as appropriate.
  • D730   :
identify human and organisational issues.
The information gathered through this process will be useful to the trainers who will need to understand the user issues so that they can provide the right amount of time to deal with them.
  • D740   :  
plan and activate human resources and organisational change.      
The training activity will need to understand how the project addresses business, human and organisational issues so that they can involve users and managers in the training development and preparation process in a way that is consistent with the overall project approach.
  • D850   :
define and agree terms of reference for live user support activity
It would be appropriate for the training to give the trainees an overview of what level of support will be in place after implementation  and how they can gain access to it.

Course development and dry-run

During course development all materials necessary to run the course sessions will be developed. This includes:
  • tutor notes and presentation tools;
  • trainee materials;
  • case studies, examples, “war stories”;
  • training database and training system.
The course content will focus on maximising the users’ understanding of and skill to use the system in their day-to-day role.  The following techniques can help achieving this:
  • building the content around business scenario’s (e.g. a day in the life of);
  • tailoring of case studies to the audience;
  • balancing of lecturing with hands-on application;
  • comparison to current working practices and identification of benefits;
  • modelling of the proposed use of the system.
To increase the consistency between pre-training communication, training delivery and post-training support, the course development work can build on and refer to previous communications (e.g. system demonstrations) and could introduce the users to the support mechanisms that will be in place post training.  Ideally, a high level understanding of the benefits and how new system features and new ways of working with the technology are going to deliver those benefits should be acquired by the users before they receive hands-on training.
In system implementations, course development takes place while user procedures and the system are being developed.  As both provide crucial inputs to the training, it is useful to ensure clear and regular communication between team members working on these activities.  Any last minute changes to the system and/or procedures will need to be reflected in the training documentation and delivery.
Finally, course development will include the development of appropriate testing mechanisms allowing trainees and their management to identify whether they have acquired the necessary knowledge to carry out their jobs using the new system.  This may cover:
  • appraisal and comments forms,
  • tests during or at the end of the training sessions and
  • monitoring mechanisms once the system has gone live and users are applying the knowledge daily.
Before training is delivered to the users, it may be tested with a representative control group and updated/completed as appropriate.  The dry-run will typically focus on the following review points:
  • correctness of content: procedures, data, screens;
  • completeness of content – link with do-wells;
  • coherence of training programme;
  • effectiveness of delivery;
  • relevance of examples, case studies, tests;
  • quality of materials.
It is therefore necessary to involve business representatives (including people who have had no exposure to the system before) and people with an up-to-date knowledge of the system and procedure development in the dry-run.
Dry-runs will typically result in some review points which will require more or less correction and completion activity.  On large projects, to reduce the risk of massive completion effort, it is recommended to pilot a subset of training modules and organise dry-runs during course development to identify any overall corrections to the course delivery early on.  It could also prove useful to build subsets of the training material into the pre-training communication and update the materials / approach on the basis of feedback from users.
When several trainers run training sessions for different groups, each trainer will need to organise dry-run sessions to ensure that the training delivery meets the agreed minimum standards.  It also provides an opportunity to tailor certain aspects of the delivery (e.g. practical examples) to the specific audience of each trainer.

Mobilising trainers

The training plan will have identified what the requirement for trainers will be.  Usually a number of trainers are drawn from the project team.  In some cases however, additional trainers may be needed to deliver training just before implementation, either as project team members or as local experts working closely with the project team.
Each project will need to consider the following options:
  • involve professional in-house trainers;
  • use external training resources (e.g. vendor trainers);
  • involve business users to become local experts and train people within their departments.
The third option is in most cases the preferred option to ensure that the training is delivered in a way that is as relevant as possible to the business users and managers. Making the right resources available can however be a problem.  It is advisable to open this discussion with the business right up front and make it a subject of the training approach implementation paper.
On large projects, a mix of all three is likely to occur.  Whichever choice is made, a trainer profile will be defined, individuals identified and made available for training. Also, preparatory activities to ensure the people involved acquire all skills needed could be called for.  Typically three types of skills need to be taken into account:
  • training and presentation skills;
  • business knowledge;
  • IT proficiency.
A certain standard in each of those areas will be needed before the individuals can focus on how to run the user training sessions effectively.

Environment set-up

Environmental training elements include:
  • venues
  • equipment
  • databases.
In preparation for the training, sufficient rooms will need to be booked and equipped with the necessary equipment for system access.  Sufficient machine capacity to hold the training database and run training simultaneously will need to be built and installed.
The success of training and the credibility of the system rely on the system providing the necessary performance during training. It is hence crucial to
  • appropriately define these requirements;
  • test the training environment for functionality with the volumes of users being trained simultaneously;
  • agree service level agreements with system support to support the system during training; a high priority for this support is recommended.

Prepare, invite and book training attendees

The level and type of communication before training will influence both the length and the effectiveness of training sessions just before going live.
During course design and development, users can be prepared for the training by their management or by other users who are involved in the implementation. (see D740: Plan and activate human resources and organisational change).
The communication effort will typically focus on :
  • the expected benefits from the system for each business role;
  • practical examples, demos, screen shows of how the system supports business tasks;
  • purpose of training – importance of attendance;
  • support available after training;
  • visibility of management support for the training effort.
By managing user expectations and focusing each business role on specific benefits before the training session, users will have an understanding of how the system fits in with their job and are likely to be more interested in acquiring system knowledge and skills to use it.
A specific preparation activity will be needed when not all training attendees have the necessary pre-requisite skills to attend the proposed system training.  For example, users who have insufficient keyboard skills might need training before attending system training. How this is organised will need to be agreed with user management (see D740 Plan and activate human resources and organisational change).
Booking and inviting training attendees is an effort that should not be underestimated and requires close contact with user management to:
  • ensure that the right individuals are identified for each business role and hence course(s);
  • resolve any schedules that conflict with other activities at user level (e.g. holidays);
  • follow-up on booking problems;
  • detailed joining instructions reach every attendee before training;
  • agree and set-up monitoring mechanism for training attendance:
  • ensure adequate service levels in user departments while trainees are attending courses

Deliver training and monitor training attendance

During the training sessions, users will raise issues and questions.  A mechanism to follow up on unresolved issues or questions will need to be in place and resource will need to be available to find the correct answers and ensure the person who raised the query obtains the answer.  Project-related issues may be dealt with using the project’s issues resolution mechanism.
Users who have been unable to attend will need to be contacted and rescheduled on other sessions.  Involving senior management up front in booking people on the courses should reduce this risk and hence the overall training cost.
Finally, after successfully attending training, users will need to receive the necessary access rights to log on and use the system at the time it goes live.  The training delivery could be a convenient time to pass the necessary information to the trainee.   It might also be used as a strict control so that only trained users are allowed to access the system.  Alternatively other mechanisms will need to be used to distribute the necessary ID’s and passwords.
Sustain and handover
To build on the output from the training effort, two elements will need to managed:
  • continuing the learning effort after training;
  • building the system training into the organisational training structure and approach.
To continue the learning effort after training, mechanisms should be put in place to support and encourage users to learn. The following options could be considered:
  • on-line help;
  • reinforcement computer-based training (CBT);
  • assistance, coaching by local trainers/local experts;
  • electronic or paper-based user guides.
Once the users have become accustomed to the system, they will develop personalised ways of obtaining information and processing transactions.  It could be beneficial for the organisation to review how different users operate the system and then identify best practices which could be introduced to all users through reinforcement training.
This requires a structure and resources to be available after the project has ended.  Indeed, the following ongoing responsibilities need to be handed over:
  • competence testing and catch-up training for users who have not acquired sufficient knowledge during training;
  • training for new joiners / people who change jobs, get promoted etc;
  • maintenance / update of training materials.

Key senior management responsibilities

To build and maintain senior management support for the training effort needed from them and their staff, it is essential to involve them from the start in agreeing and developing the training approach.  The following activities are all opportunities for them to be involved and demonstrate their support:
  • sign-off the training approach;
  • sign-off the course /module specifications;
  • agreeing and signing off the training plan;
  • communication to and motivation of users before training;
  • mobilisation of and communication to trainers;
  • monitoring training attendance;
  • identifying and implementing catch-up and ongoing training requirements and approaches.
How this regular involvement can be organised and managed is described in D740.

Measuring training effectiveness

Training will only be effective if it enables users to deliver the benefits once the right technology is implemented.  This will need to be tested at different moments during the training activity.
Typically we can distinguish three types of tests:
  • before training takes place.
    • This test assesses how well people perform against the “do-wells” of their business role before training.
  • during or at the end of training.
    • This test assesses how well people have understood the training and how well they can apply it in a training environment.
  • after the system has been implemented.
    • This test measures how well people are performing against the do-wells after having been trained to use the system and applying it as a tool for their day-to-day job.

To carry out effective tests, it may be crucial to agree as part of the training strategy (at a high level) and in the course/module outlines what the critical measures are that will be used to control how the training effort contributes to the realisation of the business benefits and how this measurement will be organised.

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