3 Components of a Modern IT Training Plan


By Amy Edwards, November 1, 2017

Do you need a solution that helps everyone work more effectively without expensive custom training?

Employees are the most expensive asset in an organization. That also means they are the most valuable when they are using their work tools efficiently.  How do you train employees to use digital tools?  Introducing new digital technology is great; however, challenges occur when driving digital adoption. As they say, old habits are tough to break.

Creative solutions with Microsoft are at the fingertips of every business user in Office 365.  Business users have never had more capability to build better business solutions to streamline their organization if they are using Office 365.  Chances are you have tools available to build the processes and procedures that could streamline your organization, if you knew how to use them.  Innovative training solutions can unlock the creative potential of every individual using Microsoft platforms including Office 365 and Azure.  You can provide the right training, for the right people with three components of modern IT training.

Conduct an Inventory of IT Assets

The digital age bombards everyone with the endless updates for iPhones, computers and tablets.  Ignoring updates eventually leaves devices vulnerable to viruses and obsolescence.  The pace of change means we all need a simple easy way to keep up with capabilities and a way to find the information we need quickly.

A group of corporate training officers recently reviewed on-demand IT videos that help build business solutions in Office 365. The simple SharePoint workflow solutions were met with incredulous expressions and comments including, “I didn’t know I could do that.” People are busy and it feels like there is no time to learn a new capability.  However, a modern and innovative approach to IT training can offer training that fits everyone’s schedule.

Office 365 includes the tools we all know, love and overuse.  First and foremost, we all love Outlook for our email and calendar needs. Word, PowerPoint and Excel are the workhorses of our modern work environment.  Have you learned about new tools that can drive business efficiencies?  Did you know that Office 365 includes: SharePoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Skype for Business, Yammer, Groups and Teams, Video Portal, Delve and Sway?

It’s easy to figure out what capabilities an organization would like to use more frequently.  Quick questions can help assess how you can find low-hanging training opportunities to drive better business solutions.

Microsoft Tools Available

  1. What tools did the IT Department make available from your licensing agreement?
  2. What are the primary tools used by your organization?

Application Features

  1. Do people know the capability of the tools they don’t use?
  2. Do people use each tool to the fullest capacity?

How do you Find Information?

  1. How do people find information about using new features in the tools?
  2. How much time do people spend looking for information about new features?

What do people like or dislike and the IT environment?

  1. Ask people what they like and don’t change it if you don’t have to.
  2. Ask people what they dislike about working in the IT environment. With targeted training, this can be easy and low-hanging fruit to fix.
  3. Ask people what they need to do their job better?

Now you are ready to determine what Microsoft assets are available that people just don’t know how to use.  A modern approach to training incorporates three components: On-demand training, Contextual Support and Instructor Led Training. We know resources are limited and learning styles are unique to each employee.  Give your employee a choice of solutions for their current situation, be it available time, project time line or learning style.


Step 1:  On Demand Training

Desktop training for an employee should be accessible all the time and easily integrated or embedded into a work environment.  On demand training through micro video offerings can shorten the learning curve while improving adaption and consistency across the organization. Training from the convenience of the employees work space, or even from home, makes everyone more productive.

Finally, training tools delivered at the desk quickly introduce new concepts in the time available to busy employees which enables them to grow professionally and become more valuable to the whole organization.


 Step 2:  In Context Support

These days, people want to quickly search and find the answer to a question. Self-Service solutions deliver innovative answers where people work. In-Context support delivers innovated answers where knowledge workers do business. This enables people to stop searching and focus on delivering creative solutions.

Learn while you work.  Let’s be honest.  There is a vocabulary gap between IT Pros and business users. Help desk managers can entertain themselves for hours with stories of business users who didn’t know how to ask the proper question to solve the problem.  Contextual search surfaces the information based on the cursor location and offers the most likely help solutions. This results in reduced search time and fewer help desk calls, making everyone happier!


Step 3:  Instructor Led Training

Everyone started their learning journey in the classroom.  This tried and true method is still needed today. Isolating time to learn and train is still the best way to learn about new technology and capabilities.  Instructor led training allows people to ask questions, explore the “What if” and time to practice what is being taught.  Best of all, time is isolated so that students can dedicate themselves to learning something new.  Instructor led training comes in two forms these days; in the classroom or online.  Picking the one that best suites travel budgets and personal schedules has never been easier.  Private training makes it even easier to customize and implement exactly what the training teams need most.

Labs build confidence. As kids, we all learned how to measure, pour and build in the sand box.  The same is true in an IT environment. Hands-on labs become the virtual sand box and allow students to expand confidence and test ideas to build better business solutions.  Public training offers affordable access to a wide variety of skill levels, one-seat at a time.  Private training enables learning and discussion on the skills that matter the most to your team.


Different Methods, Same Best Practices

Have you ever finished a class and felt like you forgot everything you just learned?  Applying multiple learning methods offers reinforcing learning material. Sometimes you just need a little reminder and then you are back in business.

People across an organization have different learning needs. Therefore, a modern approach to IT training should incorporate instructor-led training, self-service solutions and on-demand videos. Small investments in the right training can lead to business solutions with the incredible efficiency results you need the most. This approach is most effective if all learning methods apply the same quality instruction any way people train.



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