How to Boost Your Productivity with Process-Based Training

PLM Process-Based Training

When you’re dealing with an entirely new way of working, how do you efficiently and effectively organize a training program so it doesn’t cause enormous downtime?

That’s the challenge facing many organizations as they implement a modern PLM system. After all, training can be time-consuming and distract from day-to-day tasks. And that’s a tremendous concern for engineering leaders and PLM program managers.

The drawbacks of feature-based training. The problem lies with training focused on software features. When a training program emphasizes features, users are learning about the software in a vacuum, with no context for using the tools in a way that ties back to business practices and goals.

It’s routine for companies to organize their training based on the tools they need their users to learn, teaching them about menus, buttons, and other aspects of the software. As a result, many users are not immediately productive after training because they need to figure out how to apply the training to their jobs and to the business processes that impact them.

Delivering training in context. Process-based training, on the other hand, provides situational training that empowers users to immediately understand how PLM software is relevant to their tasks – and how to use it to achieve their goals.

For example, let’s say the goal is for a graphic designer to modify product documentation. The process is to capture needed changes, create and store the project, and update the documentation. Along the way, the document author and editor will be involved.

By dissecting the process in this way, the training leader can determine which aspects of the software are relevant to the users, and can focus the training on using the software to modify documentation.

The users won’t necessarily know that they’re using different software tools or different aspects of the software throughout the process. That’s the beauty of process-based training – it allows users to focus on the task at hand rather than the software being used to accomplish the task. This provides users with more motivation to invest in the training. Just as important, they can be more productive as soon as they have completed their training.

The first step to delivering this type of training is to understand the business goals. The next step is analyzing and documenting relevant business processes and determining how the new software supports those processes.

Next, the organization needs to align the documented processes with user roles and subdivide these into appropriate training. The final step is to develop the required course content, keeping the following in mind:

  • Every training topic needs a clear statement of purpose – what are we doing and why?
  • Supporting points need to be clearly stated and identifiable.
  • Whenever possible, topics should include graphics that support the main point to make it more memorable for visual learners.

By focusing the training program on a process flow sub-divided by roles, organizations help users quickly grasp the relevance of the training. The training zeroes in on helping users use the software to accomplish their daily business practices, activities, and tasks.

Any time an organization introduces a new software tool, processes can and likely will change somewhat. But by framing training in the context of business processes rather than focusing on software features, companies can dramatically reduce the learning curve for their users and minimize the productivity dip.

About Steve Riegel

Learning Consultant at PTC, specializing in Service Lifecycle Management, with a focus on Technical Information Development and Management.
This entry was posted in Best Practices, Strategy, Strategy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How to Boost Your Productivity with Process-Based Training

  1. NacNac says:

    Hello
    I can agree more than training based on user’s real life are more efficient. However, small companies will struggle with process based training. As far as I know a consultant will never be able to provide efficient process based training due to its lack of knowledge of the company. Of course the consultant can spend time to learn more about the company and create those type of training but at what cost. Especially that once the training is done such documentation will hardly be used in the future (in comparison to the Go Live period).

    It would be interesting to know the cost of traditional training and how long it takes for the preparation to get the user trained vs cost of process based training.

    I think we all agree on the benefit of the process based training in an ideal world but for small companies (less than 2000 employees in discrete manufacturing), the process based training may take for too long to prepare and depending who is preparing it may not either delivery what is expected. Also not all users need too much time to figure out how to apply the training to their jobs.

    Another aspect not mentioned here (but I guess it is about process based training and not training in general) is mentoring. Traditional training which are quick and easy to delivery can be very efficient if followed by mentoring.

    What do you think ?

    Best regards

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