Conference Notes

Share2011 – I am Finishing These Mints and Leaving If This Training Doesn't Improve!! (Veronique Palmer, Lets Collaborate)

Veronique Palmer from Lets Collaborate is talking about effective end user training for SharePoint. Key points:
– The standard of training for SharePoint is really dodgy – all around the world. But it’s not just training for SharePoint – training in general is really bad.
– Adult education is different from educating children. You’ll have three personality types – “I’m here because I have to be,” “It’s a nice break from real work,” and “I already know this, I’ll just share what I know.”
– … For it to work – they have to see the link between training and performance, they have to admit weakness, and choose to be there.
– … 92% of what we spend on training each year is not tracked back to ROI.
– … Or if you buy into the training, executives don’t want the change.
– … Only 1% of people will make any change after training.

– Now about SharePoint …
– … You need to budget for SharePoint training. It will be your highest expense apart from hardware. It will be an ongoing cost year-on-year. Veronique says that budgeting from a central place in the organization is the best approach.
– … Internal training is usually better, because it can be targeted to your organization. For external training, don’t have lots of different training providers, otherwise the messages will be very different. But some issues for onsite too – going out for a meeting, catching up on email, etc.
– … Classroom training is better than online training. It takes a special type of business user to go through online training. Small classes are best – less than 10 people.
– … Survey people about the training … and look at the trend over time. Follow-up with your students, if they write comments.
– … Provide food at the training.

– Content:
– … Align your training with goverance rules. Make them best practices; it’s easier to make it part of the work.
– … Don’t train business people and technical people at the same time.
– … Support different learning styles.
– … Train the trainers – Site Collection Administrations and Site Owners, and then let them go out and train their teams. This will enable you to spread the knowledge around the company.
– … Explain the “why” with real-world examples.
– … You can’t train beginners about any enterprise features – content types, workflow, etc. It’s far too much. Train beginners on the easy things.
– … Don’t make it too long. Five days of end user training back-to-back is a really bad idea.
– … There is a new exam 77-886 for end user training. It requires a knowledge of enterprise features to pass (dash boarding, KPIs, etc.)
– … You’ll need a support system in place, for the questions that come up.

Veronique also talked about some best practices (timing the training, make it about SharePoint in *your* company, look after the people who want to move quickly, do it right and change lives).