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Making it Stick

It is not infrequently that we find new processes and systems not used because people just flat forgot the training they received in implementation. In a Computerized Maintenance Management System or Enterprise Asset Management System, this can manifest itself in the months or even years after a new implementation: missing equipment histories, mischarging time and materials, or even lack of work orders.

Problem is in the implementation, not the system

Sophisticated (and expensive!) systems can fail to meet expectations because of how they were implemented. Force fit as much as one can squeeze into a couple hours of training, set up a help desk and call it good…not!

Providing training but no effort to ensure that learners will apply what they have learned is the height of professional malpractice. This starts with the content of the training. It must be designed with a specific objective in mind. “When you complete this class, you will be able to…..” This is very different from some training classes that included how to customize your personal screen design, display your calendar, and set up email notices…when the real need was just to generate a work order.

The person delivering the training is important. While an IT person is most familiar with the entry screens, they can have a hard time answering trainee questions about specific situations unique to the workgroup. The best, most credible resource is a trainer picked from the employee population, supported by the IT person (i.e., train the trainer approach).

The training should include live examples the class can work through. This helps make the content of the training more relevant for the trainees and boost motivation. When they return to their area, they can see the product of their efforts.

Not all people learn well in a classroom, even with live examples. They learn in the live situation, hands on, applying the mechanics covered in the classroom. This is where implementation coaching is critical.

A system knowledgeable person (one of those trained trainers) goes into the workplace with each trainee to work the process in their work area, on their equipment, on their shift. This method can reap benefits beyond just the task execution. It will identify and deal with any barriers impeding each trainee from performing the task, like poor access or missing equipment.

A Good Implementation Demonstrates Benefit

Implementation coaches, working with line management, keep trainees motivated to apply what they have learned and show them the benefit to applying the learning. This is most applicable in using process and system data to make decisions and solve problems. The data can be structured to prioritize problems and perform root-cause analysis. The coaches guide the workgroups through the entire process, demonstrating the benefits of root-cause analysis.

When trainees are trained and coached, witnessing the benefits of the process, the learning is reinforced. They have a stronger buy-in ensuring compliance, sustaining the process for the long run…all of which is covered in our copyrighted Mobilization method.


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