Create a Self-Sustaining Support Environment
A major part of the strategy is to get organisations to the point where they can support their own ongoing training. This is particularly important where the organisation uses a system that is undergoing regular updates.
The principle is to disseminate system expertise down through a group of super-users (or an equivalent) to the users of the system. This approach encourages users to resolve their issues locally as much as possible, only escalating serious problems or configuration issues to central teams.
A core part of this strategy is training a group of users (Superusers etc) in the skills required to maintain and deliver the training programme for their area. They will then be charged with using their newly developed skills to disseminate their knowledge down through their teams so that more of the user community can be involved in issue resolution. This network can also be used to support changes in the system.
Peer Support Networks
Peer support networks not only reduce the “how-to” requests significantly on the Service Desks, but they also build user confidence, cohesion and community-based learning culture.
The benefits of this are significant, from data integrity, user innovation through to Super-User succession planning.
The key to success is the identification of the personnel to drive this network. We believe the following attributes should be considered during the selection process:
- Be a volunteer
- Have personal confidence (just enough)
- Be patient
- Have good listening skills
- Demonstrable public speaking skills
- A willingness to help
- Have the ability to empathise
- Demonstrate good problem-solving abilities
Following this selection, there may be a need to enrol this network on a Train the Trainer (TTT) program.
The Peer-Support Network may be managed by an internal or external change team as part of new system implementation, but it is important that the ownership and management of this is transferred to capable and motivated staff following the go-live of the system. This will ensure ongoing success. A number of LMS (Learning Management Systems) have Social/Community Learning capabilities that can support this process. (For example – Knowledge Bases, Forums, etc.)
Application support programs can form a key factor in this model, whether it is a formal system such as Oracle’s Guided Learning or Walk-Me, or a less technological solution such as a searchable collection of step-by Step job aids…