I visited a small firm recently and was quite surprised how much I could help them with their computer skills. We’d started with a Training Needs Analysis to see what they already knew and it became apparent that the staff requiring training all needed to start with basics. I found that even ‘the Expert’ who everyone else ran to with problems would benefit from the Basics course, so I agreed to run a one day onsite course.
Usually people veer from one extreme or another with training – they tell me they are complete luddites who know nothing or they over-estimate their knowledge of the package in question, assuming that because they use it day in, day out, they must be fairly competent. Well, we all know what assumptions make! I’m really keen on spending time on the knowledge assessment process because then you’re only spending time and money on learning skills you need and will benefit from.
I remember (many years ago) providing a Microsoft Project training course for two delegates who worked for a huge public sector employer. Their employer had not done any TNA process, but booked the pair onto the course, which was incredibly useful for people managing large projects. Microsoft Project software allows you to manage, track and organise a project effectively. The delegates seemed mystified why they had been ‘sent’ and said they did not manage projects and did not have the software on their PCs. Eventually after much debate they decided their employer was trying to ‘spend the budget’ before the financial year end!
I give you this example because it’s not helpful to train staff on software they will never use, and indeed even on parts of software they will never need to use. But it’s invaluable to find out what is in these programmes which people in different roles will use, once they’ve been shown how.
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