Performance Support

Contextual Help



Why Good Training Is Necessary for IT Projects

The goal is always to make software so simple that training isn’t required. Unfortunately, that’s a reality never achieved, especially regarding technology. Even Google, the simplest website on the internet, requires some training to use it fully.

Yes, behind the simplicity of a home page with only a search box and a button, there are infinite possibilities for searching with modifiers and more. Even Apple’s software requires training and help. That’s why you’ll find they’re pushing more and more the tips app, which is essentially microlearning (it should be called microtraining) and teaches you how to do things with Apple’s software.

This is an example of Apple’s Tips app on iOS.

If you want to think about generations (training for generations isn’t so great of a tactic), you’d think that younger generations coming into the workplace don’t need technology training. They get it because they grew up with computers and the internet, right?


The fact is, generations have nothing to do with how tech-savvy employees are. What determines their tech-savviness is how much they like or have used tech. I know some 60-year-olds who can outmaneuver an 18-year-old on the computer.

I know that’s not conclusive data because it’s just my experience, but it does tell you something. Technology isn’t easy for everyone, and not everyone gets it, whether you grew up with it or not.

Instagram does not equal company technology.

No matter how simple an application is, it’s never easy enough to require no training. That’s why customer software training is nearly always essential for company technology. Somebody has to make sure employees are ready to use corporate technology effectively.

Not Just New IT Project Launches

It’s not just new technology that needs training for your company’s digital transformation. Employees who are onboarding still need the same training for custom company software. Sometimes, performance issues crop up with a certain task, which could require a training intervention.

All these requirements for training can be difficult to maintain, especially if you’re relying on in-person or even virtual instructor-led training.

We worked on a project for training on a procurement system that was previously virtual instructor-led training (vILT). When we went through deep analysis and converted the vILT session to eLearning, it effectively saved every employee at least 30 minutes and the organization tens of thousands of dollars yearly.

It continues to do so to this day.

That’s why self-paced training, aka eLearning, is so helpful. It can be available whenever an employee needs it. But what happens when no training is available, and job shadowing is the only strategy for onboarding employees to get up to speed at a new job?

If there’s a structured training program for shadowing, then it may go well. But what I see too much is that it’s a random pairing with another employee. This happens while the employee still needs to hit their benchmarks while training. That’s a recipe for disaster.

It becomes a situation where the new employee watches while someone quickly goes through their job without explaining anything. Or worse, they teach their shadow poor ways of doing things or incorrect information entirely.

That means the new person feels overwhelmed and has very little recourse to pick up the job properly. They either pick it up slowly with great stress or leave the job. That leads to high turnover, which isn’t good for any organization, even if the role is expected to have high turnover.

Too many leave those jobs, which is why, without proper training, high turnover will constantly plague the organization without good digital training to mitigate high turnover.

Not having proper training, especially technical training, is at the root of that. That’s because people learning a job aren’t all inherently comfortable with technology, especially custom company technology that everyone does not commonly know.

So, not just new technology launches need good training. A good IT department will never launch a project without a proper change management plan, including initial and ongoing training. That’s because technical project managers and change managers who do their job well foresee the need to bring training into every technology project.

The IT departments that don’t have a good training strategy for their projects are those with a bad reputation in the organization. Why do you think all the shows are based on bad IT departments and support?

Those nightmare stories and shows aren’t far from reality if IT doesn’t plan for proper launch and ongoing support.

A Match Made in Heaven

Training and IT go together well. That’s because a lot of IT projects come out that have a broad effect on the entire organization. That and employees aren’t always willing or understand the changes. They don’t know how to get through them. There’s a lot to learn when IT launches new technology.

All of these changes take a lot of change management. Communication and training are two huge parts of managing change in an organization. Communication can handle a certain amount of messaging and let people know things are coming, but communication isn’t training.

If employees need to know then it’s communication, if they need to do then it’s training.

That’s why training is necessary. It’s where the value of technology is either made or falls flat. They will fail without employees fully on board and skilled in the new system.

IT brings innovation and better ways to work and do things in the organization. Training provides the best way to use it and helps people make the best of the innovations.

What value does training bring to IT?

It will likely fail without proper training and support for tech launches that employees across an organization use. Employees won’t know how to use the technology right, will make mistakes, and IT risks having to roll back changes or have a failure on their hands. For an IT department to have to move backward, that’s never a good look.

Beyond just a single project, technical training can bring much value to IT and cost savings to the organization. When people encounter new technology issues, their first instinct is to call the help desk for support. For employees who haven’t been provided sufficient training, that’s exactly what they will do.

That means the IT help desk will be overwhelmed trying to keep up frantically. There will be too many questions to help everyone. The help desk then becomes a one-on-one training solution, the most inefficient way of training employees.

Not to mention, helpdesk employees are trying to keep up, which means they’re rushing. That means rushing calls, delivering subpar support, and needing to hire more staff unnecessarily. Good training can reduce help desk calls and save the organization money.

So, proper employee training brings a lot of value and advantages to IT and the entire organization. Here are a few of the benefits of properly trained employees:

  • Save money on fewer help desk staff.
  • Increases adoption of new systems.
  • Improve satisfaction with the IT department overall.
  • Decreases employee turnover due to lack of support.

The average IT help desk technician’s yearly salary is $47,706 in the United States, according to Salary.com.

If one course could prevent the need to hire one of these positions over the year, then that would mean savings of more than $47k! And yes, one course can take enough help desk calls off the books for the year to add to more than one position or possibly more.

That means help desk technicians can spend more valuable time on what they’re supposed to spend time on, solving problems instead of training employees. Digital training solutions are a much more efficient way of helping employees and empowering them to help themselves.

A Course Over a Class

But you could send out a trainer to train employees or hold classes to train them. For small jobs, that may work, but it’s an inefficient tactic at scale. Synchronous training is difficult to do effectively because it takes so much time, is hard to organize, and is difficult to get everyone to drop everything simultaneously.

Most virtual or live classes take at least an hour to cover the same material a self-paced course can accomplish in 30 minutes. But sometimes, staff needs to be able to ask questions.

That’s where office hours are extremely helpful. Give employees with questions the opportunity to call into a dedicated meeting time where experts can answer questions. They can be optional, held less often, and allow employees to ask questions one-on-one.

That’s why training employees in technology through self-paced courses and performance support is often the most effective training for corporate technology. Courses are almost consistently better for technical training than classes, even if certain courses require separately scheduled office hours.

Whatever way you look at things, good training helps tech projects succeed over the alternative of little to no training. That’s a difficult fact to argue with. Training makes projects run more efficiently, increases adoption, reduces call center calls, and is great for IT’s overall reputation.

How can training bring even more value to IT?

Even though technical training is essential to the value of IT, there’s always more the training department can do. IT needs to be closely aligned with the overall business goals. Otherwise, the value that IT brings won’t be aligned with business goals and won’t be as valuable as it could be.

Just as IT must align with business goals, technical training must align with the business goals, too, rather than only aligning with IT. That means training will have even more value than if it is aligned with IT goals only. That’s because sometimes some information gets lost in translation between the two goals.

During our training design process, we always ensure we know your organization’s and IT goals. Those help direct a meaningful training solution that targets solving the right problem and assisting employees to adapt to changes.

With proper alignment, all training, even for technology, will effectively help employees with changes and help align IT and their projects with the organization’s overall goals. That’s how training can maximize value to IT and the organization.

Wrap Up

No matter how hard we try, a few things will be simple enough never to need training. Any time the assumption or goal is that technology will be so simple it doesn’t require training, it fails. That’s because there are different levels of comfort and skill among employees, even in the most tech-savvy organizations. Everyone is at a different level, so one person’s so simple to use without training is another person’s difficult to use and not gonna do it.

Training helps employees with company technology and provides ongoing support for employees. With well-built training, employees will have fewer issues adapting to digital transformation. That will allow newly hired employees to learn their jobs easier and be more productive quickly. When new employees are properly trained, it reduces turnover and makes them a lot happier in their jobs overall.

Nobody likes feeling overwhelmed and unsupported in their job.

That’s why bringing IT together with good corporate technical training is so important. Techstructional was founded with that mission in mind: delivering great corporate technical training for technology projects and making that available to every organization.

Every project manager and change manager in IT should consider the need for training. If it’s on your mind and you’d like to discuss it with an expert, schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your next technology project.

Leave a Comment