Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Helping Hand

I want to present the following challenge: you have a group of people who have to learn a new technology. Despite going through training, some of these people are having difficulties and are complaining loudly about the system. You decide that it would be helpful to offer sessions at which they can get their questions answered so that they'll know how to use the system. Seems great, right? It would be, but no one shows up. They complain about not being able to use the system but won't participate in the opportunities offered to solve the problem.

I have a theory, totally unfounded on anything but my own observation, that the reason people aren't attending our follow-up training sessions is that they don't really want to learn the new system because then they'd have no excuse not to use it. Right now, they can claim ignorance as a reason for using shortcuts to get around having to do their work with the technology the way we want them to. Perhaps this ought to be a corollary to Mooer's Law - that training opportunities will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome for a user to know how to use something than for him or her not to know.

Of course knowing that doesn't solve the immediate problem of how we provide training to people who don't seem to want it.

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