One of the key responsibilities for CIOs and their IT departments is to research, introduce and maintain technology tools to empower the business with competitive advantage. Those exhaustive, time-consuming efforts are done in vain if users fail (or refuse to try) to understand how to use the new software or platforms and revert to “doing it the way we’ve always done it.”

Vinit Kohli is VP of MIS at Sibcy Kline Inc.

With every technology rollout, IT teams should consider business objectives, stakeholder buy-in, budgetary expectations, time constraints and required project resources.

However, the biggest reason for technology project failures is the lack of user adoption on the technology, or worse, not knowing how to use the technology most effectively.

Microsoft, for example, has done extensive research on user adoption on the Microsoft Office technology tools and has found users who consider themselves proficient with the software are only utilizing 10 percent of the Office products’ capabilities. Microsoft is aware of this and now is helping the businesses to help educate the users to learn the tools and increase the software knowledge to help employee productivity.

There are some critical components to include when implementing end user technology training.

  1. Communication is key

From the project’s onset, it’s imperative to be in constant contact on the end goals, implementation time lines and eventually the rollout of the technology tools. This is essential to prepare users for organization and operational changes for users. They need time to plan accordingly.

  1. Assess current knowledge levels

Knowing your audience is essential. Today’s workforce is more mobile and more tech savvy than people in IT give credit. Consumerizarion of IT has meant that users are sometimes more proficient in technology tools than we in IT are willing to admit. Again, Office 365 tools are an example. Employees, particularly younger hires and Millennials, often know the technology better than IT resources. That means the CIO’s responsibility is to encourage and provide more opportunities for the IT resources to be training on the technologies before technology is introduced to end users.

  1. Level the playing field

It is imperative when rolling out new solutions across an organization that everyone has some level of understanding on the new tool’s functionality. Training for every staff member from entry level to upper management should be required so everyone knows the importance of the end user training.

Up next: Training and empowering the mobile workforce