Organizations can be very good at identifying category management reporting needs, getting the required reports developed and set up for the organization to view. Where organizations tend to fall short is in the ongoing training for new and lapsed users as well as ensuring the ongoing relevance of the available reports. So, what can an organization to do to ensure that they do not fall into this trap and waste valuable time and resources? There are two key areas to consider in this process:
Ensure a solid launch
In order to gain the visibility required to break through the day-to-day work within an organization this really needs to be something that grabs the potential audience. It should speak to them about how the new tools will make their work tasks easier, take away a little bit of the pain and give them additional time to spend on more important things like developing new strategies aimed at more efficient product launches or better promotional activity.
Develop a reasonable and relevant curriculum for the intended audience. Will you be working with the executive team, marketing, finance, sales? Each of these groups has a different set of needs with respect to a reporting system and you need to recognize this in your training plan. Make the training relevant to the audience.
Include case studies or exercises. This is key to getting people into the new system and having them see its relevance to their regular tasks. Some of the most successful training that I have been a part of has included both exercises and case studies that provide the audience with something they can take back and use in their business right away. Helping someone get a head start on an annual brand or sales review is a great way to incorporate new tools and reports into the organization – plus, you get the added benefit of everyone at least starting from the same spot on a review. Don’t forget to work through these exercises yourself so that you can answer any questions that come up – you are the expert on this subject.
Plan the training time with balance of information download, exercises and (tightly scheduled) breaks. You want to keep the audience engaged in the training.
When you book the training make certain you have the right amount of time in the plan. You want to be certain that there is enough time to cover the material, with questions, for the size of the audience without dragging through things out. You will want to keep the training interesting and upbeat. Consider throwing in some quick questions throughout the training and handing out a small prize for answers – you would be surprised at how this can break the ice and get an audience more engaged.
Lastly, follow up with the new users after the training. A quick email to remind them of a time saving tip or how to use a report will help to ensure a longer retention of what they learned in the training.