Implementing Your Solution
How can you smoothly and effectively implement a wide scale solution once you've selected the best one for your organizations? Here are some tenets we've formulated as we've helped dozens of clients in a variety of industries successfully implement TrainingForce:
- Plan for your Data. If you are transitioning from an existing system, be sure you establish a plan to convert or import that data into your system. Your provider should be able to help you create a "road map" with milestones and recommendations as you move towards your implementation date.
- Establish a temporary (pilot or trial) site for at least 1-2 weeks before your "live" implemention date. Select a small but trusted group of users to test various setups and give the implementation team feedback.
- Get management involved. No program will succeed without management's backing and involvement. A consultant can help, but management's support is essential if the company has to change its culture.
- Learn how to coach and counsel. It's not enough to know how to issue commands; you need to know how to help people perform better, while still holding them accountable to the standard.
- Proceed with caution with incentive programs. Incentives can bring tremendous rewards, but only if you have a solid program in place. Before you start using your LMS as the basis for an incentive program, make sure you have a realistic baseline for standards so you're not paying incentives for substandard work. You can always add an incentive component later.
- Don't take shortcuts when engineering the data and implementation standards. Without a good setup and good data, it's garbage in, garbage out.
- Make sure you choose software that accommodates your company's engineering standards. If your company's culture centers on individual performance, you don't want to be locked into a system that's geared more for teams. Look for a system that can accommodate multiple standards.
- Keep it simple. Resist the urge to set up a system that requires a "super user"—supervisors will be interacting with the system daily.
- Don't set the bar too high at the outset. Take your time and do a slow but steady implementation. Simply put, establish a schedule for implementing the key features you want, and take the time to get each of them deployed correctly.
- Don't forget to factor in fatigue. There will likely be a lot of hours involved in a successful implementation. When building standards, remember to allow for what's known as personal fatigue and delay (PF&D).
- Don't stint on the data collection. The more information you can get, the more precisely you'll be able to track what people are doing and the more you'll get out of your system.