Lesson LearnedBy Baselinemag | Posted 2007-06-14 Print
The manufacturer of clinical diagnostic instruments rolled out new software, but employees did not know how to use it. A new lesson plan made the difference.
For its most recent training initiative, which began several years ago and is ongoing, Dade Behring selected OnDemand Personal Navigator from OnDemand Software, the King of Prussia, Pa.- based division of Global Knowledge. "OnDemand Personal Navigator served as the backbone of the end-user support solution to the different business areas and customers," Magagna explains.
OnDemand Personal Navigator, a synchronized platform, supports all phases of a software rollout project life cycle from blueprinting, design, configuration, testing, simulation and documentation, to training and ongoing learning support. Its complementary product, OnDemand Knowledge Pathways, rounds out the solution with a content/knowledge repository to manage training materials.
The platform enables developers to create content in multiple languages, an essential feature for a global company such as Dade Behring. It also delivers multiple types of output as required by each member of the project team for each phase of the project life cycle. "All of the training materials are role-specific, providing users with just the information they need to know to get their job done," says Diane Seghposs, an OnDemand spokeswoman. These outputs include business process documents, test scripts, simulations, training manuals and performance support.
Perhaps the platform's most important feature, Magagna says, is that it enables companies to drive change management and achieve organizational readiness. "With a single functional group, we were able to use one solution to spearhead the company initiative of training the end users and deploying the new system," he says. "We set as our goal, effective and efficient training material. And we drove standards throughout the instructional design cycle, from assessment to evaluation. All work procedures, training and documentation going forward were to be version-controlled and quality-certified."
Typically, end users start the learning process with live instructors in a training facility, which can be situated either at a customer site or at an OnDemand location. "Training events occur at multiple sites at the same time," Magagna explains. From there, end users continue their education virtually, accessing the software from the Internet or downloading it to their desktops. Content developers also receive a disk as part of the training process for developing content. The end users train through OnDemand, and do not receive disks.
In each functional business area, Dade Behring has an "expert user" in place who can help users get up to speed on the system, brief them on systems changes, work with new hires, and help users execute a particular function that is integral to their jobs. "As an example," Magagna says, "someone in manufacturing might use the platform to learn about ordering, consuming and restocking raw material with electronic signatures. Each business area creates instruction and hands-on exercises based on specific job descriptions and business process flows."
With OnDemand, Dade Behring authors create training content in conjunction with Dade Behring's I.T. staff. Whenever there is a change to the system, the OnDemand content is updated. There is a stringent protocol and formal regulatory process for every step of the update process, according to Klein.
"We currently maintain an authoring community of more than 100 authors and instructors throughout the global community," Magagna says. "We utilized internal resources throughout the project. Subject-matter experts in each business area served as content developers and instructors. This required support and planning as well as ownership of the change management effort."
"We have more than 100 product content experts who had input into the OnDemand system," Klein adds. "Building the database required an initial investment in support and planning, followed by ongoing content ownership across the organization."
OnDemand's "live" courses emphasize content authoring, and deal with everything from creating an outline to covering best practices and items that need to be considered in course development. Additionally, OnDemand offers online courses for those who are responsible for the installation of the application and deployment of the published content.
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