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Topics: Information Technology, Risk Management, Strategy
How to mitigate user steep learning curve & reluctant to change project risk?
My project scope is to migrate legacy system that heavily rely on keyboard navigation to new system that rely on mouse and keyboard for screen navigation.1 week of user training and 2 weeks testing have been planned in project scope too.

We foresee users will have steep learning curve to use the new system and they might reluctant change to new system. Please advise any idea we can mitigate on this risk and contingency plan? Your own experiences & comment are welcome.

Thank you.
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Hooi,does your team have a training manual in place to quicken the ramp time of users? Introduction of the new system with proper training may lessen the bite of reluctant change.
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1 reply by Hooi Nee Sau
Apr 13, 2016 11:53 PM
Hooi Nee Sau
...
Hi John, Yes. We do have some preliminary user reference guide. However, the system is quite huge and complicated.

Two concerns we have are:-
1. The willingness of user to spend time to go through the guide without any assistant from us. Existing system work well for them in current business operation.
2. Even they went through the guide, they might not able to fully understand the system
Apr 13, 2016 11:03 PM
Replying to John Caron, MBA, PMP, CSM
...
Hooi,does your team have a training manual in place to quicken the ramp time of users? Introduction of the new system with proper training may lessen the bite of reluctant change.
Hi John, Yes. We do have some preliminary user reference guide. However, the system is quite huge and complicated.

Two concerns we have are:-
1. The willingness of user to spend time to go through the guide without any assistant from us. Existing system work well for them in current business operation.
2. Even they went through the guide, they might not able to fully understand the system
...
1 reply by Bala S Duvvuri
Apr 14, 2016 4:17 AM
Bala S Duvvuri
...
Assurance from your side about the support you will be providing in terms of training and explaining them the advantages of new system can make a difference.
You can make use of stakeholder assessment matrix and find out who are more interested and with high power .Start working with them closely and slowly with the help of them you can pull in more stakeholders.
1) Can you plan training based on different modules in the new system, and then plan accordingly schedule based on each module. This will give you better understanding if they are ready with the system, and if not which module has higher number of queries or difficulty level.
2) Is the guide user friendly ?
3) Is change planned in phases or one shot change ?... I will prefer change in stages (thats why I asked first question, if training is per module)
4) Impact analysis done ? . this will highlight the risk to management
5) Plan shadow session, reverse KT session
6) Create FAQ's and knowledge base
...
1 reply by Hooi Nee Sau
Apr 14, 2016 4:22 AM
Hooi Nee Sau
...
Hi Saurabh,

1. Yes. The training session will be scheduled by module and focus on particular group of user.
2. May be need to invent some efforts in the user guide now.
3. We has to to migrate in 1 phase only.
4. This risk has been highlighted to senior management. But seem no much can do for now.
Apr 13, 2016 11:53 PM
Replying to Hooi Nee Sau
...
Hi John, Yes. We do have some preliminary user reference guide. However, the system is quite huge and complicated.

Two concerns we have are:-
1. The willingness of user to spend time to go through the guide without any assistant from us. Existing system work well for them in current business operation.
2. Even they went through the guide, they might not able to fully understand the system
Assurance from your side about the support you will be providing in terms of training and explaining them the advantages of new system can make a difference.
You can make use of stakeholder assessment matrix and find out who are more interested and with high power .Start working with them closely and slowly with the help of them you can pull in more stakeholders.
...
1 reply by Hooi Nee Sau
Apr 14, 2016 4:25 AM
Hooi Nee Sau
...
Good point. Thanks, Bala.
Apr 14, 2016 3:27 AM
Replying to saurabh mahajan
...
1) Can you plan training based on different modules in the new system, and then plan accordingly schedule based on each module. This will give you better understanding if they are ready with the system, and if not which module has higher number of queries or difficulty level.
2) Is the guide user friendly ?
3) Is change planned in phases or one shot change ?... I will prefer change in stages (thats why I asked first question, if training is per module)
4) Impact analysis done ? . this will highlight the risk to management
5) Plan shadow session, reverse KT session
6) Create FAQ's and knowledge base
Hi Saurabh,

1. Yes. The training session will be scheduled by module and focus on particular group of user.
2. May be need to invent some efforts in the user guide now.
3. We has to to migrate in 1 phase only.
4. This risk has been highlighted to senior management. But seem no much can do for now.
Apr 14, 2016 4:17 AM
Replying to Bala S Duvvuri
...
Assurance from your side about the support you will be providing in terms of training and explaining them the advantages of new system can make a difference.
You can make use of stakeholder assessment matrix and find out who are more interested and with high power .Start working with them closely and slowly with the help of them you can pull in more stakeholders.
Good point. Thanks, Bala.
...
1 reply by Bala S Duvvuri
Apr 14, 2016 7:25 AM
Bala S Duvvuri
...
You are welcome Hooi Nee.
Hi Hooi Nee,

Is this new system being developed or is it off the shelf?

I would start as soon as possible. You need to prepare the end users for the changes to their existing working practices, rather than just spring it on them when they start testing.

It also depends on what your budget is:-

- Create business champions. Create subject matter experts from the team that will have early exposure and can perhaps help guide the development as well.
- Set expectations. Let the end users know what the changes are, and how it will benefit them. They could save 30 minutes a day using the new system, let them know that.
- Roadshows, demonstrations, or mockups. Let them see the new system, or at least an approximation of it.
- Wiki pages. If they want to know something about how the change effects them, create an email address and then publish the most frequently asked questions on an intranet portal somewhere.
- E-Learning modules. Supplement your training with online refresher courses, so that the end users will be able to reference after they have been trained.

Involve the business at the earliest opportunity. The end users might feel more inclined to adopt the new system if they feel they have been involved with its implementation.

Regards,

Darren Kosa
...
1 reply by Hooi Nee Sau
Apr 14, 2016 10:51 PM
Hooi Nee Sau
...
Thanks, Darren. Noted on your valuable points given. :)
Apr 14, 2016 4:25 AM
Replying to Hooi Nee Sau
...
Good point. Thanks, Bala.
You are welcome Hooi Nee.
Apr 14, 2016 5:57 AM
Replying to Darren Kosa
...
Hi Hooi Nee,

Is this new system being developed or is it off the shelf?

I would start as soon as possible. You need to prepare the end users for the changes to their existing working practices, rather than just spring it on them when they start testing.

It also depends on what your budget is:-

- Create business champions. Create subject matter experts from the team that will have early exposure and can perhaps help guide the development as well.
- Set expectations. Let the end users know what the changes are, and how it will benefit them. They could save 30 minutes a day using the new system, let them know that.
- Roadshows, demonstrations, or mockups. Let them see the new system, or at least an approximation of it.
- Wiki pages. If they want to know something about how the change effects them, create an email address and then publish the most frequently asked questions on an intranet portal somewhere.
- E-Learning modules. Supplement your training with online refresher courses, so that the end users will be able to reference after they have been trained.

Involve the business at the earliest opportunity. The end users might feel more inclined to adopt the new system if they feel they have been involved with its implementation.

Regards,

Darren Kosa
Thanks, Darren. Noted on your valuable points given. :)
I have see some use a E-Learning to start, so when the users get to the formal training they are already a a minimal level so the training can be more interactive
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