Training Often Gets Forgotten in the Rush to Release The New

Training Often Gets Forgotten in the Rush to Release The New

When I was early in my career, I often aggressively rolled out new systems and applications with minimal planning or rigorous testing.  Some very serious lessons were learned during those times about the importance of rolling out platforms with a plan.  Call me completely insane but I actually rolled out a new Microsoft operating system early in its life cycle (pre-SP1) on a brand-new Dell laptop line.  I am not sure a worse match had ever been made as we spent almost a year making that work right.

Now I am much more cautious in how I approach new hardware and software systems.  I expect reasonable levels of testing and quality control completed before anything ever sees the light of day.  The one area that I have probably become the most aggressive and steadfast in holding my line is around training.  If something is completely new and has never operated inside of the enterprise, there must be a training plan executed to ensure that knowledge silos are not formed.  The smaller the user base of the targeted system, the more important training becomes.

Knowledge silos originate from both inside and outside of the IT organization and are equally problematic.  If the new platform is only known by a small user base within the organization, then a serious failure point can occur.  What happens should these individuals become unavailable for any reason?  Additionally, who can be the validation point for their work if no one knows how to operate or utilize the platform in question? Oh the problems that would ensue if you had one SAN person, and he/she was out sick when the array started to experience some issues.

A little training would go a long way with other competent team members.  Could they solve the problem?  Maybe or maybe not, but they would at least have an understanding of the core components in order to work with a vendor or begin the troubleshooting steps on their own. These very basic questions have to be addressed before the rollout of any system or application.

 There must be adequate levels of training to address these primary concerns.  Once a training plan has been determined and started then the risk of knowledge silos falls dramatically, and most people would be comfortable with the release of the platform to the selected user base.

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