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Client Objectives: The client wanted to replace existing customer information system (consisting of several separate, unintegrated applications) with a single, unified, networked customer information system. They also wanted strong staff acceptance of the new system.

Issues: This would entail:

All system users - clerks, dispatchers, managers — would need training to use the new system. These customer support staff, though computer literate, had no prior experience with a graphic user interface or mouse.

The entire customer service representative (CSR) staff would need training on the use of a hand-held computer, to replace the paper work order and job tracking system currently in place. Most CSRs had no prior experience with computers. They viewed use of a hand-held computer as a threat to their way of work.

While the new system would benefit the utility, there were no immediate or obvious benefits to the staff.

Field managers had heard varied and conflicting rumors, but lacked an overall perspective of the new system.

Training had to be developed concurrently with system screen design and Beta testing.

There were insufficient resources to develop a training database within the timeframe required for release.

Solutions: FLI developed a series of group training sessions, emphasizing hands-on practice to proficiency, for each training audience.

  • For clerks, a three-day class
  • For customer service representatives (CSRs), a five-day class
  • For CSR supervisors, a three-day class

For router/dispatchers, a five-day class
To help staff, supervisors, and managers become comfortable using a graphic user interface and mouse, each spent about 1-1/2 hours learning to play computer solitaire before moving to actual system screens and tasks.

In support of the hands-on training, we worked with the utility's Information Systems group to develop a prototype, PC-based emulation of the system. This prototype permitted hands-on training, even though the mainframe application was not yet ready.

In addition, we developed two video presentations

  • One for use with all training audiences to provide a conceptual overview of the new system.
  • One for the CSR audience, showing a day in the lives of two CSRs after introduction of the hand-held computer. Having viewed the video, it became obvious that the CSR's work routine would hardly change.

Business Results: Training programs were in place and tested when the new customer information system was ready to be rolled out. Supervisors and users in each business region were trained prior to switch-over.

Supervisors throughout the organization reported ready acceptance of the new system and increased employee productivity

Curriculum Assessment Tools
New Technology Adoption
Interactive Media
Competency Development
Develop Customer / Client Partnerships
Project Management Methodology
Introduce a New Product
Re-engineering Processes
Enter a New Market
Introduce a New Information System
Change the Sales Approach
Documentation Development