Systems Analysis & Design:
- In the case of a new system, written documentation alone is
rarely enough, since there are so many people to be trained in
such a short period of time.
- Analysts have several other options for training users of
a new system.
- Users can be taught one by one, which, though expensive, tends
to be the quickest way to teach each single individual.
- Training a group can be more cost-effective but in a group
situation some of the trainees may miss certain critical points.
- Analysts can take advantage of the ripple effect: one group
is instructed and each person in that first group goes on to teach
- However, it is difficult to maintain control of the content
and method of the teaching when the original students go on to
- Video or slide presentations can be used to enhance or replace
- These can be inexpensive means of reaching a large number
of people, but lack the motivating effect of personal instruction
as well as deprive the student of the opportunity to ask questions.
- Training strategies are determined by who is being trained
and who will train them.
- The analyst will want to ensure that anyone whose work is
affected by the new information system is properly trained by
the appropriate trainer.
Who to Train
- All people who will have secondary or primary use of the system
must be trained.
- This includes everyone from data-entry personnel to those
who will use output to make decisions without personally using
- The amount of training a system requires thus depends on how
much someone's job will change because of the new system.
- Users of different skill levels and job interests must be
- It is certain trouble to include novices in the same training
sessions as experts, since novices are quickly lost, and experts
are rapidly bored with basics--both groups are then lost.
People Who Train Users
- For a large project, many different trainers may be used depending
on how many users must be trained and who they are.
- Possible training sources include:
- Systems analysts
- External paid trainers
- In-house trainers
- Other system users
- Computer-based training
- Large vendors often provide off-site, one- or two-day training
on their equipment for free.
- These sessions include both lecture and hands-on training
in a focused environment.
- Since systems analysts know the organization's personnel and
the system, they can often provide good training.
- The use of analysts for training purposes depends on their
availability, since they also are expected to oversee all of the
External Paid Trainers
- External paid trainers are sometimes brought into the organization
to help with training.
- They may have broad experience in teaching people how to use
a variety of computers, but they may not give the hands-on training
necessary for some users.
- Additionally, they may not be able to custom-tailor their
presentations enough to make them meaningful to users.
- Full-time, in-house trainers are usually familiar with personnel
and can tailor materials to their needs.
- One of the drawbacks of in-house trainers is that they may
possess expertise in other areas, but not information systems,
and they may therefore lack the depth that users need.
Other System Users
- It is also possible to have any of these trainers train a
small group of people from each functional area that will be using
the new information system.
- They in turn can then be used to train the remaining users.
- This approach can work well if the original trainees still
have access to materials and trainers as resources when they themselves
are providing training.
- Otherwise, it might degenerate into a trial-and-error situation
rather than a structured one.
- A final option, computer-based training (CBT), is an efficient
way to train employees.
- CBT tutorials consist of the projection of very specific instructions
onto a video display terminal to lead users through a task at
their own pace.
- Tutorials usually start with very basic information, then
progress to the more advanced areas.
- Although computer-based training is quite expensive to develop,
it may be cost effective if the organization has a large number
of employees to train, if the people are geographically scattered,
or if high employee turnover is the norm.
Guidelines for Training
- Training Objectives
- Who is being trained in large part dictates training objectives.
- Training objectives for each group must be spelled out clearly.
- Well-defined objectives are of enormous help in letting trainees
know what is expected of them.
- Additionally, objectives allow evaluation of training when
it is complete.
- Training Methods
- Each user and operator will need slightly different training.
- To some extent, their jobs determine what they need to know,
and their personalities, experience, and background determine
how they learn best.
- Some users learn best by seeing, others by hearing, still
others by doing.
- Since it is usually not possible to customize training for
an individual, a combination of methods helps to insure that most
users are reached through one method or another.
- Methods for those who learn best by seeing include demonstrations
of equipment and exposure to training manuals.
- Those who learn best by hearing will benefit from lectures
about procedures, discussions, and question-and-answer sessions
among trainers and trainees.
- Those who learn best by doing need hands-on experience with
- Training Materials
- In planning for training of users, systems analysts must realize
the importance of well-prepared training materials.
- These include training manuals; training cases, in which users
are assigned to work through a case that incorporates most of
the commonly encountered interactions with the system; and prototypes
and mock-ups of output.