Most software companies are so enamored by their product's features that they use it everywhere. It's in their marketing, thought leadership pieces, and especially in their training material. Sure, it's important that you train customers on the features so they know how to use their products, but they probably bought your product for a different reason entirely. So why are your training programs still features-based?
When your customers say your training is ineffective or you see from reports that product use does not increase following an education intervention, one of the questions you should ask yourself is, "Are we helping customers understand the context for why our product exists and why they need to learn it?" One major problem with software education is that it is focused primarily on helping people learn features. Learning features without understanding basic concepts and without understanding "why" will often leave people bewildered about how to use the software.
A show of hands out there: how many of you are thinking of converting your live training courses into eLearning?
Many of today's technology companies use an Agile methodology to develop their software, like Scrum, Adaptive software development (ASD), Crystal Clear methods, and Extreme Programming (XP.) Many more use Agile in their non-software development business processes like marketing and product management. The iterative and collaborative nature of Agile allows people to focus on more than just the end product. Learning designers who are tired of the inflexible approach of ADDIE and more waterfall-related development methodologies might want to take a look at Agile and see how it can work for them.
Technology and business are rapidly evolving, and it can be hard for learning professionals to keep up. You need to create more content that's more relevant than ever before, and do so more efficiently than in the past. So ask yourself, "Can I continue to use ADDIE to develop their learning programs?"
I know what you're thinking. Or at least I know what your management team is asking you to think and then do.
When valuable time is put into developing and selling software and then educating your customers to use it, it’s important to make sure your customers actually learn how to use your software. However, the challenge with any software implementation is making sure users aren't just knowledgeable about using a tool, but that they can perform job tasks with your software.