Sunday, May 06, 2012

Custom training is a must

Most people who have taken Excel or Word or Outlook training have often come away from it wondering if (or knowing that) they have missed something. That's because the typical Excel foundation course for example, basically flies through covering the Office button menu, glossing over things like the 'prepare' options, etc. Then you get a whirlwind tour of the Home tab of functions.

I have been known to conduct 1-2 hour sessions just on conditional formatting. My version of Excel training (that I offer where I work) consists of a foundation level course just to get everyone up to speed with the ribbon interface and the Office menu, but that's about it. Then there are workshops on things you would never learn thoroughly during a typical Excel course.

How to design a good spreadsheet and why the design is so critical. Will your document survive without you - all about leaving clues for spreadsheet users. Conditional formatting, an amazing way to add visualizations of analysis of your data. Pivot tables. Everything about charts. The various forms of document protection and how they differ. Converting a range into a table and why that can be great. Named ranges. Those are all separate workshops. That's just the Excel sessions.

So what's the point? If you want your employees to learn as much as possible about their productivity software, you're not going to get it from canned courses. You need custom training sessions. If you have your own on-site software trainer, you can have it.

No, those courses aren't available at Microsoft, that's just me having some fun.


carlae said...

I gave the suggestion, prior to me leaving my job a few shorts weeks ago, the necessity to be taught to use the tools that were given to our fell on deaf ears. As the motto is " they'll figure it out". Me thinks that mind set can't possibly last too long.

Karl Plesz said...

In the company I work for, there are certain managers who see no value in software training. To the point where one of my students attended a course only after taking a vacation day to do it, because her boss gave her such a hard time for the last course she attended. I made it known that I was totally not cool with that, but as you say 'it fell on deaf ears'. Luckily, these types of managers are few and far in between where I work.

Retro Blog said...

Karl, please tell me how to set up the equations, I cant total a colume. What I cannot do is subtract cell 4a from 4B and
put the result in cell 5b.
So simple, so dumb.