Most training operations have common objectives - namely, keeping better track of learner progression and the training itself, reducing time spent on admin tasks, delivering exceptional eLearning and of course, in the case of training companies, increasing course bookings.
However, the commonality can extend beyond their objectives. Training professionals often share the same concerns and objections to the adoption of new software and systems. We thought it might be helpful to share 6 of our most commonly encountered myths associated with training management software, along with some fantastic countering rationale from Administrate customer, Lo Wright, Global Delivery Operations Manager at ForgeRock University.
For context, ForgeRock is a multinational identity and access management software company headquartered in San Francisco and a long-standing customer of Administrate. Training has always been an integral part of their company and they offer a global curriculum through ILT (Instructor-Led Training), VILT (Virtual Instructor-Led Training) and eLearning within the Administrate LMS (Learning Management System) to deliver self-paced training.
1. Fear of Change, New Systems & Loss of Control
It's so tempting when we have a set way of doing things to avoid 'rocking the boat'. If it's not broken, why try and fix it? The truth is, our established processes form the basis of our agreed norms and day-to-day routines. Naturally, breaking out of these routines to try something new or innovative is challenging and often not a top priority.
Even if you do accept that there might be a better way to do things, how do you decide the right direction to take and the best software for the task at hand? What if you choose something that can't scale with your business? These are all common fears and indeed, a study by Tversky and Kahneman, suggests that our brain's desire for loss aversion often alters our choices or stops us from making decisions altogether.
"I’ve never really been one to fear change, change is a good thing. My fear came from a loss of control - could I trust Administrate to a) do what it needs to do and b) do it right"
With the incredible pace of technological advancement and ever-evolving, digital learners, the real risk isn't in the change itself, but in standing still and lagging behind your competitors. As Lo notes, "to progress or improve you need to change and grow with the times".
2. Software Will Make Jobs Redundant
Hang on, if this software can do all these manual day-to-day tasks that I'm responsible for? What will I do?
It's true, one of the main advantages of software is the automation aspect - but rather than a threat, it's an opportunity. Another of our customers, Amarachi Okemiri of CA LGMA, was delighted that software "eliminated several tedious tasks". Making use of software removes the need to update endless spreadsheets and run through multiple manual processes, freeing up time to focus on the bigger picture tasks - new course development, improving course delivery, updating course content etc. The key message? Software enriches jobs, rather than endangering them.
Indeed, Lo's story would reinforce this:
"I suppose there is a fear of software/technology making jobs redundant, but I never really felt that with Administrate, if anything it’s actually helped me be able to do my job. I’m now able to dedicate my time to the projects that before had to take a backseat. Ultimately, my job has improved since using the software and ForgeRock University has been able to go from running 1x class every 4-6 weeks to running multiple classes each week. This is something we only dreamed of being able to do pre-Administrate."
In addition, Kevin Streater, Global Training Sales Director at ForgeRock, affirms:
“We’ve gone from having somebody who spends their entire time compiling emails, sending out emails, tracking spreadsheets… to someone who is now managing event delivery. They’re overseeing the events rather than having to get into the deep details of each event.”
3. Software Can't Help Us!
Of course every business has challenges unique to them and their industry, but you'd be surprised at the commonality we've observed within training operations, be they training companies, training departments or educational establishments. There's a very good chance that your burning issue, previously disregarded as unsolvable, has already been experienced by others and blood, sweat and tears have resulted in a solution or workaround.
We often hear the belief that ‘off-the-shelf software' won’t be able to help with my problem. While that may be true today, any software company worth it's salt will continually develop its product and ideally have a visible product roadmap showing what their future development plan looks like. Most importantly, future iterations of the software should be shaped directly by customer feedback, so even if this new 'off-the-shelf' software doesn't solve your problem yet, a solution may well be in the pipeline.
As Lo notes, relying on software is smart business:
"Software may not be the answer to all of life’s problems, but if we hope to grow as a company we need to know when to ask for help. If there’s a platform out there that can enable us to grow how can it be a bad thing?"
4. Software is Complicated!
Not true! Of course, we can't speak for all software, but well-designed software should be intuitive and easy to use once you've been guided through implementation and received proper training. Leonardo Da Vinci is credited with suggesting that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" and while our software isn't quite a renaissance masterpiece, we are certainly of the opinion that even the most complex problems can be solved with smart and simple solutions. Oh and we're proud to say that our software is rated 4 out of 5 for 'ease of use' on independent site Capterra.
As a final blowing of our own trumpet, we're delighted that Lo agrees:
"With any new piece of software there is always the fear of not being able to understand it, luckily Administrate is incredibly intuitive. It's very easy to use and before you know it, it becomes second nature."
5. Software is Expensive!
We talk a lot about ROI (Return on Investment) within training businesses - it was even the subject of a recent post on evaluating your training. The same principles should apply to your software too - the cost shouldn't outweigh the value delivered. Balance the cost of software with the potential to scale your business, if you could save 50% of your admin time and deliver 75% more courses, what would that do your bottom line?
Importantly, pricing should be transparent too. When evaluating software, be aware of any hidden costs in the form of surprises, maintenance commitments, or opportunity costs. Our pricing is simple, a cost per administrator, a cost per active learner and an implementation cost.
Also, something to be aware of if you're considering building your own software, any development costs are exclusively yours. With bought software, costs are effectively shared across a customer base, rather than you picking up the tab.
6. I Could Build Something Better
Building your own software, bespoke to your exact needs, could well achieve the desired outcomes but as we discussed in our build vs. buy post, the debate is lengthy and there's definitely an argument to exercise caution here. That said, we're aware of the irony, Administrate being born from a training company building their own solution due to a lack of any viable commercial alternatives being available at the time!
Scan the feature list of potential software solutions, do they contain at least 65% of your must-have feature list? If they do then odds are it’s going to be successful in achieving your overall objectives.
Finally, don't forget that integrations expand the rationale for using a bought software solution. What if you could manage your Xero invoicing and training operation within a single platform? Established integrations with other essential tools means more time saved and a simpler overall solution!