Training is a Band-aid

If you think the answer to your problem is “better training,” then take a step back. You don’t have a training problem, you have a design problem.

Training is a band-aid. It’s applied when the original design wasn’t clear, intuitive, or obvious enough. Training doesn’t solve the problem… it just treats the symptoms.

A well designed tool is difficult to use incorrectly. A poorly designed tool is the source of a trail of expensive consequences. Training means documentation, which means people to write the documentation, places to store the documentation, and someone to maintain the documentation. It means a lot of explaining, a lot of times. Those costs start to add up. Training doesn’t scale.

If you’re investing a lot of time and resources in training, then consider if those resources could be better used improving the design.

Maybe you think that your case is the exception. That your project is so complicated that there needs to be at least some training. 

I’m sure early computer technicians felt the same way. It’s hard for me to think of anything more complicated than a computer. But I’d be impressed if you could show me a person who read the manual that came with their iPad. 

What if your design goal was “no training necessary?” Now that’s a goal worth chasing.