I'm very happy to share the latest article on the Change Management Blog, and the first ever written by one of our Google Cloud partners based in Asia. Pakorn has been working closely with the APAC Google team during the past years and has an interesting story to share about delivering G Suite training to employees.
Hi, my name is Pakorn Ngammanussiri, from Tangerine, a G Suite partner in Thailand. I am a Google Solution Specialist and I have been supporting deployments and providing technical support to help customers leverage Google’s technology since June 2011.
I’ve been asked to share my experience about delivering use-case based G Suite training to one of my customers in Thailand. This organization is in the financial industry with 26,000 employees. They have been using Google since 2013. As with most large organizations, we observed different levels of adoption across various groups of users. To address this we have been working with the customer to provide regular refresher training. Historically the training we delivered had been based on the specific
products within G Suite - for example Gmail training or Sheets training. Recently , the executives from the customer, ourselves from Tangerine and the Google team had a discussion about facilitating a workshop to identify specific use cases for the business with the objective of increasing adoption, productivity and collaboration.
After several meetings, the program was designed to have two parts; 1. Use-case based training to refresh participants G Suite knowledge and increase adoption 2. A Transformation Lab to discover additional use cases. In this program, I was responsible for designing and delivering the 75 minutes use-case based training to 38 Change Champions from 13 departments. Another team member was responsible for preparing and delivering the transformation lab the next day. In the next few paragraphs, I would like to share how I prepared for and delivered the training as well as what I learnt from this experience.
Preparation - Use case selection
The first part of preparing for this training was to identify use cases that could be showcased in the training. I discovered these use cases from employees who
had attended my previous G Suite training sessions. I spoke to participants during the break to find out about how they use G Suite in their jobs. I discovered some interesting stories. The use case I selected based on these conversations, was to use G Suite to streamline the process of developing an internal application.
If you are looking for ideas of other common use cases the Transformation Gallery is a really useful resource - although it is always good to make sure any use cases you identify here are customised for the specific group that you are training.
Planning and Execution
After selecting the use case I started to prepare a list of activities that would take place during the training role play. I created the mock data that we could use during the training. During the training role play, business users would brainstorm requirements and developers would have to estimate the effort. In order to provide realistic effort estimation, I had to prepare the mock data to reflect and demonstrate the real time collaboration and outputs (graphs, charts, etc.).
For the brainstorming activity, I asked attendees to collaborate in real time using Google Docs with some basic document structure in place. I designed activities in the training to use the comment function and suggesting modes to show people how they can collaborate and work together better. For the effort estimation activity, I asked the people to provide an effort estimation using Google Sheets. They then had to create charts to visualise the data. By providing users with guidance and templates (see image on the right) these activities were very engaging and easily completed by the participants.
To make the training interesting to the participants, I used the following methods;
- Ensure you use a credible use case: By sharing a real-life use case which the users can relate to, users were fully engaged in the discussion.
- Encourage active participation from the attendees: Set the expectation upfront that this will be an interactive training session. Clearly explain the training agenda, style and expectations of participation. This helps to encourage involvement and will help people know what to expect.
- Keep engagement and excitement of the attendees by showing real time collaboration on the big screen for everyone to see: Although only a small group of users are required for each activity, ensure that you show the real-time collaboration on screen for everyone to view. This makes it a fun activity that all the users in the room can follow.
- Prepare devices for participants to use: Getting the logistics right is very important. Make sure the devices you are providing to the users for the session are ready to be used immediately. You may need to login ahead of time. Room logistics such as, hands-free microphones, projector, number of chairs, writing material etc. need to be prepared.
Measuring and collecting feedback
After delivering the session, I sent out a feedback survey to everyone.
As you can see above, we scored more than 75% satisfaction in each topic except, “The time allotted...” which was approximately 70% satisfaction. Participants wanted a longer session so they could have more practice and learn more tips and tricks.
The feedback we received from the attendees is that they liked the hands-on activities because they were able relate to the scenario. This training was also impactful for setting up a good foundation for the Transformation Lab on the next day where many of the same participants attended. The transformation lab turned managed to generate 100 process ideas and 4 quick win prototype ideas.
What I learnt
Delivering training in this format was a really interesting lesson for me. It did take some extra time in the preparation, but the interaction and feedback from the audience was worth it. My main lesson learnt was to allocate enough time for users to immerse in the training and use case. A short session can get users excited, but not allow enough time to explore ideas and absorb key concepts means participants miss out on some of the value they might get from a longer session. Next time I run training like this I will schedule a for more time.
Use-case based training is very effective in engaging the audience and learning how to use the tools in a way that they can relate to. The training is in the context of the user and they can visualize how the tools may be applied to solve their day to day work-related challenges. It’s also great for getting users to think about how they can work more efficiently and redesign some of their other processes. Contrast this with a typical training class that simply explains the features and functions within a single product, but is not prepared with the user's context in mind.
So, in your next training session. I encourage you to try the use-case based training delivery method. I hope the information I’ve shared above will give you some ideas. Lastly: be well prepared and good Luck!