Recently I became part of the team contracted to deliver a software roll-out for an enterprise level customer. I cannot disclose names here but, the process itself is worthy of being talked about.

The software in question is bespoke to the client Early user testing revealed that some common issues in usage. The client also had some excellent training materials and the system was tested as working perfectly. Yet it was still not being used as anticipated.

The question became what to do next?

The answer was let some trainers with software development and testing skills (including myself) take a look at it.

Instead of just following the user guides we started to apply software testing principles to see what happened under varying scenarios.

Scenario testing is very useful as it can through to light differences in assumptions between the people building something and the people using something. After all we can all look at the same thing and develop a different opinion of it.

The result of this was that we understood some of the workarounds inherent in application. More importantly we discovered routes through the software that helped us understand how people could build up their own ideas on how to use it.

Now that we had an understanding we could develop a solution.


How it all turned out.

The good news was that very little had to be done. Existing training materials just needed some small amendments. The final part of preventing the same user issues from arising came in the part of updated trainer notes and briefing. This way in the practical part of the sessions all trainers could make sure that users didn’t make the same mistakes.

The roll out could start.