Many agencies have made the first step and invested in an integrated project management and accounting system. When the system is first implemented all members of staff are trained on the functions particular to their role. As employees move on and new employees join, the new starters usually have a handover from their predecessors in how to use the companies software systems. More often than not this handover is only marginal with regard to the project management software.
When investing in regular knowledge updates for staff in the use of software to improve their creative output is accepted as sound business sense, it seems to be a wrong economy to neglect similar training on the systems used to improve project management and accounting for this creative work. Those systems are supposed to improve the workflow and time utilisation for the business. But this potential can only be realised if the expertise on how to use them is readily available.
During training courses for organisations that have not had training for some time you regularly find that functionality that had originally been trained on is no longer known to users. You also find that staff members who were not present at the initial implementation and had their training from their predecessors don’t make the best use of that software, as they are not aware of the full functionality. During their “second hand training” information was omitted that would normally have been given by the implementation trainer, but might not have been known to the predecessor or been forgotten. This loss of system knowledge due to staff turnover is even more regrettable as the main reason to implement a project management system in the first place was to improve the overall workflow and profitability.
On the other hand in companies that organise regular training refresher courses for existing users and new starters you notice quite a different picture: Experienced members of staff attend the training with specific questions or queries they have come across when using the software. Those queries can then be addressed either by reminding users of functionality initially shown to them but no longer known to them or by showing them alternative functionality not considered at the time of their initial training. During the same training sessions new starters who might have had a handover from their colleagues learn functionality straight from the horse’s mouth avoiding the danger of adopting “bad habits” or incorrect usage of the software from their colleagues.
Companies who engage in these training schedules find that they benefit greatly from them. Their workflow is increased with a resulting staff job satisfaction. Duplication of work is avoided and time can be utilised in a more efficient way. This is usually followed by an improvement to turnover and profitability for the entire business found to be in the region of 30 to 40 % on average.