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End User Training – Vendor or Customer Lead?

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

When implementing a new solution at your organization, a key piece of organizational change management (OCM) is the delivery of end user training. This is often the first time most of your end users are seeing the new solution for the first time and thus it is critical that their experience with the solution be positive. This leads to the question of what a better approach is – having the solution provider lead and deliver the end user training or have the training developed and delivered in-house. This post will explore the benefits and drawbacks to both approaches.

The obvious benefit to having your vendor deliver the end user training is that you as an organization don’t need to commit resources to developing the training packages, training your trainers or prepare materials. Vendors are often happy to deliver this training as it not only creates a revenue opportunity for them but it also allows the vendor to somewhat control the narrative and perception of the product as it is being first introduced to the end users at your organization. This benefit does come with somewhat of a hidden cost that may not be realized immediately – by keeping the vendor in charge of all end user training, it does very likely necessitate the requirement to have the vendor perform future end user training (new hires, etc.) on the product if there are no training leads established as part of the rollout of the new solution.

By taking ownership of your own end user training for a new product that your organization has purchased, you take that next step into total solution ownership by way of being able to teach the solution yourself to new users and not having that reliance on your vendor to help deliver training. The other less tangible benefit is the positive perception that your end users will develop of the solution if they are being trained by one of their own. When being trained by an outside individual, it can be sometimes challenging for the rapport to be developed between the trainer and trainees which can sometimes have negative impacts towards the absorption of the system being trained on.

Every organization (and project for that matter) is different when it comes to end user training needs. Factors that need to be considered when determining ownership of end user training should include at a minimum: OCM expectations, vendor capability and overall complexity of the solution. Remember that the successful adoption of the new solution relies heavily on a successful delivery of the end user training of your project.


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