June 25, 2013 by Mitch Taube Categories: Document Management, Office Automation

After implementing document management and office automation software, properly training your entire team helps to ensure quick adoption and acceptance—without which can lead to resistance, inefficiency and in some cases the outright failure of usage.

Whether delivered onsite or via the web, proper training provides your staff with a comprehensive understanding of how the software functions and how it will be used to streamline daily activities. Training is also key for business owners and managers so they understand the full capability of the software, allowing them to leverage the different components of the system to ensure optimal usage and a maximum return on investment.

Begin with the Basics

When you purchase an electronic device or home appliance you need to know the basics of how it operates, and the same is true for working with document management software. This begins with logging in, setting up user credentials and learning how to use the basic search and retrieval capabilities of the software. As part of the basic training process your document management provider should have a decent sample of your organization’s documents imported into the system. This not only allows the trainer to have content in the system that can be retrieved during the training, but it also provides concrete examples that the staff is familiar with from which to demonstrate.

Application Training

After users have learned the basics, the next step is to train them on how to utilize the software to more easily and quickly perform their jobs. For instance, in an invoice processing application basic training may encompass how to index a document to a purchase order or how to approve an invoice for payment. However, when looking to improve staff efficiency more advanced features of the software can be leveraged, such as performing automatic data look-ups to populate data fields automatically. Keep in mind that advanced software features can be harder to use and understand; therefore, the provided training should include information about how and why error messages may occur and how to resolve them.

Advanced User Training

Advanced training is for those users who have the authority and technical skill needed to utilize advanced software features. These features may include items such as advanced search capabilities, managing workflow activities, or performing data lookups as indicated previously. A perfect example can be found in an accounts payable workflow where there may be workflow queues that have a build-up of documents ready for action because someone is on vacation and not available to handle their daily tasks. In this case, an advanced user can be assigned the ability to go into the workflow and re-assign the documents to other people so that they are processed on time.

Administrator Training

Administrator training covers a number of different areas regarding system configuration and maintenance, such as individual user and group management policies, reporting activities, security policies and document visibility rights. Hosted cloud environments are usually easier to administer since there is no IT infrastructure that needs to be maintained, so these can sometimes be handled by someone with basic IT knowledge. However, if the system is installed on the customer’s IT infrastructure there will be a variety of IT activities that need to be considered, including license management, ongoing integration actions, and backup activities. In cases like this, the system should be maintained by an experienced IT professional.

Ongoing Configuration

Many document management software packages on the market today are scalable and can be implemented piece by piece. Depending on the software package that you select, this will enable your organization to expand the software’s capabilities to other departments, providing an even higher return on investment. For instance, many organizations begin using document management software in their human resources department. Initial projects may revolve around on-boarding and I-9 management with additional workflows for benefits administration and performance reviews. From there the solution can be migrated to an accounts payable or accounts receivable department where an invoice processing or order fulfillment workflow can streamline processes and reduce operating costs. Many document management applications are so flexible that they can be rolled out to other departments and simply configured to use the same software capabilities in a different way, easily applying the solution to other parts of the organization.

Protect Your Investment

Document management software can be a powerful tool that can help cut costs and streamline processes if it is fully leveraged with high levels of user acceptance and ongoing buy-in from management, especially when changes to internal processes are needed. Document management and workflow automation software can help your organization accomplish these things, but this can only be achieved through a comprehensive training program from your document management partner.

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