Why is personnel training important for the success of systems implementation? What type of training should be imparted to (i) system operators and (ii) users?

A Management Information System ICT Revision Questions and Answers

A system can succeed or fail depending on the way it is operated and used. Therefore, the quality of training received by the personnel involved with the system in various capacities helps or hinders the successful implementation of information system. Thus, training is becoming a major component of systems implementation. When a new system is acquired which often involves new hardware and software, both users and computer professionals generally need some type of training. Often this is imparted through classes, which are organized by vendor, and through hands-on learning techniques.
Training System Operators: Many systems depend on the computer-centre personnel who are responsible for keeping the equipment running as well as for providing the necessary support services. Their training must ensure that they are able to handle all possible operations, both routine and extra-ordinary. Operator training must also involve the data entry personnel. If the system calls for the installation of new equipment, such as a new computer system, special terminals or data-entry equipments, the operators training should include such fundamentals as how to turn equipment on and use it, and knowledge of what constitute normal operation and use. The operators should also be instructed in what common malfunctioning may occur, how to recognize them, and what steps to take when they arise. As part of their training, operators should be given both a trouble shooting list that identifies possible problems and remedies for them, as well as the names and telephone numbers of individuals to contact when unexpected or unusual problems arise. Training also involves familiarization with run procedures, which involve working through the sequence of activities needed to use a new system on an on-going basis.
Under Training: User training may involve equipment use, particularly, in the case where a microcomputer is in use and the individual involved is both operator and user. In these cases, users must be instructed first how to operate the equipment. User training must also instruct individuals involved in trouble shooting of the system, determining whether the problem is caused by the equipment or software or by something they have done in using the system. Most user training deals with the operation of the system itself. Training in data coding emphasizes the methods to be followed in capturing data from transactions or preparing data for decision support activities. Users should be trained on data handling activities such as editing data, formulating inquiries (finding specific records or getting responses to questions) and deleting records of data. From time to time, users will have to prepare disks, load paper into printers, or change ribbons on printers. Some training time should be devoted to such system maintenance activities. If a microcomputer or data entry system uses disks, users should be instructed in formatting and testing disks.
Training is often seen as a necessary evil by managers. While recognizing its importance, many mangers have to release employees from their regular job activities so that they can be trained. When managers are activity involved in determining training needs, they are usually more supportive of training efforts. It is generally wise to have managers directly involved in evaluating

the effectiveness of training activities because training deficiencies can translate into reduced user productivity level.

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