Last week I offered a series of questions that you should consider when purchasing software.; this week I’ll consider you have purchased software and now plan to use it. You saw, evaluated, and purchased. Now what?
Press on! Learn it, use it, benefit from it!
Whether you are formally trained or you like to learn as you go, you need to get up and running as soon as possible in order for the new purchase to not be too much of a distraction. Pleasant, frustrating, or perplexing – any distraction for productivity is not good.
So, before you get started, how many are in the training? How long will the training last?
Let’s look at two examples:
When I was much younger, a colleague and I went away for three days of training in Versacad design software. We did our training, came home to the office, and proceeded to document the largest and most involved project that office had ever known – two young guys who did not know what they did not know. We figured the “not-knowing” part out quickly and, with support from each other, delivered what came to be a great project in our careers (thanks to Randy for going through that experience with me – it was quite a ride!).
Now, as an owner of an architectural firm, the thought of that scares me to death!
I recently heard of a large firm who decided to go with Revit in their office. I’m sure reaching the decision was much more involved than this, but it was described to me as one Friday they went home and when they returned Monday, only Revit was installed on everyone’s machine.
No 2D software.
No pre-emptive training.
No going back.
It was added that they experienced quite a learning curve – a frustrating, painful curve – but now they never want to go back.
Both examples are frightening to some extent. Both mean a complete buy-in. Both have no alternative – and that was the point. At some time you have to decide – deciding is sometimes the hardest step in the process.
So, what about my own firm?
Now, we are learning Revit.
We are still hanging on to 2D, as well. We debate at times on which to use – what is most productive, efficient, valuable to the project. At times I wish we did not have the choice.
A process like this takes longer, brings everyone (including me) along at a slower pace, and gives you the opportunity to second guess.
This post is preaching to me. Remember, this is always personal.
Whether you are the guy cutting the check for the software, the designer trying to learn a new trick, the instructor who cannot understand how thick these new users are, or an IT guy trying to get everything installed and ready for everyone – it’s always personal to everyone.
So let me encourage you to discuss training, integration, and how success is going to be defined with everyone.
Also understand this – training and learning never stops. If you think otherwise, consider how often technology changes, updates, and gets re-issued. Failing to keep up is devastating.
If you intend to not grow in technology, be prepared to go the way of dial phones, fax machines, 8-track tapes, and broadcast TV. While these older technologies may be novel and refreshing at times (I myself have a set of classic 70’s stereo equipment), they cannot process, deliver, nor promise what today’s tech can – old software is no different.
In earlier posts I referenced ZORK. How many of you got those references? How many of you went to your stash and pulled out your copies of ZORK and played?
I didn’t either.
Point is, keep up. Catching up is so much harder.
Some challenge this, but I am living Moore’s Law these days. If you want to nerd out on the pace of tech change let me refer you to Coursera.
Remember, this is fun – or it should be.
Enjoy the discovery, training, and new abilities.
Keep the old tech if you want – it can always come in handy one day. Knowing not only how something got here but also why is a great thing.
So back up your junk. Save often and update as needed. And let me know if you have any vintage stereo equipment you need to get rid of – I’m looking for a particular Pioneer turntable. Vinyl is back, baby!