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From Good to Great – Importance of Training and Coaching: What can IT learn from a Major League Baseball team.

Microsoft | Posted on August 18, 2015 by Melodie Anderson

All Star Pro Elite Series mitts – Check,
Latest carbon fiber bat – Check,
Baden Official Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League Baseball – Check,
A dozen friends – Check

Ready to play ball!
Or are we? Sure, many of us have played softball in school. We may even still play occasionally with friends. We enjoy the game immensely, but are we really an effective team just because we have the best equipment? Not likely.

So what does it take to be great? Most major league players spend a minimum of 8 hours at the park on game day. They arrive at 2pm for some early hitting or throwing, batting practice starts at 3:30pm and the game is not over until 10pm. Spring training days tend to be a minimum of 8 hours as well. Players will regularly work with a dozen assistant coaches, including two base coaches, a bullpen coach, and hitting and pitching coaches to perfect their skills. Chances are baseball occupies the minds of players 24/7.

Without such effort, would any of the teams reach the playoffs? Not a chance.

What does all this have to do with IT? It’s quite simple. New IT products or solutions implemented without the proper coaching and training program are destined to fail, deliver poor adoption, low satisfaction and even resentment from end-users!

A recent Dynamic Markets survey of 800 IT professionals1 found that over 62% of IT projects are delayed, 50% are over budget and almost a third have failed to perform against expectations.

At Softchoice, we see that all too often with clients. IT departments will often treat technology implementations as IT projects, rather than thinking of them as people projects.

CIOs continue to drive technology-driven business innovation, which are often met with resistance from end-users. Properly designed training programs help eliminate frustrations or trepidation when implementing new technology. They also drive user adoption and satisfaction rates, which in turn translates into better productivity and operational effectiveness. For instance, according to an IBM study, skill levels are linked to business value, $70,000 in annual savings and 10% increase in productivity when teams are well trained2 . Simply put, greater user engagement and adoption of the technology equals greater ROI.

At Softchoice, we understand many of the challenges associated with introducing a new technology into an organization. That is why we have partnered with Global Knowledge, a leading learning and professional development solutions provider, to help deliver world class training programs to our clients.

Global Knowledge offers flexible training agreements to suit every organization, whether that’s delivering training on-site or via a virtual classroom. It allows for structured or self-guided modules in a condensed time-frame or spread out over the course of four weeks. They also offer training for our partners’ solutions, including Microsoft, Cisco and VMware to name a few.

Learn how training can help you hit home runs with your IT implementations! Find out how to maximize the output from the tools in your training toolkit. And most importantly engage and empower your users to create a team environment well equipped to perform and contribute to the bottom line.

Contact your Softchoice Account Manager today and request a free assessment of your training needs.

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