You have decided you want to set up an internal training room or rooms and you will possibly use internal or external training resources to deliver your training. You know want to start thinking about the options that might be available to you to kit out your training room for the period you will need it to be available for.
What equipment would I need?
Training, Trainer and spare laptop or desktops and monitors
Extension leads with surge protectors
operating system and software
list of computer logins and passwords
projector and projector screen or large television and television stand
How long will my training rooms be required?
There are many things to consider including:
Will everybody in the business go live on day one or are you planning a more phased approach
Will the business be able to cope with releasing the numbers required for each course to minimize the number of weeks the training will need to take place for to ensure everybody gets training in time
Can some people get trained after you have gone live?
How long will each training course be?
The amount of time a delegate will retain their new knowledge without using the new system in earnest is limited. You probably don’t want to start the bulk of your internal staff training until six weeks before you expect to go live with your new software.
There are some exceptions to this rule for example:
You may want your training room up and running to train your subject matter experts
You may want your training room up and running to train your super users
You may want your training room up and running to train your internal test team
You may want your training room up and running to train your User Acceptance Testers
Can I use existing desktops, monitors or laptops:
Using your own laptops option:
Do most of the company use work laptops.
Could they bring their laptops to their training course?
Would the software they are being trained in be already installed on their laptop:
If not could they install it before their training or could they easily bring it to their IT department for installing before their course? Consider this regardless as they may need to take it to their IT department after the training for it to be installed when they go live.
Is the new software cloud based. Is it simple for it to be made available to them before, during or after their training. If so consider a member of IT being available on the day and this being part of the course.
Using your own desktops/monitors Option:
Do you have some spare desktops that you could utilise in a training room or rooms for a period that might last up to 12 weeks or even months if your training delivery is phased?
Are you going have more than one training room running at any given time. If so do you have enough spare laptops to accommodate this.
Buying or Leasing additional desktops and monitors:
Your company may buy or lease additional as and when required. There is nothing wrong with considering if it is cost effective to lease or buy the additional desktops/monitor or laptops that would be required to kit out a training room. You may choose to keep a training facility available at the end of the training period to train new starters, to test future planned changes to your software or even to be used afterwards for any staff expansion or to replace existing kit as it needs replacing.
Don’t forget you will need to also budget for the additional operating systems and possibly additional licences to run Microsoft office and the software you are rolling out.
If you are thinking of buying or leasing the training room software don’t forgot to include one for the trainer and a spare one if your budget can stretch to it in case you get any technical issues.
Hiring some training desktops/monitors or laptops:
Consider hiring some training desktops with monitors or laptops for the duration of the training project with operating system and Microsoft office. You may need to make special arrangements for your software to be installed onto the pc’s as well so you may have additional costs for licencing during the training period. Or the company hiring the computers may be able to supply the software licence as well dependent on what it is.
Hiring mobile classrooms or pods:
Consider talking to companies about hiring mobile classroom facilities. They will often include the computers and monitors as part of the cost. This is a useful option to think about if your training needs to be at more than one site or if you don’t have a spare meeting room that can double up as a training room.
Its a good idea to think early as part of your transformation or training programme how and where you are going to train your employees on their new software.
Possible solutions might include one or a combination of the following:
classroom training (onsite)
classroom training (offsite)
mobile training bus or pod
1 to 1 or shadowing/coaching
drop in location for people to have a play or ask questions
large demonstrations (showing large number of people small snippets of the functionality)
Once you have started to think about how you might conduct some of your training you may want to look at if or how you may be able to facilitate running internal training courses at your premises.
There are a number of different room layouts you may want to consider. Each will have some elements for them and some against them and you will probably also be restricted by the size and shape of the room and other factors including the position of electrical sockets, doors and windows.
There is no right or wrong layout but here we will look at some of the possible layouts you could choose from if you are looking at running your classroom training in-house.
Classroom Style Layout:
Will often ensure each delegate has enough room for their computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse and somewhere to write notes or place their training reference material.
As long as the room is big enough it should allow for the trainer and/or subject matter expert to walk around the room to ensure delegates are following along with demonstrations and are not getting left behind during exercises.
Delegates are not facing each other so may be advantageous to ensure better concentration.
If there are sockets locate don the left and right walls this is a good layout to ensure cables are not a trip hazard.
Delegates in the left and right corners and in rows further back may have difficulty seeing the television screen or projection screen.
Delegates may need to twist to interact with their peers or to interact with their trainer or floorwalker.
May be harder to get to a blank wall or flipchart to post it note car park questions or participate in icebreakers.
Horseshoe/U Style Layout:
Helps promote interaction between delegates as most of the delegates are facing each other as long as their monitors are not blocking their view.
If all sockets are located at the top of the room cables can be neatly contained in the centre of the horseshoe/U. You would need to secure cabling where delegates, trainers and floorwalkers may need to walk in front of the television or presentation screen.
Being opposite other delegates may be distracting.
Delegates may find themselves too far away from the television or presentation screen.
May be difficult to get to any blank walls for ice breakers or to post it note car park questions.
Consider using to:
Train trainers, subject matter experts, super users and end users that will to use the new system extensively.
For courses where you are mixing demonstrations with practical exercises and want delegates to ask questions and interact with each other.
Enable you to use the wall space to encourage delegates to move around during the course by car parking questions using post it notes on the wall during the course.
Add additional flip charts to facilitate brainstorming exercises or icebreakers
Theatre Style Layout:
Good for large groups who may be coming in for a short presentation/demonstration session perhaps to see the software for the first time or for very low use volume users
Needs limited computer equipment, power and desks.
No facility for delegates to make notes or to practice using the software
Visibility may be poor for delegates to the far left, far right or towards the rear of the room
Some delegates may need to turn to see the television or projection screen.
Consider using to:
Useful where you have lots of low use users as an educational piece. This can be supported further with floor walking or remote support when you go live if they are not customer facing users.
Beneficial if you want to include some staggered demonstrations throughout your software implementation to help staff feel included in the process.
Can be used to show key stakeholders the progress made to date in the rollout.
Variations to consider:
Change the angle of the desks to forn a chevron shape.
Change the angle of the desks to form a semi circle.
Chevron or V Layout:
There may be some increased visibility for delegates seated at the far left or right desks
There may be an opportunity to slightly stagger the desks to enable delegates in the second row to see the television or presentation screen clearly.
Cables can be kept to the left and right if electricity sockets facilitate this as long as the left and right are not used for delegates, trainers or floorwalkers to move up and down the room.
Interaction between peers may be limited as people in the rows to the rear of the room will be facing the backs of people on the front row.
Some delegates may need to twist to face the trainer or floorwalker.
It may be harder for people to walk around the room.
Consider using to:
Train internal trainers, super users, subject matter experts (SME’s) and high volume software users.
Provide delegates with classroom training which offers a mix or demonstrations and exercises.
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