We talk a lot about the benefits of getting training for your CMMS, but it can be hard to fully capture the repercussions that lack of training can have on an organization adopting new software.
Then there’s the Phoenix pay system. If you’re not a Canadian civil servant, that might mean nothing to you, but those three words have caused some serious problems for more than 80,000 people.
The automated system, which aims to centralize government pay, was meant to save millions of dollars and speed up pay delivery to more than 100 Canadian government departments.
That all sounds great, but rolling out the new software has been a series of unfortunate events. Between February (when the system went live) and July more than 80,000 federal public servants were paid incorrectly, and 720 new hires and students weren’t paid at all. The government has not released the number of workers affected since July 1, 2016.
It’s not the software, but lack of training that’s at the core of the Phoenix gaffe
While the whole situation is extremely unfortunate, it’s not an argument against updating your software. Rather, Phoenix is a cautionary tale about the importance of training staff properly ahead of software implementation.
IBM is the company behind the Phoenix system. Like many software companies, they offer training on their products, especially for complex rollouts like Phoenix. But there is a cost associated with this, and back in 2014 the Canadian government opted to take training into their own hands, rather than pay IBM to prepare public servants for the new system.
This clearly did not go well.
“We underestimated the time it took people to adapt to the new technology. The learning curve just seemed to be much longer that we expected,” said Rosanna Di Paola, one of the senior bureaucrats on the Phoenix project, in a recent CBC report.
I don’t work for the Canadian government. Why should I care?
While a CMMS might not have quite the same reach as a pay system, lack of training can have ripple effects that eventually impact your organization’s bottom line. If you train people properly it ensures that they:
a. Use the software.
b. Use it correctly.
c. Cope well with the change.
It really should be a no-brainer. Take the learning curve into consideration when setting out your timelines for software implementation, and make sure you leave some time for training. This relatively small investment will pay dividends in the end.