In the past, Giant Eagle would have brought the end-users to facilitated two-and-a-half-day classes that couldn’t hold more than 12 to 13 students at a time, according to Tony Mastellino, director of HR information systems (HRIS) for Giant Eagle. Many of the users had to travel and spend two nights in a hotel in Cleveland or Pittsburgh, where the company’s two training centers are located.
“When we do mass rollouts on an update of an application, we always have the challenge of how do we get 600 end-users trained that are coming from all over,” said Mastellino.
In order to train end-users on the PeopleSoft upgrade, Giant Eagle used the OnDemand Personal Navigator from Knowledge Products, an enterprise computer-based training solution that integrates well with PeopleSoft, SAP and Siebel solutions. This allowed users to work through the OnDemand topics as many times as they wanted to at their work location. “We still brought them in for facilitated training,” said Mastellino. “It wasn’t hands-on; it was more focused on showing them how to navigate through the OnDemand product.” These training sessions were only three hours, as opposed to two-and-a-half days, eliminating the travel costs associated with rolling out a new version of a mission-critical system, like PeopleSoft, Mastellino added.
Mastellino said the reduction of facilitated training was the greatest benefit of using the computer-based training. Giant Eagle saved $50,000 a year in travel costs alone, and the time required to train users on the PeopleSoft upgrade was reduced drastically.
“We got through training 600 end-users in two weeks,” said Mastellino. When Giant Eagle upgraded from PeopleSoft version 6.0 to 7.5, it took six weeks to train end-users. “Again, we could only fit 12 to 13 users in a training room at a time,” Mastellino said. “We’d have two training rooms going, two instructors facilitating training at the same time, but you can do the math—12 divided into 600 is a lot of class days.”
Giant Eagle went live on PeopleSoft version 8.3 on June 12, 2003. After just one month, Mastellino said the company was already seeing a reduction in the number of tickets seen in HRIS on how to use the application. “We averaged about 30 of those a week in the old version,” he said, “and we’re seeing, and this is just a ballpark, half of those come in a week. So if the trend stays the same, hopefully we’ll either eliminate them or hold them down to a bare minimum.”
Mastellino said that this is one of the major benefits of the computer-based training—it allows learners constant access to the knowledge they need to perform their jobs. “The beauty of OnDemand is that they can use that product in the ‘Do It’ mode, and at any given time in a process, like a new hire, if they get lost, they can execute the OnDemand professor and it will instruct them through where they need to go,” said Mastellino.
In addition, the use of computer-based training has eliminated the need for the user’s manual that Giant Eagle had to provide in years past. “That was very labor-intensive to put together—600 manuals, all the paper costs, all the binders, supplies, et cetera,” said Mastellino. “That’s been completely eliminated. We brought it online with the CBT product.”
Computer-based training also eases the update process for learning. Previously, if something changed, a chapter would be taken out of the user’s manual and redistributed to the 600 users. “Now we redeploy one topic and send an e-mail out saying Topic A has been revised and redeployed—go to it,” said Mastellino.
Giant Eagle created its own post-assessment tool to measure users’ knowledge following the training. “We developed a monitoring process to make sure that what they sat through, they comprehended,” he said. This way, end-users were able to know their scores and know what they needed to do to be considered literate.
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