Many of my implementation users have heard me encourage them to read the application software user manuals, be it ones they have purchased or the ones that come with the software. Even though the software developers no longer supply hard copy user manuals at the time of purchase, various types of documentation are available through a purchase, the help feature as well as online that can be printed. This allows the training material to stay current with version changes.
I just completed my Microsoft Certification on the Dynamics 2010 Financial modules (System-Foundation, General Ledger, Receivables, Purchasing, Bank Reconciliation and Fixed Assets) and part of my study process was reading each of the Training Manuals for these modules. Even though I had previously read complete or partial sections of these manuals, I was reminded of the second part of my encouragement speech I give my implementation users and that is what I want to share with you today.
I’m aware that everyone has more than enough daily tasks to accomplish, but I’d like to make a suggestion that I try to practice, that I think would be worth adding to your “to-do” list.
Each time you read through a training manual, you come away with different things. The first time reading the training manual helps familiarize you with what features are available in the software you are learning to use. By the second time you start reading the documentation, you have established a routine between your job responsibilities and the software, so you are able to pick up additional functionality you may not have been concerned with when you were initially learning. I often hear, “I didn’t know that,” but it is hard to teach and for the end user to retain everything initially. And the third time (Okay, I know you’re thinking, “I am not reading it a third time”), you will absorb the finishing touches to the features available. Usually by then, you can be reading material related to a newer version of your software. I would also like to add that each review goes quicker because you are only going to skim over the material you already know.