You have to decide
how to train colleagues in software?

We help you make the right choice

Web or classroom training, videos, flashcards, manuals, etc. – or digital adoption. What fits your goal best?
What are the options at all?
There are various digital adoption solutions on the market. Which one is the most suitable for my application?
The most suitable DAP solution?

01

What are the options?

Digital Adoption

Digital adoption platforms (DAP) are becoming increasingly popular. The DAP market is growing at 75-80% annually.

Digital adoption refers to solutions that act as a “support layer” over software. They provide the user with the appropriate assistance on-demand – i.e., at the moment of need. As a rule, routes are used that guide the user step-by-step (with explanations in tool tips) through an application. After completing a route, not only is the task completed (after all, everything always takes place in the live system) – but the application is also learned. So the user doesn’t have to read help documentation or ask colleagues to perform his task.

Traditional forms of training

Traditional forms of training are usually based on documented knowledge. Knowledge is preserved in different media: as text, audio, video – or a combination. The learning and use of knowledge often takes place with a time lag and in different systems.

The options in comparison

Description
Digital Adoption Platforms are still a young but rapidly growing support option. Training users, but especially supporting users in the moment of need (OnDemand) are key characteristics.

Authors can create and publish content like routes, news, announcements or collections. The publication of the content can be controlled in terms of time. In addition, content can also be provided to specific user groups (segmentation). Users can access routes, among other things. The routes guide the user step-by-step through the live application in the most efficient way. Completing a task and learning the application take place in parallel.

Areas of application
Digital Adoption is used for SW-related training.

Prerequisites
The prerequisites are usually very low: the solution is usually obtained as a SaaS solution. To make the content available to users, the DA solution must be integrated into the application via code snippet – or made available via a browser extension. Both delivery methods are usually centralized, i.e. users do not have to install anything.

Advantages

  • OnDemand help in the live system
  • No tearing out of the daily work routine
  • No transfer of fleeting stock knowledge
  • Easily scalable, usually available in any number of languages
  • Low effort for content creation and maintenance (immune to SW changes; no “screenshot exchange” required)
  • Significant cost savings for creation, transfer and updating of knowledge

Disadvantages

  • Online access required
  • No social interaction (compared to classroom training)

Description
Many companies are very experienced in conducting classroom training. Training rooms and infrastructure exist, meeting rooms are available and trainers are trained to conduct trainings.

Classic tasks are the creation of training storyboards and training materials, identification of participants, planning of trainings (infrastructure, trainers, participants), travel planning, execution of events and post-processing activities (e.g. evaluation of participant feedback, adaptation of training materials, …).

Areas of application
Training situations that require group dynamics, creative or interactive learning units, e.g. group work.

Prerequisites
Availability of training materials, trainers, training rooms and training equipment. It is also important that employees can leave the workplace to participate in training without critical limitations to the organization’s performance.

Advantages

  • Social exchange
  • Interaction & group dynamics
  • Direct exchange with experts

Disadvantages

  • Removes participants from the work process
  • Creates volatile “stock knowledge
  • Costly to plan, implement and update
  • Forces transfer of learned knowledge into a live system
  • Expensive due to “work loss” of participants, trainers, travel costs and high update efforts
  • Multiplied costs in case of multiple languages

Description
Web based (or computer-based) trainings have also arrived in most companies today. They take place directly on the PC. The training content is usually prepared as a presentation and also includes video content and live demonstrations. The technology used usually allows for chats, surveys, etc. The trainings are often recorded so that they are available afterwards. Participants are more flexible in their participation because they are not tied to a specific location.

Classic tasks (as with face-to-face trainings) are the creation of training storyboards and training materials, identification of participants, planning of trainings (scheduling), execution of events and post-processing activities (e.g. evaluation of participant feedback, adaptation of training materials, …).

Areas of application
Training situations that require little or no group dynamics, creative or interactive learning, e.g. group work. Today’s technologies also allow group work through digital break-out rooms.

Prerequisites
Availability of training materials, trainers, and conferencing/training technologies. It is also important that employees can interrupt their daily work to attend training without critical limitations to the organization’s performance.

Advantages

  • Flexible participation without travel time/expenses
  • Limited interaction & group dynamics
  • Direct exchange with experts
  • Recording of trainings for time-independent use of content
  • Low costs (elimination of travel time/expenses, meeting rooms)

Disadvantages

  • Removes participants from the work process
  • Creates volatile “stock knowledge
  • Costly to plan, implement and update
  • Forces participants to transfer what they have learned to a live system
  • Expensive due to “work stoppage” for participants and high updating costs
  • Multiplied costs in case of multiple languages

Description
In addition to classic manuals, newer media such as videos or podcasts are also used. Once produced, they are available to users 7×24 via central storage locations.

Areas of application
Whenever passive knowledge in secondary systems is sufficient, no on-demand help is required – and interactive and creative training situations are not necessary. E.g. the teaching of specific guidelines.

Prerequisites
Content can be digitized well. Technical infrastructure for video/audio recording as well as a central filing structure with effective search mechanisms is available and allows fast and accurate access to the knowledge.

Advantages

  • Simple and usually cost-effective provision of the documented knowledge
  • 7×24 and locally unbound availability of content

Disadvantages

  • Time-consuming creation of content (e.g. when creating videos)
  • Partially time-consuming search for knowledge – and time-consuming recording of knowledge
  • Forces transfer of what has been learned into a live system
  • No immediate help in the live system
  • Usually high adaptation efforts in case of changes of the underlying software (e.g. exchange of screenshots)
  • Multiplied costs in case of multiple languages

Description
Manuals are among the most traditional measures for documenting knowledge and making it available to users. Once produced, they are available to users 7×24 via central storage locations.

Areas of application
Whenever passive knowledge in secondary systems is sufficient, no on-demand help is required, illustrative video or audio sequences and interactive and creative training situations are not necessary.

Prerequisites
Content can be well documented. Technical infrastructure for a central storage structure with effective search mechanisms is available and allows fast and accurate access to the knowledge.

Advantages

  • Simple and usually cost-effective provision of the documented knowledge
  • 7×24 and locally unbound availability of content

Disadvantages

  • Partially time-consuming creation of content
  • Partially time-consuming search for knowledge – and time-consuming absorption of knowledge
  • Forces transfer of what has been learned into a live system
  • No immediate help in the live system
  • Usually high adaptation efforts in case of changes of the underlying software (e.g. exchange of screenshots)
  • Multiplied costs in case of multiple languages

Description
Often, existing wikis are also used in the company to impart knowledge about software. In addition, there are learning systems such as learning card systems, which also structure knowledge and make it easily accessible. In addition, content is also often combined: Videos, podcasts, … … find their way into wikis or learning cards.

Areas of application
Whenever passive knowledge in secondary systems is sufficient, on-demand assistance is not required, and interactive and creative training situations are not necessary.

Prerequisites
Content can be well documented. Technical infrastructure for a central storage structure with effective search mechanisms is available and allows fast and accurate access to the knowledge. In parts, special software solutions such as learning card systems are required.

Advantages

  • Simple and usually cost-effective provision of the documented knowledge
  • 7×24 and locally unbound availability of content

Disadvantages

  • Partially time-consuming creation of content
  • Partially time-consuming search for knowledge – and time-consuming absorption of knowledge
  • Forces transfer of what has been learned into a live system
  • No immediate help in the live system
  • Usually high adaptation efforts in case of changes of the underlying software (e.g. exchange of screenshots)
  • Multiplied costs in case of multiple languages

02

What is the right
DAP solution?

More info

In our checklist, we are happy to provide you with the 22 most important criteria for selecting the DAP.

Make the right choice

All digital adoption solutions have one thing in common: they guide the user directly through the application by means of routes in the live system. But then the differences already begin. To make the right choice, it is important to know them.

  • It is important to be able to put the digital adoption solution through its paces in your own IT environment. There should be no restrictions on the scope of functions and use, and sufficient time should be available for testing.

  • The integration must be simple. Usually, a code snippet can be integrated into an application or the DAP can be provided via a browser extension.

  • Can the solution be obtained as a SaaS solution – or must it also be available OnPremise? Is the solution hardened in a demanding environment – and does data protection comply with the company’s own specifications? The solution must successfully pass many other tests before it can be integrated into companies.

  • Can content be created and changed easily, without training or developer skills? Can multiple authors create content in parallel – and is there an editorial process? To what extent is content immune to changes in the software in order to keep the update effort low?

Numerous other aspects must be taken into account when selecting a suitable DAP. You can download an overview of the most important criteria here.


We take time for you. Feel free to contact us.

Kathrin Schlierer-Neumann
CSO, AppNavi GmbH

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