Yes! Here we are! The Big Deadline. We made it, and if I do say so myself, this training program looks FABULOUS! Rubric is robust, Videos are vibrant, Content is creative and our stakeholders are thrilled. Time to go to the congratulatory happy hour when in walks …… the Party Pooper .
That's right. Mr-Know-It-All has graced us with his presence and let it be known that we. made. a. mistake. Mister K.I.A. was present at every check-in meeting for the past 6 months, yet *forgot* to mention that all X level employees have a different interface, meaning that our course is now wrong, irrelevant, and 100% useless. Today. Deadline Day. Epic Fail.
So … Could this have been avoided? I mean, we did everything by the book. Savvy Kickoff, weekly op-mechs, rocked ADDIE & SAM, held incremental surveys and polls, established feedback loop, and a wildly successful final user (UI/UX) test program. What more do you want from us?!?
Alas - No training is perfect. Something will always fall through the cracks. So here is my list of commonly overlooked QA to share with your stakeholders above and beyond your usual Project prep. To misquote an overly catchy Farmer's Insurance commercial …. "I know a thing or two, because I've seen a thing or two." I've met a lot of party poopers...
What-If Scenario List
- Step-by-Step - Training Avengers, Assemble! Find a user, manager, and a Subject Matter Expert, gather in a classroom (or chat room ... or bar), and go line-by-line through a process. Ask 1 to 5 "What if?" questions per step.
- Roles - Sure, we always ask about target audience, but do we inquire into lesser known intricacies of each role? Do some roles hold access and permisissions greater (or lesser) than others? Do they have different dashboards, interfaces, reports, or schedules? Certification requirements? Pre-requisites? Responsibilities? Are there environmental factors for field workers vs. office workers that could affect the outcome of this training?
When in doubt, as the end user - the one serving in the trenches.
- Language Barriers - When working across cultures or in fields with heavy international influence, it is ALWAYS a good idea to run training through one (or more) translators. I recommend a minimum of two: one senior colleague, one youthful. This will provide a traditional / phonetic assessment plus a test for modern slang and vernacular. Some translation errors can be quite comical , however, one error led to the death of 70,000 people . #TranslationMatters.
- Device - Does this software / process work the same on a phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop? Is the user experience different? Are more / less steps required? Would additional screenshots be of benefit? Do Passwords, user licenses, and PINs work universally across devices? Is a downloadable mobile app needed? How about a VPN for security? Run through each step on each device for good measure. Now do it again.
- Browsers - Does this training work across all Browsers? Build browser testing into your UI/UX process, and note ANY differences. Try each scenario using each browser (Chrome, Safari, IE, Firefox...). Demo in each browser. BE the Browser....
- Mac or PC? - Will this process work the same across all digital platforms? Will the screens look different? I've worked for many-a-company whose users/workers used PC, whereas upper management preferred Mac. In this scenario, don't build for Mac - build for PC. However, make Mac users aware of any subtle (or not-so-subtle) differences in the interface.
- Safety - Always deep-dive questions regarding physical, personal, and digital safety. Are there OSHA requirements needed prior to performing that construction task? Should that email be encrypted prior to send? After Step 7, should additional actions be taken to protect customer data?
Pro-Tip: Bring in a specialist from Help Desk or Security for input.
- Anomalies - Leap Year, Time Zones, Age requirements, local laws, local culture, religious and cultural holidays around the world, corporate deadlines, travel schedules, sporting schedules, training schedules, food and diet restrictions (health or religious), curfews.
**** .You don't want someone scheduling mandatory training on Super Bowl Sunday while serving Quinoa and Oat Bran muffins … So why would you schedule mandatory training for a Jewish colleague on Rosh Hashana serving pork? #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat. Do the research.*****
What What-Ifs would you add to this list?
Share your thoughts on Twitter or Instagram.