Task: Develop Training Materials
This task describes how to produce materials needed to train the users of the product.
Disciplines: Deployment
Main Description

The audience for most of the training materials are the students in a class.  However, instructor guidelines may also be needed.

Develop an Outline for the Training Materials

Determine the audience for the training. What kind of roles would a typical course attendant have in his or her organization. What pre-requisites would be required of those who attend the course.

Define objectives for the training. What specific features of the product should the students learn about? In many cases it is not possible to fit all details of the usage of a product into one training session. What level of knowledge should the students achieve? Some things may be sufficient to discuss at an introduction level, while others are critical and you need to make sure the students feel comfortable applying them directly after the course.

Discuss what type of training would be suitable. Options to consider are:

  • On-line tutorials.
  • Class room training.
  • Workshop-style training.

Decide the duration of the training and what the upper limit for number of attendants should be. It might also be necessary to develop a family of courses, rather than just one course, to be able to meet the needs of the audience.

Determine how the materials should be produced. This task is often outsourced.

Write the Training Materials

The primary components of training materials to focus on are the ones the students will use in class. If you are developing class room or workshop-style training this would include slides and any exercise materials you need.

If your training materials are intended to be used by other people than just the author of the class, you also need to produce instructor guidelines as well as instructions for how to produce the materials.

Depending on the topic of the class, it may also be useful to include a list of references to books, articles, web-sites that provide the background information for the class. In some cases you may even choose to include re-prints of reference materials in the student hand outs.

To ensure good quality of the training materials, the author of the class may involve an "advisory board" to review the materials and discuss particular issues. Such a group could include representatives for users, marketing, and developers of the product.