New Office 2010 Features Require Training | CBT Online

When Office 97 was first released it had a new look and new functionality that required even the most proficient office user to attend training, which was often eagerly provided by companies who saw the value in having competent Office users. The interface and feature-set of Office didn’t change for the next ten years and so as new Office releases became available and deployed within an organization it was hit-or-miss on training being provided. Many network admins opted to deploy Office and let folks figure out for themselves what was new and how to use it.

With the release of Office 2007 and now Office 2010 there is an absolutely need to provide training again. The interface has been completely revamped to include a Ribbon (as opposed to legacy versions of Office with toolbars and menus). This Ribbon interface has received criticism but Microsoft is pushing forward with it and in fact, has made it universal in all of the Office 2010 applications. In the first version of Word there were only about 100 commands, but now the command-set for Word reaches up over 1500! It was obvious that a new way of displaying and working with those commands was needed. But this new interface has many Office users frustrated and confused, thus hindering productivity.

In addition to the Ribbon, there is a new ‘Backstage View’ with all of your behind-the-scenes aspects to a document and document management tools. Here is where you find your Print, Save As, Inspect Document, Document Properties and so forth. This is yet another new feature for Office users that will require a bit of hand holding for users just to walk them through the new location of their tools, along with the introduction to new tools they’ve never used before.

Throughout the Office suite Microsoft has beefed up its image and illustration tools. There are so many new features to allow you to manipulate images, crop them to shapes, insert them as screenshots, remove the background, add effects and much more. A modicum of training can go a long way for your Office users to really benefit from their new Office suite.

In addition to new features within the Office suite as a whole, there are new tools and features in each Office application that requires training. For example, in Excel 2010 there is a new feature called Sparklines that allow you to graphically display data in a single cell. In PowerPoint 2010 there are so many new features like ‘Create a Video’ and the ability to group slides into Sections. Outlook 2010 now has a Conversation View and a Social Connector portion, which ties in incredibly well with SharePoint 2010. It’s a bevy of new tools and features spread across all of the Office applications that may never be found by your users without training, whereas just a small amount of training could easily demonstrate all the new Office 2010 features and put them in the right direction for mastering their Office applications once again.

The question many have, especially now, in these tough economic times, is how do we provide training (which is often times quite expensive) when we just utilized the majority of our budget in upgrading the user’s system, OS and/or Office suite? The truth is that traditional methods of sending folks off-site for days at a time, losing their productivity and a small fortune in the process, are gone. And good riddance! Your people don’t need that! They can learn anything they need through online, anywhere accessible video training that focuses on the subjects at hand. Provide them both the training and support they need through video training… and not 1 hour, bore them to sleep, video training… but task-based, short, focused videos that allow a user to grab a quick training bite in minutes. Let them have the ability to access that training from anywhere so that they can do it from home even, rather than under the watchful eyes of fellow employees where they may feel self-conscious about having to ‘learn’ something new.

If you are deploying Office 2007 or 2010 into your environment, you are to be commended. You obviously see the need to push forward and give your people the tools they need to be successful, and correspondingly for your company to be successful. Go one step further and provide them with the training they need to make good use of their new Microsoft Office applications.

Posted on January 28, 2011 at 9:01 am

Categories: Follow-up Friday, Office 2010

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