Tuesday, January 30, 2007

From Theory to Practice

I suspect my current anxiety is a result of the following:
- I've been a 1 person shop for my entire career
- I've been training the same material for the past 5 years
- I've had a student base with minimal "prior knowledge" of computers or of the system I was showing them.

The situation I find myself in is almost the opposite of what I've been doing all this time:
- There are now (at least) 5 other people with input on the training
- The training requires students (and myself) to make a huge cognitive leap
- The student base comes in with significantly more prior knowledge.

What this means: I need to do what I've been doing differently.

I hate to admit this, but my colleagues figured this out more quickly than I did and spent the better part of the meeting trying to get my thick skull around this fact.

I should be excited. Finally - a chance to practice what everyone has been preaching. Not having to do the "step-by-step", practicing "social construction", encouraging cognitive leaps and all that.

Yet every single synapse in my brain is screaming NO!
- We only have 90 minutes!
- The users will NEVER get it!
- I thought I had already created context in the training?!?!
- Why are the younger trainers trying to muscle in on MY work?!
- What in the world did I miss and why don't I understand what is going on!!!!!!


After a good night's sleep, I am slowly quieting the control freak educator in my head. I hope to send her packing by the end of all of this.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jackhammers and Spoons

Jason, at Signals vs. Noise, has a great post on project approaches - A Spoon or a Jackhammer?.

Brute force (jackhammer) may get things done, but a whole lot more can go wrong—loudly. Subtlety (spoon) gives you more room to work. More opportunities to say no, to slow down, to make better decisions along the way, to change direction.

The upgrade project I'm on turned into a "jackhammer project" because of the belief that if you throw more resources at it (people and money) it will get done quicker.

The problem with that belief is that certain things require TIME to do correctly. Especially change management. No amount of money or people can change that.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Piloting Clinician Training

I just finished doing the first pilot of a part of the training for the new upgrade with our Internal Medicine Pilot Clinician's Group.

Considering that the software is not entirely finished and a touch buggy + I am still not entirely familiar with its inner workings - it went well.

Our group has been challenged to show the attending physicians how to use the new version of our Electronic Medical Record in no more than 90 minutes.

I informed the group that I was doing a time check - can I get through the material listed in about 45 minutes. Understand that there is still 15 - 30 minutes worth of material that I couldn't touch since the system is not fully configured and workflows have not been established. I wanted their opinion of how they felt after the training and if they felt comfortable enough to go into the clinic and work afterwards.

I informed the group that if the group felt comfortable at the end of the session, I would check for retention the next week using the same worksheet.

The setup:
- I go through as much of the training as possible. Some docs are on computers, some are not. I am given a 30 minute time check and a 45 minute time check. I stop where I am at when 45 minutes is called. This included all questions, keeping the cats (MDs) herded, and working through a worksheet that I tried to design to mimick their workflow.

Results: I got through the material in time and most everyone was on pace.

When I asked the docs how they felt after time was called - the 2 most tech-savvy docs in the organization both looked at me and said "There is absolutely NO WAY we can learn this in 1.5 hours." The rest of the crew nodded in agreement.

1 of the 2 tech-savvy docs said "I have seen this thing 3 times already and I am just now beginning to put my head around it. If this group is having problems, I can't imagine what will happen with the other docs." He is absolutely right. The group I used for this test have been on the product the longest and represent the most sophisticated users of our electronic medical record.

The doctors' recommendations:
- We really ought to have an MD team teach the attending provider training with the trainers. (I am SO HAPPY they recommended this approach themselves. I hope my surprise didn't show.) Their only caveat: the organization needs to take that trainer's time out of their clinical time and NOT their free time.

- The training really needs to be split into (at least) 2 sessions. An Intro session and a Work session. The Intro session will cover basic navigation and go through a basic patient visit. The Work session will address administrative workflows and more details on how to do particular things - based on the needs of the providers in the room.

- We need to start getting ALL of the docs looking at this product NOW. Not just a select group.

It is incredibly heartening to see our docs FINALLY start taking responsibility for our Electronic Medical Record rather than seeing it just as an "IT thing."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is it just me?

Why is it that the more "important" the project, the more time you spend in meetings and the less time you have to actually get something done (because you are in meetings)?

Just a thought.....

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Train Derails......

The vendor's senior management admits this morning that the new controlled release version of the software is too buggy to go live.

We've got them right where we want them. They are still promising the same level of resources and attention from now until we go live - no matter how long it takes. The vendor admitted it is THEIR fault that we will not meet targets. We did not have to be the one to push back. - The boss.

Go Live dates are pushed back to TBD until critical items are fixed and programming is completed on functions that are central to our organization.

Vendor and Client staff breathe huge sighs of relief.

The trainers now have a fighting chance of having actual training materials completed.

First item of good news at work since the new year.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Snowboarding at Big Sky



I make no claims for the educational value of this video.

I made this video using a Canon Elura 100 Camcorder, a FireWire card and cable, and Windows Movie Maker (which reminds me of a cheap version of Camtasia). Nothing fancy and no extra sound. The clips were from the same tape and all fades, titles and credits were done within Windows Movie Maker.

This took about 30 minutes of troubleshooting (new toys take time to learn), 2 hours of editing, and 10 minutes of download time onto Google Video.

If I were really retentive - I would have overdubbed myself using my "professional tutorial voice."

Life's too short to worry about these sorts of things.

Letting Go....

“Let go of what you “think” you know. And pay attention to the flow. Stop trying to force things to go the way you think they should go, and be willing to move in a direction that is different from what you planned on or expected.” Steven Lane Taylor

I pulled the above quote from Kammie Kobyleski's Passion Meets Purpose blog.

Now that I'm feeling less stressed (and more resigned to the situation), it's a bit easier to be open to other solutions. Which is a good thing, because I learned the following upon my return to work:

- I missed NOTHING by missing the project team training. The Apps group figured out just as much playing with the system by ourselves as the trainers knew. As one of my colleagues put it "A lot happened, but we didn't make much progress."

- The trainers, VPs, development experts, technical support for the vendor know just as much about this product as we do. I felt sorry for the MD who was brought in to demonstrate the software to the physician's advisory group. The demo version on his laptop worked no better than the version on our test servers.

He was also given little information on the piece none of us could figure out for ourselves - the worklist. The "Worklist" is supposed to be where the MD can look at, verify, and approve outstanding lab and medication orders. A discussion with the vendor's project manager for that piece did little to clarify the situation.

- An instructional designer who has never seen the product before will be brought in next week to help develop documentation for New User training. In some ways, having someone who has never seen the product before come in to help is a good thing. They can point out what does and does not make sense. In other ways - they caused me work since I have to provide "content" (i.e. write the damn thing) and this person job is to make it look pretty. I might as well do that myself and save them money. Even more interesting, they chose an instructional designer rather than a documentation specialist. I'm curious to see how this plays out.

- We now have only one hour to train the docs for the upgrade. At the rate our time is being reduced - we will soon be asked to "train" them by osmosis. Our Administrative Director of Medicine came up with the following strategy while I was gone:
+ Pray that we have something resembling a final configuration by Thursday
+ Spend 10 minutes coming up with an outline that will cover what needs to be trained.
+ Pilot this hands-on informational session with the Pilot Clinicians during their meeting Friday. I'll probably deliver this training.
+ See how realistic this is.
+ If the above is successful - test for retention the next week (my contribution).

If the pilot clinicians "get it" within the hour - we will consider everything OK (and hope the fast-learning docs drag the slow ones with them). If the pilot clinicians balk or don't get it. - she is going to ask for more time. Since she's higher up the chain of command, maybe she'll be successful.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kinesthetic Memory

I spent the past week at Big Sky Montana learning how to snowboard. I had taken lessons a few years ago before I got sick. Sadly, I had not gotten back on the mountain after those lessons.

After a day spent acclimating to the height (7500 ft up), I scheduled some lessons. Knowing I'm a klutz - I figured I'd spend a large portion of the trip nursing injuries.

Fortunately, I discovered some kinethetic memory that I didn't know I had. The good news, I can manage to get down the hill without getting myself killed. The bad news - during the lessons I intimidated a woman out of our 2 person class.

I had warned her that I had taken lessons before and never practiced.

Still - she saw that I could balance and get through the exercises unscathed. She found this intimidating and quit after 30 minutes. I felt pretty bad about this. By the same token - this was a huge lesson.

Students are intimidated if there is a person in the class who is obviously more skilled than they are. Even more so if the teacher obviously would prefer to work with this person.

This is not done on purpose. I find that as a teacher, it is natural to want to work with someone who seems to be able to get up to your level. It is also naturally frustrating to work with someone who just doesn't seem to "get it."

To the credit of the ski instructors at Big Sky resort - they worked very hard to make everyone feel competent. Still - as educators - we have to work hard to get our students past that point of "incompetence".

Friday, January 12, 2007

Joining Me On My Planet....

It looks like I'm starting to have company on my little planet.....

The Director of Clinical Operations for Medicine, who has been working with us very extensively on this project, came storming into the IT department.

Three of us worked with the system this morning for two hours and we still can't figure out how to add problems, prescribe things, authorize orders or verify results! This is NOT intuitive!!!! We're gonna have to touch EVERYBODY!!!! You were right that we may need 5 hours!!!! They will NEVER figure this out!!!!!!

I have been talking to some of the providers I work with and showing them the system. The feedback has been generally positive. Many of them think it won't take long to learn. I have gotten some interesting comments on how their colleagues might have problems. (Notice it is never them....)

I'll know more in 2 weeks.

Speaking of which.....

I am taking a badly needed vacation next week. This was scheduled long before this madness started.

I'm going to Montana to learn to snowboard and do some soul-searching. I hope I won't even SEE a computer - much less work on one. As a result, I'll be quiet next week and your comments may take a while to post.

Thank you all for your support, advice, and kind words.

Meeting with the Practice Administrators

The trainers sat with the 4 practice administrators yesterday to get their buy-in on the "super-user" idea. We need their buy in to ensure that we can have their employees' time.

Of course, the question of training for the upgrade came up....

So if they don't make it to training, they can go to Moodle, right?

Um...no.

Practice administrator looks at me quizzically.

This project is 5 weeks from the point of install in our test servers. We won't have final configuration for 4 weeks. Since this upgrade is in controlled release, you currently see all of the information and documentation that is available in Moodle. I'll post more as it is developed.

So that means everyone will have to go to training.

Yup.

And the training is 5 hours?

We're trying to cut it down, but there are some concerns with one of the modules. It's not terribly intuitive.

You'll only be able to get them for 90 minutes. They're not going to pay attention that long.

I know.

And there's going to be no online tutorials.

Not until well after the upgrade.

Silence

We are offering training the week of the upgrade, then regular new user training afterwards.

I'm afraid that you'll have the docs for 90 minutes and they will come back not knowing what they are doing.

Me too.....

Intelligent Disobedience

Terrence Seamon has an interesting post on Intelligent Disobedience. The idea came from guide dog training. The dog learns to ignore the owner's command to move forward if the owner would get hit by a car.

Seems to me that this concept has wide application. For instance, parenting. Good parents probably teach this skill unknowingly. Sooner or later, little kids learn to say "no" and refuse commands, usually to the parents' chagrin. But it's an important, potentially life-saving ability.

This is also an idea that has application to project management. An article at mindavation.com notes...

“Intelligent disobedience”...should be applied in specific situations with specific intent, and a specific result in mind. Examples of pivotal instances where intelligent disobedience might be appropriate include:

- Dealing with unresponsive sponsors or key customers
- Managing culture clashes that inhibit project progress
- Needing to shake up lagging teams
- Overcoming resistance to changing processes
- Challenging “time versus quality” decisions
- Considering intuitive versus fact-based decision making


I've made my opinions on this particular upgrade more than clear to my boss and outlined the worst and best case scenario. Over the past couple of weeks, it has become increasingly clear that no one has done the necessary risk assessment for this project. I'm certain an episode of "intelligent disobedience" needed to occur higher up from me.

These days I feel like I'm on another planet from my colleagues....

Thursday, January 11, 2007

How Intuitive Is It?

We finally got our hands on the upgrade yesterday.

First thing the boss asked..how intuitive is it?

Since I've been staring at as much documentation and material as I can get my mitts on for the past couple of months, I'm not the person to say.

The IT Department is not a good gauge because we tend to nose around and try things out.

So....I've asked 3 of my favorite MDs to come and visit me to get a feel for their reaction to the system. I'm still playing with it - so I can't give them much guidance. This is probably a good thing for this type of assessment.

My 3 victims / volunteers are....

An Ophthalmologist who is incredibly computer savvy and likes to play with gadgets and software.

A Neurologist who is comfortable with computers, but isn't terribly experimental

An OBGYN (Chief) who is not comfortable with computers.

All 3 specialties have particular workflow needs. And these gentlemen will give me a good spread on the reaction we can expect from the doctors. I'm hoping that it won't be as bad as I fear....

I'll let you know how it goes...

Reducing My Scope and Checking the Box

They cut our time even further. Go Live is currently set for 2/26....
2 weeks prior than the most recent unrealistic date. Reason: The vendor wants to announce that a large site (us) has gone up on this amazing new upgrade. I'm not entirely sure what good things we get out of this exercise yet.

My reaction to this news on Tuesday was not one of my prouder professional moments. Imagine a psychotic banshee (me) unintelligbly screeching about how the project is going to be a miserable failure because they keep cutting into our time for change management and training development and you get a pretty accurate picture of how things went.

This will give us less than 2 weeks to put together something that they can check off as "training".

The carrot - they promised resources for documentation development and more trainers. Nevermind that the trainers are still not comfortable with the new version and the documentation developers have never seen it before.

The resulting solution:
- We attempt to commandeer 4 conference rooms in house (out of the 5 that we have) and turn them into computer labs. So far - we have 2 guaranteed.

- Online training goes out the window. So much for all that work with Moodle.

- We try to cut the material down to 2 hours. It will be a hands-on walk-through of a basic clinic visit.

- We wave goodbye, tell them "good luck and godspeed" and pray that an "Informal Learning" system kicks in between them without too much damage.

- Those who don't make it - um...we might have a 6 page quick reference done by then....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Trading Off - the Big Question Jan 2007

What are the trade offs between quality learning programs and rapid e-learning and how do you decide?

I don't know how many of you are in the same boat I'm in, but I find that the decision is not entirely mine.

In my environment, I have 4 considerations:
- What do I need to train?

- Who is my audience and what is the best way to tackle training for the majority of them?

- How much time do I have to design and implement my training?

- What resources do I have to work with?

I seldom have control over these considerations. I DO know that my organization is all about speed.

Therefore, I am forced to build the minimum, get the training out there so that "training" box can be checked and the implementation project can be considered "complete."

Nevermind the weeks of cleanup that needs to occur afterwards or the months of ill-will from the rest of the organization.

Dr. Karrer puts this situation in a broader perspective -

Do they really care about effectiveness: changing behavior and driving business results? Many clients don't really care about this. They have a particular product/project in mind and they want you to get that done. As Karyn said in her post, the client will tell you, "Don't worry, your job is safe." They don't care about business outcomes. You'll often find this out pretty quickly when you start asking questions about "What do you expect people to do differently after this intervention?" or "What numbers are we trying to hit?" A blank stare often indicates that they don't really care. I actually think a surprising number of "training" projects involve clients who are on the don't care end of the spectrum.

In my experience, the reason why they don't care is because "training" is a check box on a project and seen as the "last step" of an implementation. Once "training" is done, the project is done and everyone can get on with their life. I'm not just talking software projects - I'm also including customer service initiatives, new sales procedures, etc.

OK, I really haven't answered the question yet.......

I WANT to build quality training. By "quality", I mean effective. Something that will improve performance and give my students / clients what they need to be successful in that particular thing. It doesn't have to be expensive. It just requires time, interactivity and a bit of ingenuity. It could be an easel pad and some crayons or reasonably fancy interactive courseware (Adobe Captivate 2 is a marvelous thing).

The organization wants to check the training box as fast as possible.....

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Thanks Karyn!

Karyn Romeis, in her comments, offered a great idea for developing a SuperUser community. I am going to add her comment verbatim:

I am particularly familiar with the issue of lack of incentive for superusers. When you are fatuously told that the kudos is enough,you want to strangle somebody. One of the reasons I found for the dropped ball scenario is that the superusers were often drawn from the support staff and junior to many of the people they would be supporting. When the line manager is one of said people and suffers from insecurity issues... well that's not a very promising cocktail!

One measure I have tried in the past was to generate a superuser community. The first port of call for everyone else was the superuser. The superuser's first point of escalation was to the superuser community before going to the IT helpdesk.

One small suggestion (forgive me if I'm stepping out of line, here): when you do the demos in your superusers workshop, how about getting some of the proficient ones to do the demo to small groups within the class? This will help them not to be bored by a process they already know, while generating a nice ratio for each demo group.


Karyn: I hope you don't mind - but I'm going to pass these ideas on to the other trainers. I'll keep you informed of their reaction.

BTW - everyone needs to check out her blogs! Great stuff!

http://karynromeis.blogspot.com and http://karynromeis.edublogs.org

Monday, January 08, 2007

It's Monday

Considering how I've felt the past couple of weeks, this is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time..... Especially because I've sounded like this a lot recently....

It's Monday

This requires sound. Headphones are best.....

Thanks Kristie!!!!! A badly needed laugh.

Defining the SuperUser

In an attempt to get our end-users something resembling support during the upgrade process, the organization has given us a set of SuperUsers to work with.

These SuperUsers are going to perform the following roles:

- 1st level support - answering really basic questions.

- Liason between their clinic and the IT department.

- Test our upgrade.

One of our divisions have had people serving in this capacity since the last upgrade. The other divisions - despite our prodding - let the ball drop after the immediate upgrade period. As a result, we have a wide range of technical savvy among the identified Super Users on our list.

Some of them have barely even used the program we are going to support.

Even better - the organization has, thus far, provided little incentive for these SuperUsers to do the extra work. Those of us in the training group are still working on upper management to try to get something resembling an incentive for these folks.

In the meantime, we are going to spend the meetings between the time we get the upgrade in our test servers and the time we have developed something resembling a final configuration getting all of the SuperUsers on the same technical page.

Task for the first meeting: showing all of the SuperUsers how to enter an IT Helpdesk ticket.

Some have done this before, many have not. Help, to this point, has consisted of people calling whoever they can reach with vague requests requiring 15 minutes of conversation and VNC time before being able to solve their problem.

Because the IT department has so many people to support (2000) and so few people in the department (15), we have to have a consistent process. And lots of help from the departments.

We also hope to get more detailed information than "the doctor can't log in." This could mean anything. Which program? Is it a password problem, an application problem, or a computer problem? Somehow, we have to encourage the SuperUsers to start asking these questions. If only so everyone is served faster.

Gesine, Arlene and I are building pre-assessments for each class and post-assessments to see how things went. Hopefully, the SuperUsers will come in knowing more than I think they will......

I figure that if we can get the helpdesk call time down to 5 minutes per call, it will be a small victory.

Grappling with Demotivation

Ever get the feeling that you are being messed with?

I spent a quality Sunday watching the NFL playoffs and reading some of the new vendor documentation. It's still incomplete, but at least there is enough information for me to start planning what needs to happen before the upgrade.

What I learned....there is NO way I can do what needs to be done in the time allotted with the resources available.

Not the classroom training (see previous posts) and not the training materials development. Essentially - nothing about the training program is going to work.

Each time I stare at this project, it gets worse. I think it's almost hit the "so bad it's funny" point.

I try to read my happy, positive thinking sites. No dice.

I try to come up with many alternate solutions. All of them wind up being unworkable.

I am someone who prides my self (for good or ill) on getting stuff done on deadline. I find missing deadlines disturbing. It's the perfectionist streak I've been grappling with for years.

However, it's one thing to miss a deadline...quite another to feel like you are being set up for failure.

I keep being told "everything will work out." And it will. I'm told that I "worry too much - stop taking it so personally." And they are right.

But I don't work strictly for a paycheck. I work because I love what I do and I care about what I provide for my "clients".

That's what makes this situation all the more frustrating.....

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Political Monster Gets Real

I never thought I would see the day....

We have a few providers who are part of our Electronic Medical Records team. One of them is taking a very active role in this upgrade. On a project level, this is a very good thing. (The IT wonks among us (myself included) have some days where we wonder....) Physician involvement is critical for successful implementations of this type of product.

The provider who is serving as our MD representative is a consummate politician. Well-spoken, diplomatic, and occasionally head-scratching. Like most politicians - he is very good at talking his way through and around almost anything. Most days, I watch in amazement as he works his way through the political quagmire that is physician relations.

Relations between the vendor (them) and the client (us) have become incredibly tense as both parties realize that the benchmarks and targets are too tight for the information (remember, this major upgrade is still in BETA) and resources available.

A key indicator that we may need to perform some serious re-evaluation of this project...the political monster (our provider) saying to the vendor representatives "You really don't know what you are doing, do you?"

I think we're starting to rub off on him....

To be fair to the vendor...they really don't know what they are doing. They can't. Parts of the application are still being programmed and it has never been rolled out to a live environment. With the upgrade still in production, it's next to impossible to write useful documentation or training.

They have not rolled it out to another site (despite the marketing materials to the contrary) and are just now starting to train the upgrade within their own organization.

Meanwhile - I will continue praying that we get the upgrade in our test servers and there is something wrong enough with it to stop the go live, but not so wrong that we can't continue testing and developing training materials (since none currently exist).

I'll be curious to see if someone finally stops this train.....

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Prior Kinesthetic Knowledge


This winter, I have renewed my interest in professional hockey. The Washington Capitals in particular. During winter vacations, a high school friend and I would venture to the Cap Center to catch a game. The games were cheap, entertaining, and a high-speed example of strategy and tactics.

I've noticed that these guys can really skate.

Encouraged by my boyfriend, who harbors dreams of playing recreational hockey, I wandered over to the local ice rink to go skating. I have only been ice skating twice in my life. The last time - about 25 years ago.

I figured that I would be spending the 2 hour session clinging for dear life to the walls. Thankfully (for my pride, if nothing else), I realized that ice skating is much like roller skating and has some similarities to skiing.

The physical technique for moving forward is similar - a push and glide sort of thing. Turning is significantly easier than the old 4 wheel roller skates I used to use. Lean into it and will yourself to go where you need to. For stopping, I found a variation of my old snowplow technique from skiing worked nicely.

I didn't really think about any of this - I just let my body do what felt right.

The other technique that helped was watching people who were slightly better than I was. By my definition, this meant watching people who were skilled at skating forward in a 200'x85' oval. When I watched people who fell or seemed really unstable - I became unstable. When I watched people who obviously more skilled (skating backwards, crossover turns, etc.) - I lost concentration and became unstable.

So what did I learn from this little exercise?

A) I'm not nearly as klutzy as I thought.

B) There seems to be truth to the notion that oftentimes the best teachers are people who are just a bit more advanced than you. Not necessarily the "experts."

It seems that if there is a realistic model for achievement, particularly as a beginner, the entire learning process is a bit less daunting.

__________________________________________________________

The picture above is of Matt Pettinger, one of my favorite players on the Caps... and some other guy..... Picture from washingtoncaps.com.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

So Much for My New Year's Resolution.....

Warning: Negative Ranting Ahead

We had a teleconference with our vendor's trainers today to discuss the training plan.

This was a long meeting.....

After telling us last week that they would have as many trainers as we need for our upgrade, the vendor changed their tune and told us that they had not intended to be involved in the upgrade training. To make matters worse, the boss had informed them that there were 10 potential trainers on our side. We managed to clear up that interesting piece of miscommunication with the vendor and the boss. As a result, we are getting 2 trainers and we (probably me) will make up the difference (60 + hours of training each week for 2 weeks).

From looking at the training plan, they calculated that there were only 600 people max that required training. Even though I had put the number of users in large bold print at the bottom of the page.

Lesson learned - put the number of end-users to be trained in large bold print at the top of the page since no one reads that far.

The good thing about the vendor pointing out that they only thought we could train 600 people is that it let the rest of my co-workers know that we really AREN'T going to get to everyone face to face. Or even in training of any sort. Period.

I am hoping that the gap between how many we can realistically do classroom training with (600) and the number of people requiring training (2000+) validates my work developing an e-learning infrastructure for our organization.

I'll admit, I didn't get that feeling at the time..... The Boss informed me that morning that he wasn't sure anyone was going to use the system I had so carefully put together. I'm not entirely sure that this meeting changed his mind.

To improve my mood further, I was informed that we have all of the documentation that will be available for the rollout. This material consists of an incomplete Release Manual, an incomplete System Administrator manual, and a collection of 10 tutorials (30 minutes total) that make little sense without repeated exposure. I've watched each of them 3 times.

This means - no end-user documentation and no useful tutorials for our implementation.

The final straw, the vendor stating: "Your employees will have all of our tutorials done by the time they get into the classroom, right?"

I am very proud of myself for not ripping the phone out of the wall and stomping it into little tiny pieces. Thankfully, there were others in the room who managed to restrain themselves from the same impulse.

There are points in any software implementation project - whether it be for eLearning or other enterprise solutions - where the gap between the client and the vendor is as large as the Grand Canyon. And the only tools you seem to have to build the bridge is a donkey, rocks, and some cactus.

This is one of those points.

And like any point, this too shall pass......