Training for PLM should not be an Afterthought

Process for creating training content

Many of the PLM implementation projects I have worked, focus primarily on tailoring the PLM solution and too often the training is an afterthought.  Consequently, the creation of the training is rushed, resulting in suboptimal training materials.

To avoid making training an afterthought, plan the creation of training at the start of a PLM implementation project.  Below is a high-level project tested schedule I have used to ensure training creation is not overlooked.

For any questions about custom training for PLM implementations, please feel free to reach out to me, send an email to



A high-level training content creation schedule

A high-level schedule I use to create training materials for PLM implementations has four steps:

  1. Gather
  2. Combine
  3. Refine
  4. Complete

Step 1: Gather

Gather is the first step.  The gather step is the longest, but not too time intensive.

The gather step is intended to collect information to include in the training.  During this step, there is little emphasis on the structure of the training.

The gather step collects information relevant to the company’s processes, commonly including:

  1. Process flow charts (current and future)
  2. Specific training objectives
  3. Terminology
  4. Company specific examples
  5. Advantages and disadvantages of the PLM

This step takes place during the early stages of the PLM implementation project, often before many decisions have been finalized, however, since information is simply being collected there is no need to constantly reorganize the information.  During this step, different project members and subject matter experts should be solicited for their perspectives and insights.

Step 2: Combine

The Combine Step takes all the information from the gather step to create a storyboard.

The focus is to take the relevant information from the previous step and put it into an order that flows and provides an intuitive learning experience for the trainee. 

The intent should be on creating a storyboard using bullet points rather than complete sentences, since it is easier to rearrange bullet points than complete sentences to find the proper flow.

This step is typically more time intensive but can be completed by a single person over the course of a week or two. 

At the end of this step, I recommend having reviews to ensure the storyboard has good flow.  The reviewers should have various perspectives and should include subject matter experts, users, and project members.

Step 3: Refine

After completion and updates from the previous step, the Refine Step transforms the storyboard into a script. 

Effectively, the bullet points from the previous step are converted into full sentences and segues are added to ensure proper flow from section to section.  

This section is typically completed by a single person in roughly a week.

After the scrip is created, it should be reviewed to ensure proper grammar.

Step 4: Complete

After the scrip is created, it can be used to create the final training materials, which could be in various formats, including:

  1. Instructor led training
  2. Video
  3. Power Point
  4. Interactive training (SCORM)

After the appropriate format is chosen, the script is used to create the training material.

Once the final training content is created, a final review should be conducted to make sure everything came together correctly.

After the review, the training content can be published and provided to the users.   Since the trainees are the ultimate reviewers, efforts should be made to collect feedback from the trainees.

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About the Author

Ryan Donovan

Ryan is a product development consultant focusing on organization change for implementing PLM, PDM systems and CAD systems.



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