Training is over. Your employees are back on the floor, ward, facility or department and they go to review the schedules for their department. Upon accessing the system, they note that the schedules they trained with aren't there. The jobs to match what they used in training, and the labor levels are completely different. Concern grows as users of the application become uncomfortable and somewhat confused using their live environment because what they trained on was completely different.
One of the most important goals to the Training Zen philosophy of Kronos training is to do everything possible to ensure that materials and exercises match what learners experience on the job. One way to accomplish this is to use a training database mirroring the live environment. There are several advantages to the mirrored training database; each one drastically improving the quality of training.
Commonly, organizations use the live database for training. Taking real employee information and editing on the fly to give examples to learners, then asking learners to find someone similar and follow along. This type of training without a net is dangerous for many reasons. First, the lack of planning involved can cause problems during training. I know that often we can't consider a training class complete if there isn't one challenge or another; but we should control what we can and by using this type of database the chances of experiencing a challenge decrease significantly.
Secondly, by using a mirror of the live database, it is possible to customize specific situations for exercises during training, building them into the course and thereby having complete control of the results. Trainers know what will work, and they trust it will work time after time. This enables you to develop detailed instructor notes in your curriculum, being very specific about which employee/genie/time period to use on which punch/pay code/shift.
Finally, by using the live environment, the trainer is at the mercy of the application. Any problems exhibited in the live application will be carried forward to training. While still on a network, the training database isn't open to the number of users the live environment is, so it is less likely (though still possible) that the database will be corrupted. Also, imagine the embarrassment if an employee's wage, address or phone number is shown during a training class. Obviously, problems would follow.
Beyond all of the reasons listed above, a mirrored training database is extremely useful once training has ended. Workshops can be held allowing users to come to a predetermined room and practice. If it is necessary to upgrade training curriculum, it will be simple to grab real time screen captures, after updating the database. Along those lines, if new deliverables are required, they can be developed from the database in a controlled manner.
So that's it, the mirrored training database gives you control, realism, and improvement in your deliverables. It will help to create better learning, and therefore, better learners.
Dwain Lambrigger is the father of Kronos Training Zen and the author of the "Arguments for Custom Training" white paper.