Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Complexity of It All

Often times it’s quite easy to forget the complexity of some of the things you use every day. Driving a car is almost second nature to most drivers. Preparing certain dishes is a snap once you’ve done it enough. Using certain computer applications doesn’t even cause you to bat an eye once you’ve booted up said program a million times. What will make you remember how unbelievably complicated some of these tasks are is being assigned how to teach one of these tasks to someone, or to multiple someones.

At work I’ve been on the development, tech writing, or business team for one of our applications for the last couple of years. When I first came onto the team I was utterly baffled by the application and had no clue what half of the functions did. Writing the manual for the application really hammered home how much I learned about the application and how complicated it was as it managed to weigh in at 200+ pages in length.

After that task, however, I took for granted how easily manageable the application had become for me. I knew it like the back of my hand… most of the time, at least. Now, with the onset of implementing the application for a new client, and the fact that I am the head of the training initiative, I am once again realizing how complicated the program is.

We are having an initial training session that will take place over two days and I am in the process of writing up the itinerary for those two days for approval before I start actually generating the material for the two day session. Just attempting to fit MOST of the functionality for MOST of the sections of the application that these users will be using is pretty daunting. I initially thought that two days would be plenty of time to go over everything they needed, but now I see that I was underestimating how much I needed to teach them.

I should have realized it would have taken more than two days as it took me a long time to learn the application, probably months, and I’ll be attempting to cram a good chunk of that knowledge into two days. It’s kind of daunting and I’m really afraid of screwing up or looking incompetent if I don’t convey enough of the needed education to the people I’m training, especially since this is the first training session of proposed string. Needless to say, I’ve been a little stressed and a little busy. That’s probably why this blog hasn’t been getting the attention it should, but I think I’ll have some more free time over the next month or so at night and such to hammer out more random crap to post. If not, well, there’s only a billion other blogs out there to read.

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