World Executives Digest | Five Tips for Learning New Software Inside and Out | Learning new software isn’t easy. Whether you are trying to figure out an earned value management system or you’re getting the team ready to learn a new customer management system, there are a million things to learn.
You might be tempted to learn the meat and bones of a system and start using it without diving any deeper, but you deserve to get the most out of the system you’re paying for! Learn every detail of your new software inside and out with these tips.
Keep the Why in Mind
Keeping your why in mind is important in life and in business, as it can encourage you to push yourself further, it can help you set priorities, and it can help you feel more accomplished at night. It turns out that keeping the why in mind can help you learn a new skill more effectively too.
If you only focus on how to do something, you’re more likely to forget, and you’re less likely to uncover connections between different areas of the software. If you spend more time thinking about why you’re doing the things you’re doing when working with the new software, you’re more likely to learn the system in a more in depth way.
It’s a bit like learning math. If you understand why addition strategies work, for example, instead of just counting by ones on your fingers, you’re more likely to be able to do simple math in your head. Take the time to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and you’ll learn the ins and outs of your new software.
Don’t Skip Tutorials or Hints
When you get new software, it can be tempting to skip the tutorials and dive right in. Even if you have had training on the new system, if it’s the first time you’re using the platform on a computer, take the time to go through the tutorial. Who knows what you might learn!
If the new software doesn’t have a traditional tutorial, but dialog boxes pop up when you hover over certain features on the screen, take the time to read them. You may learn a shortcut or discover a new function that you didn’t realize was available.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
No one wants to make mistakes. However, they can teach us powerful lessons. That’s definitely the case when it comes to learning new software.
Don’t be afraid to click on icons or enter information for fear that you will screw something up. Chances are, there isn’t anything you can do that will break the software. You can undo nearly anything you might try. Taking a leap and giving different aspects of the software a try is the only way you’ll learn everything there is to know about the new platform.
Still worried about making a mistake? See if there’s a training or tutorial version of the software you and your team can practice on before using the actual software.
There is a time for working independently in the office. There is also a time for working together, and learning new software is one of those times.
When working together to learn new software, you can:
- Feel more comfortable taking risks
- Ask questions and bounce ideas off each other
- Give each other tips and shortcuts you’ve learned
- Learn how to use the software faster
It can also clarify who to go to when you need help. If you have questions as you go back to your desk and get started, you can always get together with others in your training group to ask them questions.
Know Where to Get Professional Help
Getting help from others who are learning the software right along with you is a great benefit, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find the answers you’re looking for. If you’re stuck or you really want to make sure you learn everything there is to know about your new software, you should ask for professional help.
You can save a lot of time by not figuring it out as you go and asking the company who is providing your software instead. Many software companies offer professional training services and staff is on-hand to answer your questions. You just have to reach out and ask, so keep their number or email address handy!
Don’t just learn the essentials of your new software before implementing it. By learning the details, you can potentially make your work life easier and more efficient. These tips will help you do just that!