Case Study: How to Write a Training Manual
This was one of the first training manuals I ever wrote–before LeQ Medical was even started. The designer I worked with still works with us and we’ve gone on to do bigger and better training manuals. But this is an important milestone. Consider it part of our portfolio, but there are lots of thing you can learn from it.
- This manual matched a course. In other words, the content was already prepared. The training department knew the messages they wanted to communicate, had many of the images ready or at least in mind, and understood the pitfalls in the course. Takeaway: Have the content ready.
- The training department had a very specific message, which was easy to capture in the title and run through the whole program. They wanted to approach pacemaker follow-up systematically, that is, they were teaching a system. It was a simple system: do this, then do this, and finish it off with that. But it was a system and their message was that you cannot approach pacemaker follow-up randomly. Takeaway: Have a theme.
- The training department wanted to deploy this workbook in its classes for doctors, fellows, and other clinicians. They had regular classes, and participants frequently complained that they wanted notes or copies of slides. This book was intended to be a companion to a course, to help participants learn the material or at least follow the instruction, and to limit the number of complaints for copies of the PowerPoint presentation. Takeway: Have a goal.
This workbook was done ages ago, but some of the people in the industry still remember it or comment on it. The biggest obstacle we faced when the project was undertaken was that it wasn’t cheap to do.It required a writer and an artist plus we printed hard copies to distribute to class participants. Today, most training programs utilize electronic materials and it is more likely that a company would invest in a snazzy animation than an old-fashioned workbook. However, if you’re one of those companies or individuals that likes to do what everybody else is not doing, maybe now is the time to resurrect the old-fashioned workbook.