Grant Thornton Case Study

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Grant Thornton UK LLP
Leading financial advisory firm Grant Thornton has over 40 offices around the UK and provides accounting and business advisory services to thousands of clients. It is a priority to ensure that its 4600-strong staff is inducted to use its core IT resources effectively.

IS Training Manager Alan Port is responsible for creating the training material to achieve this task. From his base in Southampton, he uses Lectora Publisher from Trivantis to create eLearning materials for a variety of IS training purposes ranging from basic IS induction to in-depth application training.

“Compared to older packages the graphics show particularly clearly on Lectora, and I find that a real benefit”

Like many firms in its sector, Grant Thornton takes in significant numbers of graduate and trainee staff each year in addition to normal recruitment. Alan’s challenge is to ensure that local office and departmental training managers are able to induct over 1000 new entrants each year. Alan explains: “First we must provide an introduction to IT security and teach new staff about the office network. Then we have to cover Microsoft applications, but where many companies can buy training courses off the shelf for things like Word, we can’t. As a financial firm we have our own specific templates and we can’t simply buy off-the-shelf tools to show people how to use them.”

Lectora enables Alan to create screen simulations that are really effective at immersing the learner in the application “We are able to run learners through an animated series of screenshots that show them exactly what they will be doing on their PC. These are backed up by pop up text instructions as they progress through the module.” He adds that “compared to older packages the graphics show particularly clearly on Lectora, and I find that a real benefit.”

Creating standard eLearning modules that can be implemented flexibly across the offices and departments enables induction trainers to train effectively at each office and within departments such as audit, tax or financial planning. Alan says “You can’t cater for the needs of every individual or every department. Providing core modules lets the trainers pass on the information consistently, but supplement it verbally using manual training.”

“What I’ve been able to produce with Lectora is far superior to what we had before”

Maintaining a consistent and corporate standard look and feel is important. “When I first started using Lectora, I developed a template using all the different tools, which I can re-use to ensure an identical appearance for all training screens.” The need to maintain the corporate look and feel is clear, although Alan admits to slight wistfulness “I know that there are a lot of extra features and I would dearly like to use some of the really fancy bits!”

Now that he has standardised on Lectora as his authoring tool and proved its effectiveness, other challenges have inevitably presented themselves. “We are now in the process of introducing a new time management system and have developed most of the eLearning on Lectora. Again, because it is bespoke it is tailored to our needs, so you can’t buy it or training for it off-the-shelf. The only choices are to get a consultant to develop eLearning tools, or do it in house.”

Introducing Lectora Publisher as a tool has helped Alan to show the value of investing in eLearning: “What I’ve been able to produce with Lectora is far superior to what we had before, and my boss was delighted with the results.”