Saturday, 14 March 2020

Online Rational Rhapsody and IBM Jazz training - a reflection on the shift

Just wanted to emphasise that almost all my training's in Rhapsody last year were actually web-based and online, and mostly to clients outside of the UK. This was done by moving my training into Island Training's virtual training environment, a USA-based company that's been around since 1999 and is probably the biggest deliverer of Rational Jazz-based training to IBM customers worldwide.

This was a completely new experience for me, as a trainer who really likes to use a white board to get people collaborating. That said, I found that using their environment I am able to provide collaborative and interactive training with an even stronger tool-focus.

Key benefits seemed to be:

1. Flexibility. Anytime-anywhere.
- Removal of geographical boundaries (in one case I did half day training with participants in USA, China, and India).
- Half-day option: Ability to deliver half-day training so that participants can continue with normal work on the side.
- No need to book rooms or catering: People can connect to virtual machines from home (don't even need VPN access).
- Team sizes of 20 seemed manageable.

2. Extended topics:
- Training image doesn't just have Rhapsody, it has full Jazz install and DOORS 9.x, hence we can cover topics that involve the integrations that Rhapsody has, without requiring local teams to try and get their IT department to install things.
- I also increased focus of my material for existing Rhapsody user-base after engaging with more clients that have already deployed Rhapsody but are struggling with deeper tools knowledge.

3. Increased tool-focus.
- Rather than white-board, I found it easier on line to show my desktop with tool running and answer questions this way.

With regard to engaging my training services there are different options.

A) Engage with a local business partner (such as Island Training, if you're USA-based, or Nohua Solutions AB, in Scandinavia) who can then subcontract me, or
B) Engage directly.

Often the first options works well because different companies in different geographies will already have business and personal relationships with the client. I want to support this. I'm also open to new channels in new territories. I guess, in the world of COVID-19 there are benefits to working from home and companies who might benefit from on-line training in the next 6 months!

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