If your organization is planning to implement Sitecore and you have an in-house development team, you may be thinking about sending them for Sitecore training. And if you’ve already contacted a few training providers, they might try to convince you that Sitecore courses are critical to ensure that your developers have the right skillset for your Sitecore installation.
Sitecore: 3 Key Training Methods
There are three key ways to receive Sitecore training:
1. Training by Sitecore
As one would expect, Sitecore offers various training courses for its product. These online, on-demand courses are generally targeted at development teams and marketers. Upon successfully completing the training course(s), your employees will receive official Sitecore certification.
While official Sitecore courses can meet your needs if you’re looking to upskill new team members on the platform, bear in mind that the learning is geared to provide generic capabilities — it won’t necessarily equip your employees with the skills and tools they need to manage organization-specific implementations or upgrades.
2. Training Platforms
Many leading online training companies offer training for Sitecore as part of their offerings. These courses are usually conducted online, and the instructors are members of the Sitecore community. While these courses are generally cost-effective, most are focused on technical users rather than marketing teams or other business learners.
3. A Sitecore Training Provider
Most businesses find that engaging the services of a trusted Sitecore training provider is the best option. A Sitecore training course offered by these vendors can be tailored specifically to meet the needs of your business and your users. Importantly, they can offer upskilling and support with various scenarios, from planning, development, and implementation to upgrades, marketing automation, analytics, and periodic maintenance.
Who Should Receive Training?
To get the most out of your Sitecore investment, you must train all the right users and stakeholders. These will include:
Super users are those who need to work in Sitecore as part of their day-to-day jobs. These individuals will need to be adept at building and editing websites. They may also be required to help train and upskill other team members.
Members of your marketing team need to become proficient in creating web pages and adjusting the structure of your site. In addition, they need to understand how to quickly customize pages and add or update information when they launch new marketing campaigns.
Every in-house Sitecore developer needs ongoing training to ensure that they’re fully conversant with the latest versions of Sitecore. This will ensure they conduct their development activities effectively, confidently, and with agility. It will also ensure they’re equipped and knowledgeable when the time comes to make system upgrades.
Your internal administration teams need to be familiar with all of Sitecore’s more advanced settings and control permissions to effectively manage approval workflows.
3 Benefits of Training from a Sitecore Training Provider
A good training partner will take your specific implementation particularities into account and use real-life examples to teach you how to use Sitecore in an environment tailored to your specific use case. Three main benefits include:
1. Better Use of Features and Functions
Partnering with a Sitecore trainer will give your team a better grasp of Sitecore in general while also introducing them to Sitecore concepts and features that can be applied directly to your business. A good trainer will include templates, shortcut keys, menu options, and functionalities to help your team work its way around Sitecore CMS. When employees master these features, they’ll work more efficiently and be able to teach others.
2. Faster Implementation
Sitecore solution training will help your developers implement quickly because of the increased subject-matter knowledge. An expert trainer will also help your teams implement, test, and deploy faster, increasing their productivity and leveling up their skills in actual scenarios.
3. More Empowered Users
Not knowing how to use a tool frustrates users. And if they’re frustrated, they’ll perform poorly. Proper training eases that tension, makes the learning process more enjoyable, and eases the learning curve. A training course conducted by a Sitecore expert enables users to solve issues themselves and feel empowered.
3 Common Sitecore Training Challenges – and How to Overcome Them
While the benefits of getting your teams trained on Sitecore are compelling, we’ve noticed that many organizations face some challenges when they start thinking about upskilling their in-house development team. If your organization is currently at such a thinking – or even planning – stage, take a look at the three common challenges we’ve identified so you can prevent costly mistakes and ensure you get the most value out of your investment.
Challenge #1: Training in the Classroom is Inadequate to Prepare your Team for Challenges in the Real World
The best courses cover everything a Sitecore developer would need to prepare for a Sitecore implementation project in the real world – from technical elements like content and marketing automation to Sitecore architecture and development best practices and even non-technical aspects related to business and governance.
However, most training organizations cannot guarantee that their training course will perfectly prepare your in-house developers for real-life situations with real challenges. Nor can they assure you that your organization will meet all its strategic marketing and business goals based on your developers’ training experiences.
Moreover, even if their training program is (supposedly) based on ‘real-world’ project examples, there is no way for you to know beforehand if these examples will be relevant to your organization or even if they’re recent.
For the best learning outcomes, your team needs up-to-date information with recent and real examples that they can relate to, plus robust hands-on practice to better prepare them for work on live projects. So, when you’re looking for a vendor, make sure you consider these aspects.
Challenge #2: Your Organization is Unique, but Your Training May Not Be
Every organization is unique. With your implementation project, you may have unique goals that your developers need to be prepared to meet. Furthermore, you may require different types of training for different audiences, say, your marketing team, business users, and developers. In such scenarios, a generic, one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter type of training approach – which unfortunately is the most common – will do no good. Lack of due consideration of your organization’s Sitecore training objectives may even cause harm in terms of sub-optimal implementation, lost productivity, longer timelines, and, of course, every organization’s Everest – increased cost. So, be sure to scrutinize your vendor’s Sitecore course overview in detail before making a commitment.
Look for a provider that can create ‘bespoke’ courses for you, both at the organizational and trainee group levels. If you can’t, you may end up wasting your money on a Sitecore course that is irrelevant to everyone. So, the additional time and effort you spend on your search now will definitely be worth it later.
Challenge #3: You Can’t Really Expect a High ROI from Your Sitecore Training Investment
Many training institutes, particularly the ones that provide a ‘blended’ learning environment (classroom instruction + computer-based training), charge by the participant. In general, these courses are fairly pricey, so the more participants that are sent for training, the higher the cost. Large enterprises may be able to foot a generous training bill, but most small or medium-sized organizations can’t.
Ask around for quality training providers who can provide a bulk/volume discount. Another option is to split the training between an in-house trainer and an external training provider, so your costs are further lowered. Just remember that if you can’t justify the financial and opportunity costs of sending your entire team for training, it may not be a smart investment.
Is your organization facing any of these challenges? Are they currently insurmountable? Then you will be better off outsourcing your Sitecore platform development and implementation to a team of experts like WayPath.
In addition to being Sitecore platform experts, WayPath is also a registered Sitecore training provider. We believe that Sitecore training can improve the competency of Sitecore developers and provide the preparation they need to successfully execute a Sitecore project.
Our developers are comprehensively trained on every aspect of Sitecore. Think of us as your ‘extended development team’ – with a number of MVPs – that can get going on your Sitecore implementation, yesterday!
For more information, give us a call.