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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First "PlanWell U" Gets An "A" From Attendees...

By Shaun Meany
The PEiR Group

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting the first-ever PlanWell University for PEiR Group Members.

Members flew in from all corners of the country to attend this intense two day, hands-on school. Joining me as instructors for what we quickly dubbed "PlanWell U" was veteran mentor Dan Davis, PlanWell Trainer Ross Gage, PlanWell Manager and Director of Technical Support Arvind Saxena and Demetrius Wallace respectively, as well as PlanWell Training Consultant, Roberto Roque.

We used a combination of lecture and hands-on assignments to deliver the training and there was a definite buzz as "students" grouped into project teams to tackle their assignments. We centered on a fictitious civic center project that was going out to bid. It required that each team post the project’s bid documents to a separate GC’s planroom. Students learned how to create their own projects and add drawings, specs and project users. After completing the project set-up they were required to send project notifications to subs using both the package notification and BidCaster features. Many of the students commented that they had never seen the full workflow before - creation of the project at the shop level, logging in as a project user and performing the various PlanWell functions (placing orders, updating the project address book, creating packages and sending notifications).

In our planning we knew we would have students with various levels of PlanWell experience. In order to ensure that each team would be successful, we were careful to assign both experienced and inexperienced users to each team.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Many wanted more hands-on time but also were mindful that the school was developed to cover the complete project workflow and that we had to move along pretty fast to cover all of the material.

In addition to learning how to use PlanWell in the production and users environment we had a chance to take the students over to the PlanWell Data Center and show them the resources behind the PlanWell product.

When the "teachers" can say they had a good time you know you've had a successful session, and we heard just that from trainers and students alike. We'll be adding comments from class evaluations taken after the session, look for them in the "comments" section we'll post at right and find out what your colleagues are saying.

All in all, we enjoyed the experience, felt that everyone benefited from the experience and saw the glow of appreciation and greater understanding on the faces of those who attended.

It was great for us, too. We're so glad you were all able to join us!

Looking forward to more of the same,

Shaun Meany
The PEiR Group

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