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    Matrix – Schering Software Booklets – Success Story

Schering Plough, a large pharmaceutical company located in NJ has an IT department within its Research Institute. They are responsible for purchasing software systems and modifying them to the Institute’s needs or developing custom written software to handle many of the stages of a drug trial. As a Matrix consultant at the Research Institute I was part of a newly formed small in house marketing team who created communications targeted to enhancing relations between software developers and the user community. 

Users of this division’s software systems were very reluctant to switch to new systems. The pressing question that our content had to address was: How do you get users excited about switching over to new computer systems? We developed a 3 point strategy of providing information, education, and electronic handholding! 

A new system compared to the current one can be confusing to learn and users always fear a downturn in productivity while changing over. Our group read through the current manuals and found them too technical. For one recently implemented system I had written a user guide that was illustrated with easy to understand screen shots and stayed away from technical jargon. It was an improvement, but users commented that it still scared them to have to learn to go through all those steps to familiarize themselves with the system’s functionality. One user I interviewed said she had enjoyed our software brochures that we had included in the recent expo packet.

That provided me with the inspiration to suggest we create software “booklets”, guides that went more into detail than our brochures but weren’t really manuals. The goal of these booklets would not be to step the user through every function, but to sell them on the system and how it could help them do their job more efficiently. We would highlight the parts of the system that achieved that benefit. At the end we placed a call to action saying that to receive the full benefit of the system, the reader should attend the upcoming training sessions to learn how to use all the system’s functionality.

We produced our first booklet for one of the less complicated systems and distributed it to the group of users who were going to be beta testers. They received it before they had any hands on with the system. It helped them to understand the benefits this system would provide thus making them eager to try the new system. They commented that the booklets were easy to understand and took the fear out approaching an unknown. A week prior to the actual implementation, we distributed the booklets to all the users and the training center reported reservations for training sessions had increased by 70% over the last system installation. The department manager was delighted to discover his staff no longer feared new technology. He felt it was due to our unique concept which had eased the transition thus helping users get up to speed more quickly.

View the Docman system booklet

View the Pharampay system booklet