This Page Intentionally Left Blank

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 Moving on from manuals, PDFs and on-line guides…a new trend in training has arrived…

 

Thirty-three years ago I blagged my way into a job implementing MRP II for an electrical projects-based business. Although I had worked on MRP II already, I had never seen this particular system before, had no idea about what was involved in running a large commercial system and certainly had no skills in the 4GL that I was about to need to use to write programs…

 

As a typical man (albeit it fresh from university and barely aware of the vastness of things that I didn’t know) I had a natural disinclination to ask for directions or RTFM. Nevertheless, there was no alternative, so over the next few months I spent many hours secreted in a variety of hidey-holes, ploughing my way through stacks of enormously thick and heavy manuals on the MRP system, the computer OS and hardware and the programming language.  Each of which represented a brain-dump of absolutely everything that anyone might ever need to know, about anything to do with the subjects in question, whether you needed to know it or not!

 

To say that I was an expert in any of these matters by the end of my studious cramming would be an overstatement, but there was certainly one area in which I had few rivals – the ability to digest large manuals and stay one small step ahead of the business in regurgitating and applying my new-found knowledge. However, I never did quite get to the bottom of why it’s custom in all these manuals to have pages that were entirely blank apart from the single, solitary message that read: “This page intentionally left blank.”

 

 Fast-forward a few decades and the thickness of manuals has decreased in inverse proportion to my own waistline to the point that they disappeared all together and moved first to CDs, then to files delivered alongside the software, and finally to just “on-line” help.

 

Despite the considerable advances in delivery methodologies the usefulness of such help has in real terms decreased – information is not really easier to find, it is no more specific to the needs of the individual, reflects nothing of the unique needs of a specific organisation, and represents a smaller brain-dump of data rather than guidance.  In fact, for all the good they are, the page has still been ‘intentionally left blank’.

 

The time is clearly ripe for a solution that addresses the guidance needs (encompassing help, training, education and direction) of the individual in the context of how the organisation does things, and where the individual is in any given process. The time is ripe, in short, for the Improved Apps solution, Improved Help – the new generation of help – a tool that allows context-sensitive help to be embedded in any Salesforce platform application, and saves you searching ever again!

Paul Field – COO @ Improved Apps