The Proverb and Power Up: How a Product Enablement Program Works
There’s a proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
It brilliantly captures the value of self-reliance. As someone in customer education at Centrical, a company in the SaaS business, I feel it also explains why having a product enablement program is so important. Let me stress – the program really needs to work for your customers. And that’s what I want to share with you here: How we made one that works.
The program Centrical created for its customers – actually those who administer our platform for their companies – is called Power Up with Centrical. The meaning has everything to do with empowering those admins, as they’re called, to become truly self-sufficient in as many aspects of the platform as possible. To get the power to do whatever they want to with the platform for their benefit.
Admins get to experience the Centrical platform just like their own employees do, including the experience of gamified learning, a testament to Centrical’s appeal. It also gives admins a frame of reference of what works when they grow from being Power Up learners to self-sufficient administrators. It is essentially self-paced training wrapped in experiential learning.
This is much more than a training service. It’s about developing mastery of the platform and, in the process, helping admins see their role as one that holds meaningful consequence for them, their fellow employees using the platform, and the company they work for. Even suggesting it serves to advance their career.
Two months into the program, there are hundreds of admins involved in Power Up at more than 40 Centrical customers, which tend to be large, multinational organizations. Survey results indicate the enthusiasm level for the program is off the charts. Importantly, the confidence scores – a measure of how well Power Up is helping admins achieve mastery – are uniformly high.
In fairness, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly and strongly admins embraced the program. Before implementing Power Up, admin training could best be described as a mix of onboarding-type training and hand-holding. There’s nothing wrong with that approach. It certainly worked for us. The realization was it took admins only so far.
Most of that sort of training tends of focus on what’s necessary to get started. But in dealing with our customers’ admins we came to realize they could – and wanted to – learn more on their own, progressing at their own pace to do so much more.
Power Up combined structured training with self-directed learning along with hands-on exercises, and the outcome has been amazing. The admins can participate in one or more learning paths allowing them to become domain experts. But, really, more than understanding how to use the platform. It helps them to learn how to apply the underlying technology and capabilities in the best possible way.
Much of the training is provided via video-based microlearning, allowing admins to sharpen or gain new skills in the flow of work right from the Centrical platform. Which makes sense. After all, the best to learn about the platform is to use it. There’s no trudging off to a classroom with Power Up. Admins can develop their abilities whenever, wherever without interfering with their work. One aspect of Power Up that has seemingly taken on a life of its own is the Certification Program. When an admin successfully completes courses, credits are earned, and certificates are issued designating them as Centrical Certified in areas including Personalized Microlearning and Real-time Performance Management.
While Power Up is key to ensuring those new to the admin role onboard to those responsibilities with ease, speed, and confidence, it really is about ongoing learning in the flow of work. Admins can train on implementing new features, best ways to handle new functionalities, refresh prior training, and more. Importantly, they can, on an opt-in basis, take advanced courses listed in the Power Up Course Catalog. Clearly, as admins take more courses, they gain more credits and reach the needed levels for more certificates, providing further evidence of their professional expertise.
One of my favorite stories of the many shared with us by those using Power Up is that of a relatively new admin who saw how a personalized, gamified learning experience can look, learned the steps of how to build a solution like it, and went ahead and implemented it for her new hires program. Now that’s what I call Power Up!