K4 v6 Training

We’ve just completed most of our K4 v6 staff training today. I’m excited and tired.

We did training in house despite being a small office. There are advantages in cost and content if you have the time, experience and confidence to do this yourself. The biggest advantage is confidence because it allows for control over the curriculum. You might find that training provides an opportunity to address subjects which are not new but might need reinforcement. For example, we discussed with writers why it is important to designers that they enter articles into K4 as early as possible.

Training is also a great time to discover any configuration errors or unaddressed issues.

For a K4 5.x to K4 v6 upgrade I recommend 2 to 2.5 hours for editorial staff. This covers changes in K4 and InCopy. For InDesign users we had 2.5 hours in the morning to just cover K4 changes and then 1.5 hours in the afternoon to cover new features in InDesign CS5. 

For new K4 installations that are switching from QPS I recommend 4 hours of training for editorial staff and 2.5 days for designers. Making the change from QuarkCopyDesk to Adobe InCopy is much easier than from QuarkXPress to Adobe InDesign. I remember a handful of editorial staff a few years ago not even noticing that we changed system while the designers were thankful to the change.

If you are installing K4 but never used an editorial workflow solution before you will probably need even more time. You will need to cover the basic concepts of a controlled workflow in addition to the technical aspects.

The most difficult part of the training was due to K4’s new language. We moved from checking object in and our of K4 into starting workflows, accepting tasks and finishing tasks. Some of the language used in K4 is clumsy, at least in the English version (I can’t comment on the German). After someone has done the basic activities 10 times they should be fine but we kept finding ourselves tripping over the language even when the actions were similar to those in K4 5.9.