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When they return to school in September, many children are tasked with describing how they spent their summer vacations. For Scott Jones, Director of Training for OSD, and his team of 11 training professionals, much of this summer has been devoted to reviewing, updating, testing, and putting the finishing touches on the full curriculum of COMMBUYS training classes to ensure that they include the recent COMMBUYS enhancements. While they may not have visited new and exotic places, developing the tools that help users navigate their way through COMMBUYS is an adventure for the OSD Training team. This is their story.

The journey began back in the late spring, as the COMMBUYS project team outlined the COMMBUYS enhancements that would be implemented in early September. From there, the Training team did a review of the existing curriculum of COMMBUYS training classes and job aids for buyers and vendors, identifying areas that needed adjustment to reflect the new features and functionality of the Commonwealth’s procurement system.

While the curriculum review was underway, the team explored the COMMBUYS enhancements by working within the system to learn how they functioned and how to navigate the changes. Once Trainers understood how the enhancements worked, their next foray was to take screen shots and create training scenarios associated with various Purchasing and Procurement activities so that these enhancements could be incorporated into each course for hands-on classroom training, live webinars, or pre-recorded webcasts.

The existing classes were updated, new classes were built from scratch, and then the Trainers went to school! To validate that the updates to the training classes were accurate, a “Teach Back” review of each class was conducted, with three to five Trainers, including subject matter experts, attending the class. A Teach Back review allows the Training team to present the course to an audience and, based on feedback received from “students,” work out any kinks and make changes as needed.

Job aids were the next stop on their journey. Similar to the review conducted for the training classes, each job aid was reviewed to determine if updates were needed to reflect the COMMBUYS enhancements. Once the updates were made, the revised job aids were tested by a Trainer to ensure that all of the steps were accurate, the screen shots were correct, and that the navigation performed as described on the job aid. Finally, the revised job aids were reviewed to ensure that they were ADA compliant.

The next stage of this adventure included a legal review of all classes and job aids. Once legal approval was obtained, the training schedule was updated, and classes began; ending the journey…for now. Similar to “Charlie on the MTA,” the training process is a continuous journey and the Training team looks forward to the next round of COMMBUYS enhancements.


View the Training Calendar to access resources about the recent COMMBUYS enhancements.

In the end, four classes were updated, three webinars were created, and six new job aids were added to the arsenal of training tools for buyers. The COMMBUYS curriculum for buyers now entails seven Instructor-led classes, five webinars, and 32 job aids. Additionally, the COMMBUYS purchasing course (currently a one-day offering) is undergoing a complete overhaul and will be offered in three tiered courses designed for beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced users of the Commonwealth’s procurement system. It is expected that the revamped courses will be available later in the fall. Vendors have not been overlooked. Currently, the training curriculum for vendors includes four instructor-led classes, three webinars, and 16 job aids. Finally, the COMMBUYS training curriculum includes 29 webcasts that are available for viewing on YouTube for both the buyer and vendor communities.

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