5 Tips for ERP Training Success
In the rapidly changing world of ERP software, ERP training processes have never been under so much strain. At times, they will have to teach 1000 different employees, 1000 different processes on 1000 different devices. The “ERP for Dummies” manual just won’t cut it anymore. In the current business climate, ERP training must be contextual, user-influenced and flexible.
Consult and Plan
The first stage to any ERP training program should be the planning and consulting phase. During this phase you should consult managers and end-users on what they expect from the ERP training program. You should also discuss the training options available from your ERP vendor or consultant. You should decide what delivery methods of training are required during the ERP implementation process, and who requires this training. There is no point in providing an 800-page instruction manual to the employees who only required two short training sessions with an experienced system user.
This stage of ERP training relies on user involvement throughout the ERP selection and implementation process - how can you expect employees to inform you of training requirements if they are not involved in the process from the start?
Consider Your Methods
Prospective purchasers of ERP software no longer have to rely on classroom training and that 800-page instruction manual. The modern breed of ERP training encompasses everything from online webinars to process-by-process video-based tutorials. Despite the added choice this provides, it has made the selection of ERP training methods as complicated as the ERP selection process itself.
Before you begin to feast on this buffet of training delights, you should consider your users requirements, your timescale and your budget. Do you want to implement a boot-camp style training program or provide a flexible “train-as-you-go” service? Can you afford on-site classroom training? How far ahead of ERP go-live will training need to begin in order to provide enough problem solvers for the fateful day?
Gone are the days where you can stick 30 people in a room with one instructor and expect departmental and functional experts at the end of the day. Everyone has a specific role in the business, and your training program should reflect this - there is no point in teaching your data analyst how to approve time off requests. Consider the configuration training requirements of your management team, functional training of your end-users, and mobile training of your off-site teams.
As an employer, your business is no longer uni-device orientated. Unlike the desktop dominance of the previous decades, the workplace, and ERP systems, are now run on a multitude of devices. These devices bring with them different user-interfaces, different security protocols, and, most importantly, different training requirements. How will training be integrated with your BYOD program? Will training focus on the iOS ERP applications or include the native android applications as well? This device-based context, when combined with employee, role-based context, will create a targeted and efficient training program with longevity and flexibility.
It is all very well providing training during the ERP implementation process, but there is no point in ceasing all training programs once go-live occurs. This is when employees need a well structured ERP training framework most - when the system is placed in the context of everyday tasks and process anomalies. This continued training will also be required to cope with upgrades and maintenance to your ERP system - without it, change management will be a thankless task.
To a certain extent, you can look to your ERP vendor for ongoing training support - will training be provided for system upgrades? will this incur extra costs? But at the end of the day, you are the one users will look to when ERP processes change.
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