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The Twin Mistakes of ERP Training (And, How You Can Avoid Them)

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The Twin Mistakes of ERP Training (And, How You Can Avoid Them)

How can you make the best use of your ERP system? What does it take to ensure that your staff has the necessary knowledge and skills to utilize the system effectively? Well, you need to avoid 2 critical mistakes. Let us see what they are and why it is important to avoid them.

Mistake 1: NOT understanding that some employees may be reluctant to use the ERP software

The whitepaper Optimize Your System: How to Avoid Implementation Sins, published by Sage ERP points out that some members of the workforce feel that they are too busy to attend training programs on the ERP software. Users may get unnerved by the fact that their activities will be tracked effectively, as the ERP system would facilitate hassle-free flow of information, ensuring transparency.

How to overcome this problem: You need to see the ERP implementation not just as a technical exercise, but as a change management activity. It is a good idea to appoint a well-connected staff members as a “transition champion”. The champion would lead the initiative, supported by a strong project team and the top brass of the organization. The company needs to leave no stone unturned in resolving the issues faced by your people as they grapple with the re-engineering of business processes.

Mistake 2: NOT allocating adequate time and resources for training 

A study by Training Journal, in 2012, revealed that most companies implementing ERP systems don’t provide the required money and time for training their staff on the systems. It states that companies plan poorly for ERP training, as it is an afterthought, and this could have disastrous consequences.

How to overcome this problem: The key is to make training an integral part of the ERP implementation. You need to prepare for the training at least 15 months before the ERP system goes live. Here is the ideal training schedule.

Months before going live Activities to be carried out
15 to 9
  1. Determining the impact on each team of end users in the re-engineered scenario. For example, you need to identify how the people in the sales department would be affected by the change.
  2. Putting a mechanism in place to “migrate” your people from existing software to the new ERP system
9 to 3
  1. Imparting good training to super users to facilitate seamless use of the ERP system.
  2. Training end users on the re-engineered business processes and procedures to conduct transactions using the ERP applications.
  3. Developing a system to handle learning content in various formats such as videos, PDFs, etc.
3 to 0
  1. Determining the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the impact of training.
  2. Creating a system to answer the queries of end users and provide updates.

Companies also need to provide adequate financial resources for training. But, here comes the big question – how much is enough? Well, research by IDC showed that projects that allocated 7% of the implementation budget to training were significantly more successful than projects where only 4% or less of the budget went to training.

Conclusion 

People are a critical factor in the successful use of an ERP system. Companies need to address the concerns of their people about the implementation of ERP software. This can be done by initiating a process of effective change management. Organizations need to plan well for training and make it a part of the ERP implementation plan. They need to allocate the required financial resources and time to train their staff properly on ERP applications. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.

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