James is the IT training manger of a large pharmaceutical company. Recently, the drug maker spent 100 million dollars to implement an ERP system. The ERP system was the best-in-class and the implementation team ensured it was customized perfectly to suit the business needs of the organization. Yet, the implementation did not yield the desired results. The reason – the organization did not focus on one of the critical success factors of ERP implementation, viz. training.
Studies by Aberdeen reveal that ineffective ERP training leads to lower rates of staff adoption and performance, resulting in delayed ROI and inefficient system implementation. Here is a table that indicates the benefits of providing good training.
|Average Performance||Firms Committed to Training||Firms Not Committed to Training|
|Percentage of staff members that exceed performance metrics||38%||35%|
|Percentage of employees that rate themselves as “highly engaged”||58%||51%|
|Months until ROI||22.8||35.3|
|Months to first “go live”||10.9||12.1|
|Percentage of ERP budget spent||104%||118%|
Source: The Value of ERP Training
OK. But, what does it take to deliver effective ERP training?
Companies need to implement the following 8 best practices to deliver highly effective ERP training to their workforce.
1. Deliver training in the initial stages of the implementation
The key to effective delivery of ERP training is starting early. Research by Aberdeen reveals that successful firms are 82% more likely to deliver training in the early stages of ERP implementation. It is advisable to start at least 5 quarters before going live. Here is an ideal ERP training timeline.
|Quarters before going live||Tasks to be performed|
|5 and 4|
|3 and 2|
2. Make training an integral part of the ERP strategy
The research report Managing ERP Implementation Projects to Deliver Increased ROI states that successful organizations integrate training effectively into the ERP implementation strategy. This enables companies to teach staff how the system will affect their work and maximize the benefits of implementation. It helps make the ERP solution a component of organizational culture, which is essential to make the best use of the solution.
It is advisable to start preparing for the ERP training at least 15 months before the system goes live. It is necessary to ensure that training is an integral part of the ERP system implementation strategy and not an afterthought. We will look at other best practices in my next post. So, stay tuned.