Tony is an IT manager in a multinational four wheeler parts’ manufacturing company. The company has recently invested a huge amount to implement an ERP system. Tony, who was in charge of the implementation, did not want the system to be a failure. So, he ensured all success factors for the implementation were properly followed – from scope management to change management. But, he was worried about one major factor since he knew it is one of the most important and integral part of the implementation –end-user training.
Tony hoped that his friend Peter, also an IT manager, could help him. He knew Peter witnessed both the failure and success of ERP implementation while working with two different organizations and may be aware of the best practices in end-user ERP training. Fortunately Peter’s experience came handy and he helped Tony by sharing the 3 most important best practices for effective ERP end-user training. Here they come!
1. Support Hands-On Training
The functions of an ERP system can be demonstrated in a classroom, but working efficiently on a complex software such as ERP requires hands-on training experience. You must be wondering how to provide hands-on training on a software which is still in the customization stage and access is limited only to the implementation group. The answer is through online training simulations. They allow you to create a virtual replica of the software. The functions are recorded using any of the rapid authoring tools that offer the software simulation development feature. The tool then either gives the output as a video tutorial or as software simulation. Simulations allow the learner to first Watch the step-by-step procedure, then Try executing the same under guidance, and finally Do it all by himself – all this happens in risk-free, virtual environment. Such an experience provides the learner hands-on training even when the software is not ready for end-user access.
2. Ensure Continuous Training
Customized and implemented an ERP system and trained end-users on its usage – that’s it, training is done, once for all. This cannot be a wise thought as the ERP system is updated often based on the upgrades in the technology or processes. End-users need to be trained every time there is an upgrade to the ERP system. Your employees might be quite experienced, some might be well-versed with technology; but upgrades may sometimes change functions drastically and you cannot take a risk. One small mistake in the live ERP system might cost you dollars and time to rectify. The last thing you would want to spend time and money would be on rectifying mistakes.
3. Provide Quick Job-Aids
Information shared during the training program cannot be retained for long. So, job-aids act as a pool of information supporting the end-users on the job, in executing the functions of the ERP system. Job-aids can be in the form of checklists, worksheets, or flowcharts which learners can have a quick glance at whenever needed. The important thing about them is they provide information support to learners in the time of need and on the job. They not only simplify the learning process, but also act as reference tools and are a great aid in reinforcing knowledge.
These are a few best practices of ERP end-user training. They ensure the end-users are trained effectively on the ERP system and also keep performing efficiently on it. Hope you find this post helpful. Please share your thoughts through your comments.