SAP – the most widely used Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. According to the report Market Share Analysis: ERP Software, Worldwide, 2013, released by Gartner, SAP is the leader in the ERP solutions market, selling products worth approximately 6.1 billion USD.
How can companies make the best use of SAP? What does it take to unleash the power of this software to improve business efficiencies? Well, one of the important aspects that firms need to focus on is training.
But, how can I train my people effectively on SAP?
Before embarking on the development of a SAP training program, you need to keep 4 important points in mind. Let us see what they are and how they impact the implementation of the ERP software.
1. SAP implementation is a complex process
You need to remember that SAP implementation is an organization-wide process. All departments and business processes are affected by the rollout of this powerful software. This makes the implementation a very complex exercise.
2. Effective change management is critical to the success of your SAP initiative
One of the biggest challenges in implementing SAP is overcoming the resistance of staff members. People fear that they might lose their jobs, and are apprehensive that the software will be difficult to use. It is very essential to address these concerns of the employees to ensure their active participation.
3. Learning professionals need to design the SAP training program
Many companies hire technical people from their vendors to train their people on SAP. These people have a solid understanding of the ERP software, but little knowledge of how learning takes place. So, it is necessary to use the services of learning professionals who are well-versed in creating SAP training programs.
4. SAP training is much more than just teaching a software
SAP training is much more than teaching your staff how to use a collection of screens. You need to train your people on the underlying concepts and processes to make the most of your investment on the ERP software.
OK. What is the ideal medium to train my people on SAP?
You need to adopt a blended learning approach to train your people on the ERP software. It is important that your SAP training strategy be made up of the following elements:
- Software simulations
- Online micro-learning modules
Let us now see how these elements help deliver highly effective SAP training.
Videos are highly effective tools of communication. A short video from the CEO explaining why it is necessary to implement SAP and how it fits into the vision of the organization goes a long way in allaying the fears of the staff and helps it prepare for change.
In many cases, companies use the SAP implementation to re-engineer their business processes. This entails changes in the roles and responsibilities of employees and business process flows. Workshops are very useful to educate workforce about changes and explain the key concepts involved in using the ERP software.
Interactive courses with simulations using the WATCH-TRY-DO (WTD) approach are ideal to enable learners master the steps involved in using SAP. In the first phase (WATCH), the steps involved in using the product are demonstrated to the learner. In the second phase (TRY), he is given a chance to try the steps he has watched. He is guided with pop-ups and hints at every stage, prompting him about the next step in the process. In the last phase (DO), the learner is all by himself and needs to apply the knowledge he has acquired, recall the steps and do them on his own. If he gets stuck at any point, he has the option to call for help.
Information nuggets are very useful to reinforce the learning imparted in workshops and apply it effectively on the job. These “coursels” are also very useful in providing just-in-time (JIT) learning support to employees. These modules can be accessed easily on mobile devices.
Thus, you can deliver highly effective training to your people on SAP and enhance your operational efficiency. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.