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A Leaf Out of Marvel Stories to Create Engaging ERP End-user Training Scenarios

How does Marvel manage to leave us awestruck with each of its movies? Ever wondered what makes its movies standout from the rest? For starters, the visual effects make for some amazing superpowers, the heroes are incredibly good looking with eye-popping costumes, and millions of dollars go into their making. Are these the only ingredients that make these movies a success or is there something more powerful at work here?

No! The magical element is a gripping story. You read it right! A gripping story is the main element of a movie’s success, and Marvel stories get this just right. But what does a Marvel movie have to do with ERP end-user training scenarios?

Effective ERP trainings incorporate end-user stories or scenarios to engage learners and make training relevant to their work. Let’s look at the key ingredients that make Marvel stories powerful, memorable, and engaging; and which can be incorporated in ERP end-user trainings.

Genuine Resolution and Elearning objectives

Genuine Resolution and Elearning objectives



What’s the movie Captain America: Civil War all about? It’s about a choice; a choice to either continue believing in what they do together as Avengers or becoming official United Nations peacekeepers. Right from the outset, it is clear that a choice has to be made.

Similarly, in ERP end-user training, the end objective that end-users must attain should be clearly defined right at the outset. Then create a story that will help you meet that objective. Communicate the objective of the scenario right in the beginning so that end-users do not wonder why they are going through that scenario. Promise a solution for the problem in the beginning and demonstrate the same through the scenario.

Defined Characters and User Roles

Avengers Characters


End users

Do you know how many superheroes were in the movie The Avengers? Seven! Even in the superhero melee, despite the fact that many of these characters have their own larger-than-life stories; every character had a clearly defined role.

Similarly, there are many types of end-users in any ERP system; primary users, super users, power users, and occasional users. Each role must be clearly defined using user stories. Scenarios must incorporate user stories and the tasks they need to accomplish within the system.

Unique Superpowers and End-user Tasks

Fantastic 4 Climax


ERP Tasks

Every superhero has a unique superpower. And superheroes often work together to overcome evil forces or solve problems. Take a look at how the Fantastic 4 pool their superpowers to defeat Doom, the super-villain.

Similarly, there is a flow of user tasks within an ERP system. For example, within an LMS, the Training Administrator uploads and assigns courses. Learners can take a course. Managers can generate reports. Each user works in the context of his/her role and can only perform tasks permissible for his/her role.

Conflict and Change Management




Captain America: Civil War contained some of the most challenging conflicts in the Marvel world. As the story unravels, we see the reasons for the conflict, the conflict itself, and finally, the consequences.

ERP implementation is rife with conflict and resistance to change. These conflicts have to be resolved successfully for successful ERP implementation. Strategic, deliberate, and planned communications, and case studies showcasing and promoting the value and benefits of the proposed ERP, will go a long way in resolving conflicts and getting buy-in from stakeholders and end-users, and better adoption of the ERP.

Plot Progression and Sequential Learning



Ford Account Payable Process


Remember the first Iron-Man movie? It tells the story of how Tony Stark, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, becomes the Iron-Man. We see him getting kidnapped by terrorists, building an armored suit to escape, refining the suit to combat crime and terrorism, and finally, disclosing his identity as the Iron-Man.

You must also take your learners through their own story – the role they have to play within the ERP. What comes first, what next, and the ultimate result – a clear workflow will ensure that end-users are not lost in the process. Have a look at the Ford’s Accounts Payable process after Business Process Reengineering.

Approaching ERP end-user training with these five elements in mind will help you create engaging, meaningful, and effective training, where every end-user understands his role within the ERP and is able to use his superpowers.

Ever used stories and clearly defined roles to train ERP users? Share your story and experience here.

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