Jim is the training manager of a large pharmaceutical company. Recently, his organization implemented SAP to provide greater visibility in operations and improve efficiencies. Jim was tasked with training the drug maker’s staff on the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. He completed the task successfully and won accolades from his boss.
How was Jim able to ensure his people were trained effectively on the ERP system? Well, he focused on 5 important aspects.
1. Training early in the implementation lifecycle
Most training programs on ERP technologies, which commence early in the implementation lifecycle, end up successful.. In fact, research by Aberdeen reveals that well-performing firms are 82% more likely to have delivered training in the early stages of ERP implementation. It’s better to begin the training process at least 5 quarters before going live. Here is a suggested ERP training timeline.
|Quarters before going live||Training tasks to be performed|
|5 and 4|
|3 and 2|
2. Delivering training on re-engineered processes
Most ERP implementations involve the re-engineering of business processes. This results in changes in the roles and responsibilities of staff members. Train your workforce on the modified business processes and explain where employees fit in the new workflow.
For example, when you train an invoice clerk on the new ERP system, you need to teach him more than mere recording of the invoice in the system. Explain the process behind the creation of the invoice – what happens after the generation of the invoice, how payment is processed against the invoice, and so on.
3. Providing role-based training
Most ERP applications have several roles and each role is different, based on the users. For instance, in enterprise HCM technologies such as SAP and Workday, you have a user who creates a work schedule and another role or user who approves the work schedule. You cannot use the same content to train both these users who perform different roles, as the functions they perform are different. So, you need to go for role-based training where each role is treated exclusively. Check out this informative article on delivering role-based ERP training for more information.
4. Imparting training on the software as-it-would-be; not as-it-is
In most cases, ERP systems are customized to meet the requirements of the organization. However, employees are not trained on the customized software applications but on the “applications purchased from the vendor”. This affects the ability of users to make the best use of the customized ERP technology. So, it’s advisable to train them on the customized ERP system. It’s a good idea to develop simulation-based e-learning modules that reflect the changes in the software, to train the staff.
5. Using the services of third party learning experts
Many companies hire technical people from their ERP vendors to train their employees. These people have a solid understanding of the ERP software, but have little knowledge of how learning takes place. So, it is necessary to use the services of learning professionals, who are well-versed in creating ERP training programs.
Good training plays a key role in enabling your people use ERP technologies effectively. By focusing on the aspects discussed above, you can deliver highly effective ERP training.