You’ve decided to implement a new ERP system—and eager to start reaping the benefits promised by the technology. While your IT team and solutions vendor iron out the deployment details, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about user training. The sooner your employees are comfortable with their new tools and processes, the sooner they’ll be up and running and you start seeing results.
In Tips for End User Training, we point out that customization is key to helping employees gain confidence with their new solution and ultimately make the most of your investment. Here, we’ll share some best practices for ensuring your ERP user training covers the bases—customizing the training for each user—and leads your organization to ROI.
1. Start Planning (and Training) Early
Don’t leave training to an afterthought. Even though end user training might not happen until after user acceptance testing (so that employees can learn on the readiest version of their software), it might be worthwhile to start laying some training groundwork early. 5 Tips for Preparing Your Employees For a First-Time Cloud ERP System Implementationaddresses the importance of sharing a project timeline with key employees and communicating frequently with users to prepare them for what’s ahead.
Why not incorporate some training elements along the way? This could start with a train-the-trainer exercise and then move on to disseminating some basic information about the new system and processes, maybe in the form of a live demo or screen shots. From there, the training complexity and customization can build into more hands-on training and deeper-dive training for company power users.
2. Know Your Users—All Of Them
Exactly how and when you begin a training initiative depends on multiple factors, including how many employees will be using the new system, which processes are changing, and the users’ existing familiarity with the technology (or lack thereof). How much do they know? What do they want to know? How will they be using the software? Which tools will they be using? Will they be accessing their tools via mobile devices?
Each department will need to know how their new ERP system will match the way they’re used to working—and what they need to accomplish day-to-day—so after some basics are covered, employees will need at least some degree of specific guidance. Your company’s department heads will likely know best how ready their employees are to start using new technology. They’ll have insights into their learning styles and communications preferences, too, so count on directors and managers to help guide your training timeline, goals, and tactics. It’s at this point that you’ll see how each functional area’s training needs differ from others—and it’s where your training customizations can start to take shape.
3. Give Users “Just Enough” Info
Keeping in mind that employees in certain departments or at certain levels will need more (or less) system training, it’s important to give each user the right amount of information for them. Finding this sweet spot isn’t necessarily easy, but taking the time to ensure your training materials say “just enough” will increase your chances of everyone effectively understanding and adopting of their new tools. Maybe this means breaking up longer training sessions into shorter ones and/or requiring only certain users to attend all of the sessions. You also might have the opportunity to provide on-demand training, leveraging in-person training with digital instruction.
This is one area where working with your technology partner is invaluable. They’re experienced with ERP system deployments and training—and they’ve been providing user support for a number of companies like yours, so they anticipate employees’ questions and needs through training, roll-out, and post-roll-out. Work closely with your partner from the very beginning of your ERP implementation project, and count on them to help you keep your employees informed at each step.
Get more ideas in 10 Factors That Ensure a Successful ERP Implementation Project.
If you’re considering implementing a new ERP system, MIBAR can help you select the right solution and deliver effective, customized training to all of your system users. Contact us to learn more!