ERP Training Strategies

All Articles From Jennifer Aldrich January 21, 2013 2

Effective and efficient ERP training is the cornerstone of every successful organizational change management (OCM) plan. Training end-users and preparing employees for system go-live directly contributes to bottom-line results and ERP success. But what does effective ERP training look like and how can organizations avoid the mistake of squeezing training into the smallest timeframe possible?

Many organizations wait to train end-users until right before go-live because they fail to see the value in an extensive training program. While a detailed training program may seem excessive, the benefits of knowledgeable and prepared employees are unmatched. Preparing employees for the business process reengineering associated with new ERP software ensures that employee productivity doesn’t plummet after go-live and business operations continue without disruption.

Following are five strategies for developing an effective training program that adequately prepares employees for the changes ahead:

  1. Begin training at least 60 days before ERP go-live. Verify that the project team has enough time to conduct training by working with an independent, external source to validate project strategy and scope and assess forecasted time and resource requirements.
  2. Recognize that employee productivity depends on not only on the timing of training but also the content. End-users should be trained in both the technical use of the system and any new business processes that will change the way they do their jobs.
  3. Rather than offer ERP training focused on transactional processes (wherein users are trained how to complete basic transactions with the new software), provide contextual training that explains how the new business processes relate to the old.
  4. Take advantage of internal resources, including super-users and organizational change leads, who can serve as proponents of the new system and help the project team communicate about training schedules and expectations.
  5. The organizational culture fostered by your organizational change management plan should directly feed into and affect training activities. Throughout ERP training, discussions should be welcome and communication should be open and frequent.

When an organization leaves ERP training to the last minute, end-users are left with the perception that the organization does not understand nor care to understand the business processes or job-related needs of its employees. When carefully planned and executed, however, ERP training can lead to a successful ERP implementation that achieves all expected business benefits.

Learn more about ERP training by visiting our Organizational Change Management page or by downloading Chapter Six of An Expert’s Guide to ERP Success.

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  1. Andy Klee February 4, 2014 at 10:39 am -

    Good points, Jennifer.

    I like the point made about the importance of going beyond just transactional training to get to the business process changes that the new software is enabling. In fact, I usually suggest that the transactional knowledge can be gained before class by asking the end users to take eLearning courses which hopefully have been created using UPK, Epilogue, or other tools.

    And, let’s not forget the importance of configuration-level training for the project team. That needs to happen prior to the creation of the model (pilot) which is tested and refined prior to the end users getting their hands on it.

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  2. Carlos March 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm -

    Hi Jennifer,

    Your points make for a good general overview of what an organization ought to do to get the users ready for an implementation. But in my opinion, 60 is too close to the go-live date to train. And is this a one-time training event for the users? At LISO, we have a proven four-phase training and implementation plan that engages users from practically the onset of the project and all the way leading up to go-live. Why so much training? Go-live becomes a non-event and business continues to run.

    You can read about Phase 1 here:

    Thanks, and I do appreciate the data Panorama has gathered over the years regarding ERP implementations.

    Have a great day,

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