Alongside the many decisions to be made when implementing an ERP system, how you will develop and deploy your training programme is one of them. The choices are very broadly: give your system project team and ‘super users’ responsibility for training other users, either themselves or by using in-house trainers; rely on the ERP training provided by the software vendor; or hand over the project to a professional training consultancy. Some organisations elect for a combination of these approaches.
The first step in determining the most effective employee training programme is to carry out a detailed analysis of the ERP training requirements to support your business objectives and an evaluation of the available resources.
The amount, type, content and timing are all critical factors, as are the audience, the delivery and the supporting documentation.
10 Key Questions
1. What level of resources will you need to employ? It is easy to underestimate the amount of planning, communication and administration required to deliver a major ERP training roll-out programme with critical deadlines.
2. Will your training solutions be tailored to the specific system build and the users’ requirements based on their roles?
3. How versatile and extensive are the available training options to address the differing skills and needs of your staff? Do they go beyond standard classroom presentations and ‘drop-in’ surgeries to offer a bespoke programme of flexible blended learning that can include eLearning, floor-walking, one-to-one coaching and customised documentation?
4. If the users need to also work with other integrated systems as part of their role, will the design of the ERP training programme have the flexibility to take this into account?
5. Do the trainers have the required skills and knowledge – are they used to training on your ERP system? Ideally they should be fully experienced and accredited trainers for your system of choice. If they are already working flat out on the project, they probably do not have time to add training as another responsibility.
6. How will the ERP training programme be managed? An experienced ERP project manager will ensure that the training programme keeps on track with the system design and build or upgrade project schedule.
7. Is there enough administrative support available? Handling the complex logistics behind training course bookings, communication, feedback and analysis is very time consuming.
8. If external training resources are required, how will they integrate with your internal resources and will they be available for on-going rollout, upgrade or refresher training?
9. What ERP documentation will be required and how will this be kept up to date in the longer term? Any training documentation and plans prepared externally should be available for hand over after the initial training programme to help your in-house trainers extend the long term benefits and obtain maximum value from your investment.
10. Finally, take into account any previous systems training experiences. What lessons were learned? Check that any external training provider being considered has an established client case study list with available endorsements and references.