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Critical Role of Training In ERP Adoption

Guest post by
Samik Das, Project Manager, Infosys Limited

"Practice Makes A Man Perfect" is a well known phrase and now let me rephrase the proverb from an ERP implementation perspective as "Users' Practice makes an ERP adoption perfect". Here the million dollar question remains, "How to make the end users practice, practice and practice?" We keep pushing them to achieve this while ignoring the main aspect that they do not have the required comfort to practice. The answer should be - Training.

Training gives Comfort; Comfort makes people Practice, Practice results in Extensive Testing which in turn brings out a good ERP adoption process. Training should be one of the key items of the whole implementation process. In a broader way, two important aspects are to be considered while designing the training. 'Stages' - when the trainings are to be conducted and the 'Content' - which carries the value.


Stages of Training
  • Training infused at a proper stage always delivers the desired result. Although not the only ones, the below are the vital stages:
  • Exposure to ERPAt the onset of the implementation process, the users should be exposed to the ERP screens, processes etc. This gives the required inputs and sets expectations about the future system.
  • Data Extraction & MigrationData Migration is the soul of an ERP implementation which many a times goes ignored in the initial days of implementation. Exhaustive training enables them to have a proper legacy data extraction to meet the data migration requirements.
  • Navigations: Before the testing starts, navigation training will help core users to achieve the desired comfort level. The testing periods can be utilized into more testing than guiding them with navigations.
  • Milestone Based Training: This is the most common format of training. This helps to refresh the users' memories before they enter the testing phases of the project.

Training Contents: The content of the training plays a vital role to keep users glued to the session. The expectation is set properly and this way, reciprocation between the trainer and trainee becomes more effective. The aspects which we should ideally consider are:
  • Scope: The scope as well as the content should be clearly conveyed to the attendees. This way they can connect in a better way - even get to do the necessary preparations.
  • Pace: The users will be seeing it for the first time and hence the trainer has to go with a comfortable pace. This will make sure that the attendees are able to accept whatever has been conveyed. This is not just listening; they need to reproduce this during the testing sessions.
  • Trainer: A specifically designated or an external trainer provides a great value addition to the training. 
  • Avoid Information Overload: The sessions should be crisp and limited to an optimal duration. This will make sure that attendees are not overloaded with too much information.
  • Train the trainer: Majority of our implementations have training models as 'Train the trainer'. Lack of involvement in the end user training can invite devastation. The implementation team has to make sure that end users receive the adequate information what was conveyed to their Trainers.
  • Follow Up: This can be in several modes, but the most methodical will be to provide exercises, having a short test or /and a special Q&A session.
  • Benefits to Reap: The change is a stressful period for end users to transition from legacy comfort to adopting a new ERP. By explaining the add-on benefits to be derived from the ERP, the interest can be revived to adopt it - at every stage of the testing.

Comments

Samik, While reading your note, it immediately strikes that it is the real extract ("Nichod") of your vast experience. So very factual.
If you may, can i just add one important point. And that is of the Business scenarios to be shown/demonstrated during the training. If Business scenarios are from real life, to which the users are able to relate, the training becomes all the more interesting and in true sense becomes "Business training" rather than "Technical or Package Training". Thanks

Hi Samik,

Thanks for such a frutiful blog. It's amezing, helpful. This blog help me alot for my ERP preparations. Keep posting.

Great Article..thanks for your valuable posting..It was very informative..

Great Article..It was very informative..I need more details from your side..include some tips..

Nicz.I need some tips related to your content..

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