An ERP training strategy is a key component of organizational change management. As employees learn how to use a new system, their attitude toward it improves and their competencies multiply. The opposite can also hold true if the training process is ill-executed.
Thankfully, you don’t have to make the mistakes other organizations have made. Today, we’re sharing expert tips that can make your ERP training strategy and plan as successful as possible.
7 Tips for Developing an ERP Training Strategy and Plan
1. Conduct Multiple Change Impact Sessions
While you might think of training as a final-stage effort before go-live, it should actually be top of mind at the beginning of the project. In fact, you should begin to analyze training needs before ERP selection, while you’re working on business process management.
This involves mapping your current business processes to determine what’s working and what isn’t. During this time, project team members work within departments to understand end-to-end workflows and related pain points. Then, they relay this information to the project team.
This effort provides the basis for conducting change impact sessions. During these meetings, your project team meets with functional area leaders and SMEs to understand what processes will be changing. This gives you insight into each functional area’s training and communication needs.
ERP Training Success Story
We helped this manufacturer implement a training strategy to increase user adoption of its new ERP system.
2. Be Strategic
This means developing a training strategy based on your change impact sessions and then using this to create a training plan.
The insights you glean from your change impact assessments dictate how many resources you dedicate and how much time you allot to training sessions. These assessments also help you determine what stakeholders need training and what techniques you’ll use to train them.
Once you understand the approach you need to take, you can develop an ERP system training plan outlining roles and responsibilities and allotting time for key activities, like refresher training after go-live.
3. Leverage Internal Resources
In addition to your core project team, don’t be afraid to leverage your SMEs and department leads.
These employees are the most well-versed in the specific pain points that their colleagues are facing. As such, they can help you develop a training plan that meets the needs of these groups.
You should also equip these team members with the technical knowledge necessary to facilitate end-user training.
4. Collaborate With Your Communications Team
When it comes to ERP system training, the way you deliver information is just as important as the information you’re delivering.
As you develop your training support collateral and materials, it’s important to work with your internal communications team. This way, you can be sure you’re communicating the right knowledge and skills, using the right mediums and the right timing.
5. Customize Your Training
All employees affected by the ERP implementation will need some form of training on how the system works. However, they won’t all benefit from the same training content.
To be most effective, you should tailor training to each employee’s role and their unique processes. Not only does this ensure that they’re learning the aspects of the software that apply to them, but it makes the sessions relevant enough to keep their interest.
6. Allot a Sufficient Budget
When money gets tight, an ERP system training budget is usually second on the chopping block (right after change management communication).
However, consider the long-term costs you’d incur by implementing a system that few employees know how to appropriately use.
If you’re going to set aside adequate capital to fund every stage of the implementation process, then don’t scrimp when it’s time to put it to use. Make sure you allot enough money to thoroughly train every end-user.
As you do, keep in mind ancillary costs such as vendor-supplied training materials or custom training content.
7. Conduct Post-Go-Live Assessments
As we’ve mentioned, the time after your ERP system goes live is just as important as the stages leading up to the big day. Once the software is up and running, you’ll be able to more clearly see where employees are soaring — and where they’re struggling.
We recommend using post-live assessments to inform follow-up training and communication needs. Conduct one-on-one as well as group sessions, to understand which points you still need to clarify.
Optimize Your ERP Training Strategy
An ERP solution can transform your organization from the inside out. Yet, to reach its full potential, your end-users need to know more than just how to use it. They need to understand their new processes and how these relate to upstream and downstream workflows.
This is why an ERP training strategy is a critical investment. As you begin your implementation, set aside the resources to complete this effort as part of your overall organizational change management strategy.
To learn more about change management, read our post, What is Change Management?