While you may hopefully never need to train an actual dragon to use your ERP system, you certainly will need to train change-resistant end-users – which is arguably more difficult. Nothing will derail an ERP implementation more than “fire-breathing” employees who do not understand how to use new software and do not care to learn.
Many organizations implementing ERP software assume that employees will learn the technical aspects through intuition and common sense. While interfaces are becoming more user-friendly, employees may be intimidated by new business processes and feel as if they are starting an entirely new job. To ease this transition, you don’t have to be a knight in shining armor – you simply have to conduct ERP training, and the benefits you longed for will soon be realized.
Following are a few tips for training end-users throughout an ERP implementation:
1. Use customized training materials. Out-of-the-box training materials provided by ERP vendors are not tailored to your organization’s unique business processes. Organizations should customize training materials to ensure that they can be applied to both current- and future-state processes.
2. Allocate enough resources. Organization change management, including communication and training, is often forgone for the sake of saving money. A fully-staffed organizational change management team could mean the difference between ERP success and failure. To ensure high user-adoption before and after go-live, organizations cannot cut corners when it comes to training.
3. Start now. Organizations should begin training at least 60 days before go-live. To verify that the project team has enough time to conduct all necessary training sessions, be sure to include training requirements in the initial project scope. As our 2014 ERP Report shows, ERP implementations frequently go over-budget and exceed planned durations. Planning an ERP training schedule at the outset, ensures that unexpected costs and requirements do not delay go-live.
While not everyone is brave enough to battle a dragon, end-users are not nearly as frightening. With the right expertise and resources, any organization can prevent learning-curve anxiety from escalating into anger and resistance.
Learn more by registering for our upcoming webinar, Five Key Organizational Change Management Challenges with ERP Implementations.