ERP software training is one of those factors that can be often overlooked as crucial to the success of an ERP implementation. What I mean by this is, I'm in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central software business and whenever I purchase new software for personal use I always opt to try to learn it by myself. Bad idea?
Not as bad as if an organization opted not to train employees on a new software. See, the difference when I choose not to get training for my personal software is that I'm not affecting the bottom line of any organization and I generally don't have a cut-over date to worry about. So, I can take my time, try to learn the software, and seek help if I cannot. This is opposite for a business. Training is a must.
Here are some tips to help your organization's ERP Software training excel:
1. Plan Effectively
“By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Good planning is the backbone of good execution. If you want your training to be successful start by working with your ERP software experts and aligning it with your change management strategy. For instance, if you are not implementing changes to your supply chain until phase 2 which is slated to start in 6 months, it's probably not the best idea to have mandatory immediate training sessions right now. That being said, keep in mind every organization is different and requires different training needs.
2. Include Role and Process-based Training
“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.” – Warren Bennis
If the past couple years have taught us anything it's that rapid change can sometimes be needed. It's no longer enough to train employees on exactly what information to enter or buttons to click. Employees should be training on processes as well. Process-based training helps employees to quickly solve any issues should they arise. For example, let's assume a software update was applied to your ERP software and some fields have moved or changed name. An employee who understand the work-process won't panic and should be able to figure out what to do to keep your business moving forward. Whereas an employee who has only been training on their role might have to stop working and get help.
3. Incorporate Multiple Training Methods
“Right now, your competition is training.” — Unknown
Regardless of age, people all learn differently. Some are happy with a document trying to learn by themselves while others like having an instructor to guide them in a room full of people asking questions.
4. Set a Budget
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” – Dave Ramsey
Set an ERP software budget and resist the urge to cut back. Cutting back your training budget might not seem like a big deal at first because there are no issues but as people use the software more mistakes will be made. Peace of mind is knowing that mistakes aren't being made on the large scale they could be because your employees were trained properly.
5. Make Training Enjoyable
“If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” – Ryan Blair
If training isn't enjoyable people will find excuses to miss the session, ultimately hurting the benefits of new ERP software. We've all had bad training before and its terrible. The need to keep employees engaged should be prioritized.
6. Plan for Continuous Training
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills
ERP software is continually evolving and changing with every update. This means organizations need to plan for continuous training to keep their employees up to date on the latest features and functionality. Adopt the mentality of a life long learner and it'll pay off five-fold in the future.
7. Focus on Results
I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. - Michael Jordan
Good or bad, results can drive positive change. Brainstorm some key performance indicators you believe to be most beneficial and monitor them daily. Give employees the chance to voice their opinions through anonymous surveys.
Use the information you get to refine training. For example, employees believe the instructor is spending too much time answering questions during the interactive software training time slot. Maybe implement a change that allows questions to be asked twice an hour, once an hour, or at the end. What works will be different for each organization.
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