Updated: March 2022
An ERP implementation can be quite an undertaking. When done right, however, this implementation promises tremendous results for your organization. Over time, studies of change programs affirm that training is a critical component to a successful implementation.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”
The quote above kicks off a McKinsey case study on change management in Japan. The article goes on to state: "So it is with modernizing and changing operating models within organizations. This can often be met with resistance by employees and exasperated further by cultural influences."
An ERP implementation will affect many teams across your organization. While the new system streamlines daily tasks and processes, people tend to resist change and may be resistant to anything that causes their jobs to change significantly.
But making sure that your training reflects your change strategy isn't just about catering to different cultures in your organization. If your change process is dynamic and responds to change - make sure your training program is agile and can support that. If you depend heavily on progress metrics to decide on your next step - choose a training tool that can provide analytics of your staff's learning progress.
Including change management as a part of your ERP implementation strategy will accelerate adoption and reduce risks. Add to this a well-executed training plan, and you'll ease the transition process for impacted teams, making them more likely to embrace new processes.
Certainly, employees in all roles affected by the ERP implementation will require training to understand the software fundamentals and the over-arching organizational benefits it will provide.
But for the training to be truly effective, it is essential that users also be trained on the functions and processes relevant to their individual roles.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
This calls for organization-wide training, so plan on training everyone from top to bottom. Your executive and management teams, IT project teams, functional users, and end users.
But professional upskilling is not the sole reason to prefer role-base training. It is also instrumental for getting the most out of your training resources, primarily time. Today's digital adoption tools offer role-based training solutions that can get quite granular, drilling down as accurately as page actions (page visited, buttons clicked, etc.).
When considering how much to budget for your training plan, consider all the organizations and personnel that need to be trained. Think about all the components that will go into your training roll out.
The right training budget for your organization will depend on your strategy, but be sure to allocate sufficient budget for your training needs so you have the resources to do it right.
Some interesting findings from research studies on this topic:
Effective training is more than an IT milestone; it is an iterative process, one that is updated every time a new software version is released, is updated with new features and evolves with training trends and latest research on retention.
Implementing a continuous learning strategy will help employees complete their tasks successfully pre and post-launch. Having said that, a one-time training session rarely works.
Your teams will typically have many different tasks to complete using your new ERP software and will not be able to retain all of the critical information in a one-time training. Not to mention that going forward, employees will need to keep up with changes and new product releases.
Successful ERP training covers not only system-related topics, but also revised business processes. It takes into consideration each function’s unique business processes and training needs. It guides employees -at all levels of the organization- through new functions and processes.