The main purpose of an ERP system is to make the business processes more efficient. However, as with just about every system, for it to be effective, the staff using the system need to get the most out of it. Failing to educate your staff when implementing an ERP system can lead to productivity loss in the long term and in the long term, the ERP system may be deemed a failure as it may fail to deliver any real Return on Investment.
The last decade has seen a change in ERP training from small afterthought to becoming a critical part of an ERP implementation however, despite this, a lack of end user training is still mentioned as one of the biggest reasons for software failures. Here are five mistakes that can easily be avoided when training ERP staff and can greatly improve the chances of implementing a successful ERP system:
Educate As Well As Train
Despite what some people may think, training is not the same as educating. When a person is trained, they are taught how to complete a given task but when they are educated, they are taught about the inner workings of that task such as why it needs to be carried out and what would happen if that task was not carried out. Training staff is important but it cannot stop there, without appropriately educated staff, the workers will not be able to take appropriate action if things go wrong.
Mix Formal Training with Informal Training
Formal learning occurs in a classroom environment whilst informal learning involves a more practical, on the job way of learning. Formal training is necessary to cover the basic principles of a particular task but a study revealed that around 75% of learning occurs in an informal manner. Therefore it is vital for organisations to implement both methods of training.
Use a Variety of Educational Mediums
Everybody learns differently and your training program must take this into account. When people learn by seeing, reading and listening, there is a greater chance that they will remember what they have learned. To take advantage of these learning mediums, you could implement a variety of training methods such as web based tutorials, user guides and by creating a ‘frequently asked questions’ section.
Plan Your Education for the Long Term
Education is a continuous process that cannot stop after the ‘’go live’ date. Further training will need to be carried out on arrival of new staff, during organizational changes and after a system upgrade. The best training programs cover the initial processes that the staff need to be aware of prior to implementing the ERP system and then re-evaluate their training requirements on a continuous or regular basis as the needs of the business change. Education is an ever looping process of asses, plan, train and support.
Education Is Not an Expense
Just as the initial ERP system is regarded as an investment, the training costs must also be regarded as an investment rather than an expense. A smart business will know that in order for the investment in the ERP system to flourish, the people running the system must also be invested in so that they can bring the most out of the system.
Avoiding these 5 simple training mistakes can provide a number of benefits including improved productivity, fewer user errors, less support related calls and even more effective spending and budgeting for education. All of these benefits ultimately lead to contributing to the success of your ERP system as well as improving your Return on Investment.