11 Tips to Help You Plan Training For Your Cloud ERP Implementation
Cloud ERP is a powerful tool for businesses. Here’s how to successfully implement an ERP training program.
A cloud ERP solution can transform and simplify your day-to-day business operations. When implemented correctly, cloud ERP software offers numerous benefits for your business. While there are many factors that contribute to the success of a cloud ERP implementation project, one component that should not be overlooked is end-user training.
Your employees should be trained on all the ins and outs of the software to make sure your business reaps all the benefits a cloud ERP system has to offer. When they are properly trained and ready for your system deployment, your company will notice a direct influence on bottom-line outcomes and overall ERP success.
However, it can be challenging to determine when and where to start the training program. So, we have put together a list of valuable tips, best practices, and recommendations on how to plan training for your cloud ERP implementation so you can form a smart and effective end-user training program.
How to Implement ERP Software Training in Your Company
1. Define Clear Expectations
Before anything else, clearly outline your expectations for the ERP training process and determine the desired results. These outcomes can be better determined by communicating with project managers, evaluating business data, and determining which users need special training for specific ERP modules. Gathering such valuable information will help you discover the direction of your training program and target that training for your end-users.
2. Plan and Begin Early
The earlier you start planning your ERP training program, the more success you will achieve. Many months before your system go-live date, begin determining the end-users, create a roadmap to shift from the former software to the new ERP system, and develop benchmarks to evaluate the efficaciousness of the end-user training program.
3. Allocate Sufficient Budget for ERP Training
It is surprising how little money is saved for the required training process while companies set aside extensive budgets for various stages and operations in cloud ERP implementation. While allotting an ERP training budget, you should ensure it is sufficient to train senior management, project team, end-users and enable the creation of end-user documentation and manuals.
You may be aware of the Gartner Group research paper that reported that enterprises that pay out less than 13% of their total ERP cost on training were 3x more likely to face difficulties, such as exceeded time limits and training budgets, than those companies that spent at least 17% of their total ERP cost on training. Higher training budgets will definitely result in a smoother go-live and the first few months of new system use for most organizations. It will also support better results from User Acceptance Training as your end-users will have a deeper understanding of what the resulting process outputs should be.
4. Adjust Training Program with Change Management Strategy
Not many people are comfortable with changes, and the scope of change associated with the ERP installation is massive, affecting both organizations and users. This change is hard to ignore and also meets serious resistance by the users. Ensuring that your training represents your change strategy by catering to various cultures within your company is not enough. If your change operation constantly progresses and responds to variation, make certain your training program is agile enough to support that. Aligning your training programs with the change management strategy helps change how people find the ERP system, overcome their reluctance to accept it, and reduce risks.
5. Impart Role-based Training
Your newly implemented ERP system will likely have employees working in various departments. This calls for role-based and process-based training based on the role of the users – they are trained only on the processes and operations relevant to their job and routine activities. For the training to be truly productive, users must be trained on the functions pertinent to their roles. For instance, a data analyst will not be taught how to create purchase orders and send them for approval. Besides professional upskilling, another reason to prefer process-based training is getting the most out of your training resources, particularly time.
6. Provide Hands-on Training
Enable your users to interact with the ERP system, observe how they respond to the process, and make improvements accordingly along the way. When you only show the end-users how to use the software, there are higher chances of missing many essential things, leading to severe problems. Therefore, users should be shown how the system functions and allowed to use it in a controlled environment before trying their actual tasks. They should be allowed to input records to become familiar with the software and see the impact of setup decisions on the system reports and data analysis.
7. Train to Your Business Processes
The lack of understanding of how the new software will affect business processes is another reason why cloud ERP projects can fail. Any business process re-engineering should be intelligibly identified. And end-users should be trained on how the newly implemented system connects with an organization’s workflows and business operations after its deployment. Include tailored training materials that relate to your industry-specific functions and day-to-day business processes.
8. Measure Training Results
Similar to measuring the ROI of the marketing campaign, companies need to measure the ROI of ERP training. Training administrators need to measure users’ participation, progress, and completion in real-time. They should track each user’s progress against well-defined training program objectives and milestones. These goals must be defined and communicated at the start of the training program, and users must be held accountable with assessments to ensure knowledge transfer and retention.
9. Implement A Continuous Learning Strategy
Effective training and assessments are much more than a one-time effort and should not end with cloud ERP implementation. It is an ongoing process that enables employees to complete their tasks pre-and post-launch successfully. Your teams will usually have multiple tasks to do using the newly implemented software and will not retain all vital information in one-time training. Therefore, training must begin together with the product planning stage, involve all concerned employees and departments, be carried out in pre-and post-implementation phases and at regular intervals to keep up with the changes and new product releases, and be followed up with assessments. Iterative ERP software training will help your team perform their job successfully.
10. Gather End-user Feedback Throughout
When planning an ERP software training program, companies must allow for end-user feedback. Gather feedback from users throughout the software implementation stage for a seamless deployment. This will help gain deeper insights into how employees work and interact with others and their day-to-day struggles in the preliminary phases. In addition, feedback will help guide the implementation so that the software can address real user requirements. After the go-live, end-user feedback will help you identify the issues and provide ideas to change your overall training program so that it can be more effective and efficient in the future.
11. Consult Your ERP Partner
Bring in some professional help and consult with your ERP partner to devise an effective training strategy. As ERP failure and inadequate training directly correlate, it might be helpful to work with ERP training professionals to improve your process. In fact, most ERP partners offer training as part of the ERP implementation process and conduct training themselves.
Takeaway: ERP Training Should Be a Priority
A successful cloud ERP training program should cover both software-related topics and the revised business processes and should be able to guide end-users through all the new functions and processes. As ERP training is one of the foremost factors in the success of your cloud ERP deployment, making it a priority within your company is critical.
For questions about cloud ERP implementation and training, get in touch with the team at Kwixand Solutions. We are a Silver Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner and guide businesses across North America through all stages of their cloud and ERP implementation. Learn more about us here.
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