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Post ERP Go live training: 6 steps to take

As with any tool, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is only as good as its users. Investing the time to properly train your organization is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your investment and give your team the resources they need to efficiently operate. Other benefits of training include:

  • Avoids lost time and labor correcting errors
  • Avoids siloed, institutional knowledge within the team
  • Standardizes the training experience for the entire team
  • Allows for team feedback and process refinement

Below are industry best practices from ERP experts for ensuring your organization is reaping the benefits of post-implementation ERP training.

Train Early, Train Often

One of the most critical training mistakes an organization can make is waiting until the ERP system has launched before starting to train their team. Due to the huge organizational and personnel impact a new ERP system has on the whole organization, training should begin far in advance of the ERP system go-live and extend long after. Organizations should think of training as a continuous process for educating personnel, especially when new features and functionality are rolled out.

Create A Training Plan

To facilitate the training process, a training plan should be created to assist in the planning and execution of training within your organization, both before, during, and after implementation. The key components of a successful training plan are:

Training Timeline – Key dates and milestones for training. This should align with the overall ERP implementation timeframe and identify both when training is occurring and who is being trained. For example, your organization may have team-specific training for the Sales team occurring concurrently with the Warehouse team one week and a company-wide training session the next.

Team Definition – Defines key personnel and teams within the organization. This helps to identify what type of training personnel will receive, and who will need to attend.

Communication Plan – Documents how, when, and what content will be included in training specific communications sent out to the organization.

Choose The Right Tools

To effectively communicate the training plan, organizations must ensure they have the proper communication tools in place. Email is the most common tool for pushing information to personnel and teams but can often be inefficient and lack interaction. Many ERP systems include built-in messaging and collaboration platforms, allowing teams to seamlessly interact with each other and the system’s support and training tools. Newer technology platforms such as Slack are also emerging as a more effective tool for team interaction and collaboration. As recognition of this, many ERP solutions provide out of the box third-party integrations with these tools.

It is also vital that personnel always have easy access to training materials, including training and ERP system documentation and support assistance. Many ERP systems have integrated documentation and support featured native to the platform or integration with third-party document repositories such as Google Docs and MS Office 365. By centrally storing up-to-date training materials and system documentation in a document repository, organizations can ensure personnel have access to the most current training materials.

Train The Trainer

Many ERP implementations include software vendor and third-party professional training consultants as part of the roll-out. These experts are specifically brought on to ensure the organization is properly trained on the system, and that users are able to perform their day-to-day duties. Once the implementation is complete, however, these resources are no longer available and the organization is left with a huge potential knowledge gap. One of the most simple and effective ways to overcome this gap is through implementing a “train the trainer” program within the organization.

The concept is fairly straightforward and involves designating key personnel within the organization that are responsible for the internal knowledge and development of training. These personnel attend ongoing vendor and third-party ERP training sessions throughout the year and disseminate the knowledge back to the organization internally. Depending on the size of the organization, different Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) can be assigned from each team to ensure knowledge is distributed across the organization.

Leverage Vendor Resources

An investment in an ERP system goes far beyond just the purchase of software. It involves an ongoing relationship with your ERP software vendor or service provider and includes ongoing updates to documentation, support, upgrades, and training. It is important to understand the terms of your organization’s individual service agreement to understand the exact details of the support that is offered, but most ERP vendors will provide updated documentation and training materials with each new release of the software. Some vendors even provide ongoing training in the form of webinars, online videos, and classroom experiences. It is vital that organizations stay trained on the newest updates and features of the ERP software to get the most out of the implementation.

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