When creating an ERP user training plan, it’s important to realize that user adoption is key to the success or failure of the project. Lack of buy-in to a new ERP system can be caused by a number of factors including fear of the unknown. Senior management should go to great lengths to communicate benefits and rewards of implementation as well as reassuring staff that the change will be managed sensitively with their needs in mind. Disengaged workers can have a massive financial impact if employees can’t utilize the new ERP system to its full capacity. In order to achieve a good ROI in your ERP, you must first invest in a robust training plan.

An ERP user training plan is going to be a labor of love, but it will pay off in the end if you put the necessary time into planning and creating it. There are three simple, yet critical steps you should follow in order to ensure that you deliver the best possible ERP training plan to your employees.

1. Accept that Training Will have to be Tailored to Your Staff

According to a recent study by IBM, 84 percent of employees in best-performing organizations are receiving the training they need. Understand that everyone will require different levels of training. You need to make sure that every member of the staff is receiving the right training to match their skill set. It’s important to put user training into the context of achieving wider goals, which means explaining to individuals how their role fits into the operational framework of the company. It might seem obvious, but employees across different departments are likely to have different experience. Senior level employees and managers might need greater access to certain features, and that’s why ERP training shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all.

2. Make Decisions about Who Will Lead and Facilitate Your Training Program

Implementing a new ERP system and the processes that go along with it can put extra stress on staff who are taking on extra duties as part of the project. Consider that you might need to hire extra staff to supplement the workforce while key stakeholders put time into managing your ERP project.

How do you go about choosing an ERP project manager? The first step is to look for experience managing large projects and specific ERP training. The ability to communicate well is an essential quality in a role that involves building relationships with people across your organization.

Take advantage of ERP super users who can bridge the gap between an end user community and the IT operators. The role is not usually made up of systems-related tasks, but rather the end-to-end communication. Aside from coordination, super users can offer direct support for end-user communities, help educate ERP stakeholders at all levels and propose business process enhancements.

3. Commit to Continued Investment in Training and Related Resources

In a recent study, it was found that 29 percent of participants said they saw the biggest skills gap in training and education on ERP related projects. Many make the mistake of implementing an ERP training plan — which is short-term, then forget about the longer-term requirements such as refresher training or training that is in line with system updates. If you commit to an ongoing training plan you can encourage a culture of continued learning, which will keep your staff happy and benefit your business in the long term.

As with anything that is important in our daily lives, creating an ERP user training plan is going to require time and effort. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. What steps have you taken to ensure a successful plan is created and implemented at your company? I’d love to hear what has worked well for you!