Monday, November 28, 2016

How To Train Your Super Users

As you may or may not know, I created RSM Technology Academy (formerly Junction Academy) about six years ago from my passion for training, and the seemingly complete lack of training in the Microsoft Dynamics AX space. Over the years I have learned a few things about training and approaches that work; and, I have seen some serious flops as well. 
So imagine with me that you’ve just selected an ERP system and your company is gearing up for a full-scale implementation. Amidst the flurry of requirements gathering, system architecture, and project planning, it’s easy to forget one of the most important elements for success— Microsoft Dynamics AX/ 365 for Operations training for your internal Super Users.
These users are the backbone of the continued success of your business software, as it is up to them to train new users, maintain data integrity, troubleshoot issues, and bridge the gap between the software and the business side of your company. The investment in their training during the early phases of an ERP implementation will save your company tremendous amounts of time and money (not to mention headaches) down the road.
Here are five things to keep in mind when training your Super Users.
  1. Allow your Super Users to prioritize learning the ERP system and participating in the implementation. Many of your Super Users are invaluable employees who have a lot on their plate already. Make sure you lighten their workload enough that they have the time to really learn the software and work with the implementation team. This will pay off when they are your experience and knowledge base long after the initial implementation.
  2. Encourage specialization. ERP solutions often contain a great deal of functionality, and this makes them complex—this means it is very difficult to become an expert in the entire solution. Give your Super Users a business area or module in which they can become proficient—this not only gives them a sense of ownership, but also allows for a deeper level of expertise.
  3. Document, document, document. Documenting work instructions and user guides are especially important for companies moving forward after an ERP implementation. As more employees are hired in the future, job roles are changed, and there is less reliance on the software implementation team, documentation created by your Super Users will be invaluable to the transactional accuracy (and therefore data integrity) in your ERP system.
  4. Set realistic expectations and maintain reasonable workloads. Commonly, the all-star employees during an ERP implementation are continually given additional responsibilities. Because they are able to learn a complex new system quickly and are willing to help, they are given more and more areas of accountability. This can lead to long hours, job frustration, and otherwise avoidable errors. Be patient and realistic, and if you notice one employee continually taking on more work than seems possible, encourage that user to use their knowledge to train other employees and pass along some of their tasks.
  5. Train the trainer. One of the key roles of a Super User during an ERP implementation is to take the knowledge from the implementation team and train the end users. Give these leaders the toolkit they need to be successful—from training supplies to teaching tips.
The investment and knowledge you give your ERP Super Users will pay off many times over through the life of your ERP system. These valuable users fill the roles of subject matter experts, problem solvers, and leaders. They are the link between the software and the physical business processes. Devote time and energy into helping them succeed, and the return on investment will be well worth it.
If you need help developing a training plan, selecting and training your selected trainers, developing meaningful and reusable content for your ERP project, you can reach out to my team at academy@rsmus.com to learn more about the services that we offer. Happy Training!

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