Successfully implementing ERP is complicated... Is it? Part Two

  • By Spandan Adhikary

I will now quickly talk about my solution to how ERP can successfully be implemented. If you want to know about my previous article, you can readit here:

I have in all four suggestions for you. Two of them I would explain in this article.

So let’s focus what SIMPLE things we can do to extract the best out of any ERP implementation:

  1. The same old training… No, Not Really !!!!

    You will come back and say that we have given enough and comprehensive training to our people, but at the end of the day, they don’t seem to be effective. In 1885, German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus conducted a landmark study and coined the term "forgetting curve."1 He found that when people are exposed to an idea one time, after 30 days, they retain only about 20% of what they learned. That explains why so much training doesn't stick, and why companies are throwing a staggering amount of money down the drain on ERP training. Also, sometimes introducing a new system (example planning and scheduling) would need prior primer knowledge of the same. Lacking this will negatively affect the training’s retention.

    What we can do is:

    • Before go-live or pre-go-live, expose more users to more of ERP system through webinars, focus groups, knowledge sessions, etc. This will increase the retention capabilities and effectiveness of consecutive trainings.
    • Budget and plan for a follow-up training program after the main training is over. Follow-up training should be condensed and more focused since users should have already got a taste of system. It can typically start after 2 months or 6 months of main training.
    • Train-the-trainers only works when the trainer chosen by organization have right aptitude and attitude. Use internal trainers only when they have been through a formal training certification or are robust with system. Do not assume that, because someone has product expertise, he or she can deliver training.
  2. Focus all your energy to burn the supporting team..!!

    Many times, users, still new to system, will use old ways to perform the tasks and take the ERP system for a ride. This is natural and this is where the business has to focus. Ask your support team to go to each section/department/function, so that they can sense what is on the ground. These will plug the initial productivity drop which happens just after the go-live of system. If possible, budget this during initial phase of implementation.

    We can do the following:

    • Ask the support team to go on field and spend the whole day with users of various departments. All organizations have unique process and situations, and hence the issues arising will be different. The support team should attack the problem when it is a bud and face the users directly with their live matters. Also, let the users know the availability of support team beforehand.
    • Devise a process where user can quickly reach out to support. For example, in case of large users, ask the support team to wear a badge, while inviting users to reach out to such people anytime they see them. Make the post go-live support team available 24X7. In case of small user base, make the support team available over call.
    • If the user base is younger, you can use new technologies such as FAQ documents, YouTube, or even arrange some gamification techniques to encourage participation in training and reaching out to support team.