10 Ways Poor Training Can Cause ERP Implementations to Fail

By Jeff Carpenter, CIO |  Software

If you are focusing solely or even proportionally too much on transactional based training versus task/process based training, you will end up with people who can work the screens, but are unable to understand when and how they are supposed to interact within the new business processes. The difference between being able to navigate the software screens and being able to use the ERP to accomplish functional needs is, often, why ERP implementations fail.

If your transactional versus process based training is out of balance, then your end users will have low performance metrics, jerry-rig the system to get the outputs they have had in the past, or gravitate back to the legacy system, if still available.

Symptom 7: Poor Metrics

This one is easy to diagnose. Look for the following: 1) The training ratings are low; 2) The documentation is rated poorly; 3) The end users are finding the system unwieldy and unproductive; and 4) Performance metrics post go-live are not in alignment with expectations.

What do most people do about this? They assume that performance and metrics will improve over time. They believe the training team will "hit their stride" and fix the documentation as they move forward. They also assume (or hope) that the end users will learn on the job while under fire. Things rarely improve. More commonly poor metrics continue to degrade.

Even if they improve over time, you have a document that outlines the business case and expected value timelines for the ERP system. Odds are, the word "eventually" does not appear. It is time to realign the training and the documentation to the business goals.

Symptom 8: Escalating Questions

Taking a lesson from call centers, look at the percentage of end-user questions that escalate upstream, in this case from the field managers to the help desk to the process teams. First, set metrics here and then monitor that this number starts low and decreases rapidly to near zero.

The more questions that cannot be answered at the local office, the higher the likelihood that your training is not effective. If you see a dramatic drop from any area, do not rush to say, "problem cured." Check the performance metrics and compare the outputs and process to expectations. We have seen cases where this has meant the team decided simply to stop asking questions (or been told to stop) and, though the questions stopped escalating, the performance metrics remained subpar.

Symptom 9: All Your Knowledge in One Basket

Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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