When budgets are tight, employee training is often one of the first things to be cut. In the short term, your company may save money, but what is the long-term effect on your projects and software adoption? A recent survey by IDC hinted that “the likelihood of project success is proportional to the skill level of the team working on it. Stated bluntly, the risk of a project failing to meet its objectives rises when the project team does not have the skills to do the job.” Those skills are often acquired during training, whether it be conferences, on-site classes, online courses, or other methods.
When viewed as an integral part of a project launch, software adoption, or the success of any of your company’s investments, the ROI for end-user training is hard to ignore. “Previous IDC research found well-trained teams in information security and high-availability disciplines, for instance, were 10% more productive and could account for $70,000 worth of improvement annually for a seven-person team.” Simply stated, end-user training has a proven track record and can end up saving your company money, time, and talent.
The vital importance of end-user training means you should thoroughly evaluate your options to find a program that works best for your environment. There are several factors to consider when evaluating your training options: What type of training? Who needs to be trained? How can you improve retention? One step is to come up with an end-user training strategy to determine exactly what your company needs. Such a strategy can include several aspects:
- Plan for training before the project launches: Incorporate end-user training into the project timeline to give your project a better chance at success right from the start.
- Determine end-user needs: Not all end users need the same training. Teams only need training on what they do, so make sure to group people together based on their needs and don’t assume that everyone needs to know every aspect of a system.
- Set goals: What is the point of training? Is it for end users more to more efficiently do their jobs? Are you replacing an old process? How long will training take?
- Create a training program: Customize the training to end-users’ needs. Don’t forget that people learn differently, so having some options (e.g., conferences, online training, journals, etc.) will ensure a wider array of people will be successfully trained.
- Make it scalable: Teams grow, employees come and go, and you’ll need to have a system to keep everyone up to speed.
- Recruit super users: These are folks who can help with day-to-day end-user questions and encourage disenchanted employees that yes, in fact, this system can work!
There are tons of resources available on the internet to help develop a training strategy including planning tips, stumbling blocks to avoid, training plan templates, and more.
Once you get your strategy in order, SAPinsider has training for SAP professionals covered – it’s all we do! We have several educational options to choose from, including conferences, books, technical journals, and more. I’d like to take a minute to introduce you to insiderTRAINING, our newest offering aimed at educating SAP professionals. insiderTRAINING offers over 100 courses over a range of topics like Financials and Controlling, Supply Chain Management, business analytics, CRM, and more. All of the lessons are hands-on and take place in a simulated SAP environment, which improves retention. We even offer free lessons so you can try before you buy. Check it out and let us know what you think!