Resource Planning (ERP)
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
initiatives have their own unique challenges. ERP projects are concerned
with the design, development, and implementation of training for the company's
new enterprise-wide computer system. The training provides each job
incumbent affected by the system with the skill and knowledge required to
effectively interact with it. The emphasis of ERP projects are to be on
providing job tools that minimize the impact of the change, facilitating mastery
of the system as quickly as possible, and minimizing the amount of actual
training that must be conducted.
materials for ERP project usually include:
undertake a training project for your ERP initiative?
An enterprise system is a "Major
System" that has a significant impact upon all facets of the business in
terms of planning, organizing, executing, and managing work. The
implementation of "Major Systems" results in an uncertainty and fear
of change that can work counter to plan, delaying or even stalling full
Training and documentation in some
form accompanies almost every software package implementation and is usually
prepared by both programmers and technical writers. This material is
valuable to a point and does serve a purpose -- as the basic system component of
a comprehensive performance-based job training development effort.
Most enterprise resource systems fail
because training is not provided beyond that provided by the software
vendor. It has been our experience that most if not all software end-user
documentation and training fails to achieve its fundamental purpose -- to make
life easy for the user. Failure, in varying degrees, occurs for two
First, the materials
themselves are usually written by technical writers, who in all probability,
have system analysis or programming backgrounds.
Second, technical writers
have no idea how adults learn, how work is performed, or how the human brain
controls the performance of complex tasks.
Traditionally, companies use various
approaches to implement major new system technology with much the same result --
work becomes punishing and performance is negatively impacted. This occurs
Does not link the new system to the
job specific tasks comprising the user's job.
Often consists of nothing more than
a cursory overview of system function, reviews of screen prints, vague quick
explanations of how tasks are performed, and long "in-training"
times learning the system while on the job.
Assumes a level of system knowledge
that simply does not exist within the skill repertoire of the user.
Emphasizes the system architecture
rather than the steps that must be performed to successfully accomplish a task
using the new system, and
Does not include system
documentation that has been designed as a job tool and that address actual job
New system implementations are most effectively accomplished by instilling both
competence and confidence in the workforce.
Competence refers to the
ability of users to easily navigate through the system and use the system to
efficiently, effectively, and accurately use it as a job tool.
Confidence refers to the belief that the system benefits both the
user and the company and it does what it was designed to do. In short, it makes
life easier. Making life easier translates directly into higher levels of job
efficiency, minimal job frustration, less errors, system acceptance, and much
faster training times. Competence and confidence
are realized by acquiring knowledge of how the system functions, impacts each
individual job, improves operations, and integrates into each individual job
Training must focus on
“job tasks” rather than directly on the system. The difference on the
surface is subtle, however, from a human performance standpoint, it is critical
to the quick internalization of the process and to the overall understanding of
system function. A common example would be word processing documentation that
describes all of the aspects and attributes of a system rather than the series
of steps required to complete specific tasks such as, Set Tabs and Margins,
rather than - Prepare a Business Letter, Prepare a Newsletter, etc..
Learning to use a new system by eliminating the need to apply complex and
sometimes abstract rules to actual job situations (a very difficult activity)
greatly minimizes the training that must be presented.
have carefully designed this training package to avoid the common problems
and pitfalls associated with most system training initiatives; job relevance,
job task versus system focus, on-the-job reference, and "real
world" task practice.