Oracle Applications

Oracle for Beginners

Communication – Delivering Training

Posted by shameemakhtar on June 17, 2009


In the course of any ERP implementation, Key User Training (KUT) is a crucial task that will decide to what extent your users are ready to accept the new system and the eventual process changes involved. A good Key User Training will facilitate the subsequent task in the ERP implementation cycle.

As a trainer, know beforehand your audience and their background. As far as possible, group people performing the same tasks or involved in one complete cycle flow together so that you can use a full cycle flow for demonstrattion. Ensure that you have the appropriate audience as well. A Key User is not necessarily a Manager, but rather someone who masters the business flow properly. He should also be someone who can lead and deliver training in turn. Ensure you get dynamic people who are open to learn.

Do not jump directly into the system. Take your time to introduce yourself, know your audience and put them at ease. A joke or two is good but keep the atmosphere professional. Remember that a good first impression is always helpful. As a trainer ensure you speak clearly and loud enough. Your voice should show confidence.

Also introduce your system or ERP. Although the point of a KUT is to explain your users how to use the system, you need first of all to rouse their interest. People are normally resistant to change. One line or two on how the system will facilitate their life will help. Establishing a good relationship with your user and gaining their trust subtly is already half battle won.

Remember that as an implementor, the language you are using in your daily work is not necessarily the same for your users. Ensure that each key term is clear with them. Establishing proper communication is crucial.

Go through the whole process without referring to the system using simple terms and appropriate real case examples. While this is not important, it may help to ensure that both the trainer and the key users are clear with how the process is. If the implementation involves process changes/re-engineering, in this step you can sell the benefits of the changes.

Once you start with the system, ensure that your users understand how to navigate. Go at the pace of your audience. You may decide to entertain questions during the process explanation or at the end. Break down the process and show them step by step on the system.

Use supporting materials like whiteboard, drawings, schemas, slides as much as required. If possible, use simple analogies. These help users understand better.

Do not drag a training too much. Give short breaks if required. Breaks promote informal communication and users normally interact more and share their concerns better. Use this time to mingle with them.

Ensure that your training is interactive. If you encounter errors during the training, do not panic. Remember it is not the final system and you are still testing. If you encounter questions you cannot answer, take note and say you will come back to them. Ensure you do come back to them when promised.

At the end provide relevant supporting material that is properly illustrated and written in very simple terms so that it is accessible to everyone. (You may also provide these prior to the training.) If possible, ensure that your users have ample time for practical sessions.

Do not take a KUT lightly. KUT is a crucial phase where you forge good relationships with the eventual champion users. During KUT you may also identify gaps which were not covered during earlier phases of the project. Keep an open eye for that. Identifying these early will save you a lot of time. Once KUT is done properly, your users are now properly equipped to test your system and identify eventual bugs before go-live. This will ensure than you encounter less bugs in a production environment. Your Key Users will also be able to train the other users better ensuring users make less errors using the system. During support phase, your Key Users will also be the first point to resolve any problem. Support phase will subsequently be easier.

Shameem Bauccha

16 April 2009


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