ERP implementation is one of the most complex transitions a company can undergo. It involves copious amounts of planning, budgeting, and ERP know-how. There are plenty of steps that must be executed for an implementation to go smoothly, such as business readiness, budgeting, and one of the most overlooked steps; end-user training.
Companies spending thousands upon thousands of dollars for an ERP implementation without placing the same focus on training the end-users are risking the success of the project. Lack of training can result in end users being inadequately prepared for go-live, resulting in complaints, panic, and resentment towards the new system. Have a solid training plan in the works from the get-go, can sidestep these problems.
I have worked on a handful of SAP implementations projects as an SAP trainer. In my experience each company executes training a little differently. I have seen multiple methods used to conduct both Day-in-the-Life sessions (a workshop where a Super User will go through a typical workday in the SAP system) and End User Training (instructor-led training sessions). The most popular methods have involved in-person, instructor-led training, via all-day workshops and/or providing detailed job aid documents.
From what I have seen, while in-person workshops and job aid documents are a great supplement to training, frequently they seem to fall short in communicating all the information needed for end users. The upsides of those methods include the ability to ask real-time question/answers and being able to reference job aids whenever needed. The downside of these two methods includes that participants may mentally check out during long, mundane workshops and might not retain important information. Job aids on their own can be hard to follow, and complicated to understand. So, what can you do to combine the best of both worlds? In my opinion – training videos.
Training videos are a fantastic solution to picking up traditional training methods’ slack. They are cost-effective, quicker to deliver, and are widely regarded as the most preferred way by end users to train. Training via live workshops can require costly travel to bring instructors and end users together. Pre-recorded training videos reduce that cost by sending the information with just a click of a button. The videos can be stored in a secure location, eliminating the need for paper (I once printed out 3,000 pages worth of training manuals. I felt I had to plant a tree, or 10, after that). Videos also make training more accessible, which is beneficial for end-users who don’t have the time to attend an all-day workshop.
So, what does it take to create a great training video? At the very least, they should embody these characteristics:
Speaking with a clear voice, and using quality audio recording
If there is a narrator for the training videos, make sure they are speaking in a clear, distinct voice. There is no need to stray far from the topic at hand but do not hesitate to expand on a certain point if need be. With video, if the trainee did not understand the first time around, they don’t need to worry about missing information – that is what the rewind button is for!
Detailed screen recordings
If the training video topic includes actual usage of the software or website that the end-user needs to navigate (for example, logging into the SAP GUI for the first time), screen recordings are tremendously helpful. If there are only screenshots available, such as the ones seen on job aids, the end user may become confused about any missing steps in between. Taking a screen recording as the instructor steps through the process may eliminate any navigation-related questions that could arise.
Editing a training video does not need to be overly complicated. It can include simply adding a vocal overlay over a screen recording (such as explaining the steps of walking through a T-code) or adding animations to keep the trainee’s attention. Annotations are a great supplement to videos to expand more on a subtopic.
The next time you have an ERP implementation on the horizon and you’re starting to think about how to train end users, pick videos! Training videos are cost-effective, easier to access, and more attention-grabbing than the traditional ways of end-user training. The benefits of using training videos as a regular source of training greatly outweigh the negatives and I highly encourage you to consider taking advantage of this technology.
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