Friday, 19 May 2017

End User Training Approach

Hi There,

Some time ago I had a new great experience for me - doing training for ERP end users.
In was interesting and different form all my previous training experience because of following things:
  • Training was half online half on site. That means that half of the team was in the room and half of the team was online, so I had to find a balance between online and offline communication.
  • End users are focused on process and not on configurations or understanding.
  • End users expect system to be fully ready.
  • We need to keep and ensure focus of onsite and remote users
  • We need to understand knowledge of attendees after training
That was interesting and challenging together. But after that training I have done some important conclusions and ideas that i want to share with you:

Working online with offline users.
It is not really possible to work with online and offline uses simultaneously, just because when you speak with offline users, remote users will not understand the topic and questions. So to solve that I decided to discuss everything online - all uses should join online session and ask all questions to online meetings

Guide remove users instead of doing examples by yourself.
You cannot really see what online users are doing when you doing training. Are they reading emails? Most probably yes! To keep them focus we need to involve remote uses as much as possible (involve even more than uses that are sitting with you). But how to involve them?
For myself I have decided that I can do part of the training by guiding them instead of showing it by myself.
Before training I was little bit skeptical about that approach, but after I changed my mind. Remote guys was happy to do exercises and  follow my guide. They was focused and learned much more than just by listening. As a small side effect they become a point of authority in some toppics and was able to help other users with some questions.

Prepare Exam and ask them to pass it.
In some Acumatica training guides you can find Self Review questions, also you can get a lot of questions from Acumatica Certifications Exams. Collect them before the training and ask your attendees to answer all questions after the training.
It is like in school, when you search for answer by your self you have more chances to remember the answer in the future.

Individual (Job related) training flows.
Finance users usually have common day to day duties where they are mostly interesting in optimizations. I noticed that they are more motivated on doing exercises if it is related to their day-to-day activities.
In that case I would recommend to prepare 30-70 use cases form users common activities (you most probably need it for UAT as well) and design your training based on it.
If you have troubles with defining use cases, ask users for that - what you do most often? or what is most annoying in your day-to-day activities?

Explain Global Picture.
Usually during implementation only Managers can see global picture of the whole project.
But end users also want to participate, be involved and see the reasons of this or that decisions.
Personally I have prepared a business processes presentation to share with end users goals, targets and flow for the whole project and each separate process in it.
I noticed that in this case uses are more patient in processes changes.

Here you can find Presentation Reference, that was used for explanation of the whole processes.

Have an person who can do configurations.
Each end user wants to have whole system to be fully ready, but you understand that each business is flexible and configurations can be changed in the future. It is good to have a champion out of the clients team who will be focused not only on day-to-day activities but also on system configurations.

Share training materials in advance
It was big surprise for me, but many end users was happy to have optional basic training exercises in advance.
I have shared with them Acumatica F100 training guide few weeks before the training and half of attendees went or partially went thought it. It costs nothing for me, but on the actual training we saved a lot of time, because they was confided in some basics already

Recording of training videos.
I have tried to record some videos for training in advance, like: UI overview, Expenses Claims Management, Entering Time Cards. Manages shared these videos and made it as prerequisites.
But unfortunately that was big fault. only few users really spend their time to watch these videos.
So now I know that it is better to plan to do or at least recap most important prerequisites on the session itself.

Hope that someone can use my learnings in the future. And have a nice training!

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