Implementing organizational change in today's world is a challenge and having a sound training program in place is critical.
Say you are implementing an SAP® solution in multiple countries at a large multinational company. As in most information system's implementation or upgrade project, employees need to be trained in order to be prepared to use the new solution and business processes. A training program needs to be in place.
Having a sound training program in place means the right knowledge gets to the right people, and project leadership has crystal clear visibility that the training roll-out is taking place globally as expected. Setting such a program requires:
1. Understanding the role of project leadership in rolling-out training
Training is not always a priority for project teams that are busy with designing, building and testing software solutions. Many times they are aware training is necessary, and they may have a role in it, but how training proceeds is usually unclear at the beginning and project leadership share the same lack of clarity. It is the job of the change manager to provide that clarification.
Preparing and delivering training are time consuming activities and sometimes not explicitly resourced for. Project leadership's buy-in is crucial for ensuring training activities remain high in the priority list of the project teams.
2. Defining a training program that project leadership buys into
Project leadership are worried about keeping the project running smoothly, meeting deadlines and objectives and mitigating risks. The way to get training into that agenda is to define a training program that keeps close to the project's main timings and milestones.
The first step is to identify the training audiences based on the participants of each milestone, and to be sure everyone is included (e.g. you must have the testing participants trained before testing starts). When that is clear, the high level training project plan can be prepared, where audiences and timings for training become explicit.
3. Getting buy in on roles and responsibilities
Who trains who and who prepares training? We've seen different things: sometimes business people are called in to prepare training materials and deliver training to end users, sometimes the project team is training all audiences, sometimes external providers are called in...
Also the training delivery models differ, and sometimes eLearning is blended in. The important thing here is knowing your options, discussing a few simple scenarios with project leadership and deciding together what to do. Also budget can be a constraint. No matter what, get that commitment on who does what - This single topic can make or break the training program's success.
4. Managing Training
Either you do it, or you don't - there are no quick wins in training coordination, and there's hard work in building training plans for each impacted individual, setting up sessions, sending training invitations, troubleshooting, following up attendances and training evaluations. And then reporting on it.
All this is time consuming, and it is critical to have the project resourced for managing training for the volume of participants in hand - training coordinators will ensure planning, tracking and reporting of training in all locations, physical and virtual.
Failing to resource for this leads to losing track of the training program, with no visibility over training execution, lack of knowledge of participants who still need to be reached, duplications and people readiness unawareness – flying blind and a go-live with problems.
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