SAP, Oracle, ERP… Oh My!

By: Cindy McCabe

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Let’s face it: no ERP development project ever runs on time. Upstream software development activities often experience delays, yet Go Live dates don’t move. And that puts you (the training professional) in what I call the “accordion squeeze” — less time to do your work but with the same expectations of quality and scale.

My analogy here to the Land of Oz is intentional. Your best chance of getting to Emerald City (and a successful Go Live) is to have a clearly defined path. Some tips:

  • Prioritize! Look at what users have to know at Go Live and build that training first. Some systems, such as performance management, are tied to business cycles that won’t be active at Go Live. Far better to defer developing training on those parts till closer to the time it’s actually needed. Now you’re thinking, Scarecrow.

  • Build once, and then deploy in multiple modalities. “Integrated” training systems such as uPerform are great: They tie directly into the ERP software, and you can produce whatever modalities you need. But, if you don’t have a system like uPerform, you can still accomplish a lot through smart design, using tools like Captivate that can produce demos, simulations, or even PDF step-actions pretty easily. Just like a well-oiled machine, Tin Man.

  • Have a Plan B and communicate that (early and often) to stakeholders. Most stakeholders have no idea what it takes to develop quality training. Quantifying the expected development effort of different options will help your stakeholders best manage risks. And be clear: “If we pass day X, then Y happens.” Courage, my Lion friend…

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