There are many ways of learning how to use new software. Which training method you choose is based on the complexity of the software, the effectiveness of the method and perhaps the costs. Classroom tutorials, training in small groups, self-study, online training; there are numerous options. But does it concern training in the use of a new ERP system? Then one training method is sacred: the 'Train the trainer' concept.
What does 'Train the trainer' mean?
The Train the Trainer concept means that a select number of your employees will be trained as an internal trainer. These trainers instruct and guide all other people in the use of the software. With a new ERP system a number of so-called ‘key users’ is trained. These are employees of different departments with excellent knowledge of the business processes who are able to transfer this knowledge to the other employees of their department and they are the first point of contact in case of questions or problems.
Why is it so effective?
ERP software is extensive, complex, company-specific and has a major impact on the organization. Key users should be aware of this. They have a thorough knowledge of the specific business processes that are supported by the ERP software and feel the responsibility to transfer the knowledge to the other employees. Key users know the organizational culture, speak the language of the organization and know exactly what issues your people run into and what changes they have to deal with. The training program is therefore tailored to your organization and much more effective than mass group training, self-study without obligations or anonymous online training. In addition, it is also very cost-effective; you will save on expensive training from the software vendor or from training agencies.
Also the best method in the long term
Even when the implementation of the ERP system is completed, the train the trainer method is beneficial to you. Your key users are the first point of contact for their co-workers and they will be able to solve many questions and issues. You will not need to ask the help of your software vendor for everything. The key users can also train and guide new employees. And if, after the go-live, you would like to make improvements in the system, add new modules or upgrade the system, this will go much easier when the system knowledge is present internally.
Alex Bouwmeester is Project Manager Europe at Dysel and guides the customer from start to finish during the implementation.