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“What Project Management tools are being used by the users in your organization?” 

“Well, there are a couple of them who use Microsoft Projects. Some of them use Microsoft Excel.  And you may find some who plan their projects at the back of a matchbox.”

So here is the case. You are implementing xRPM for an organization which is completely new to SAP. And with the go-live dates approaching nearer, it’s time for you to don yourself into a trainer’s role and ‘enlighten’ the users.  Yes, its training time!

A systematic end user training contributes significantly to the success of a project. The users are the target, and all the hard work you’ve put during the implementation may not be well appreciated or even used fruitfully if the training sessions are not conducted properly.  Here are some quick tips to share when you are delivering training to the end users. I’ve tried to keep the points generic; however they have been derived from the xRPM and cProjects trainings I’ve conducted in the past.

 

1.      Understand the variety in your audience: When training Project Managers and resourcing staff, you will notice that each one of them has their own distinct way of executing activities within their own processes.  Make sure that you avoid getting into an ‘expert-mode’ during the initial days.  Start with basic features, and gradually move on to the more advanced ones.

2.      Allow users to learn on their own: A hands-on practice session definitely helps, especially when the trainer is around. This lets them explore the tool within the process area they are focusing over.

3.      Make use of relevant data: When providing an example, make sure that the data you have selected makes sense and helps the users to relate with the company’s process.

4.      Ensure that the critical activities are well understood:  Activities that impact multiple work streams should be stressed on.  Ensure that the users understand the data flow and the impact of punching wrong data wherever required.

5.      Help users where to look what, and when: Familiarize your audience with some typical examples of doing things incorrectly and how to fix them up. Get them into a habit of checking the message log/completion log after every transaction.

6.      Make users understand basic technical aspects: Explain a little about background jobs, queues or any other technical limitation that might cause a delay in data processing.

7.      Publish a ‘Tips and Tricks’ document: This will help the users to understand shortcuts, additional functionalities and some troubleshooting scenarios.

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3 Comments

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  1. Michael Cifuentes
    This is a great summary – I would add two items (at least to my own list).  That is checkpointing progress and hands-on/lecture time split…

    During strategic parts of training, I step back – review and check with participants both their understanding and if the speed at which I am moving is appropriate for that group.  Some groups move faster than others – so this help keep it moving at a comfortable speed. 

    The second part keeps the interest in the subject material up – people can only handle some much lecture – So I try to keep hands on work available for each step of the process to keep it real (and not put people to sleep)…

    Thanks again !

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  2. Rakesh Kumar
    whatever you said is actually true for all kinds of projects…and usually it happens that user training are not given that much weightage..which causes so many issues lateron…..its better to see long term benifits..and go an extra mile in training the user than solving same issues again and again…
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  3. Gavin Heaton
    Great explanation! I especially like the tips and tricks manual (or wiki site).

    One other thing that I would add … encouraging end users to step through their own work processes. At least then, while they are with you they can ask questions directly about what’s changed and why.

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