How to Seamlessly Implement a New SAP System (2 of 2)

On Wednesday, we started discussing the steps that you should take when implementing a new SAP system. Here are the two remaining steps that will complete the process and mitigate future issues.

     3.      Training

This cannot be stressed enough. The “train the trainer” method is often code for “we will only train a few of our most capable personnel then let everyone else figure it out.” This may seem like an economical approach to training, but may in the end produce very frustrating results. All system users should be trained prior to it going live. New system implementation can be traumatic to the workforce; even those who have been trained may make mistakes during the initial implementation. System users with limited training or no training at all may become overwhelmed and reluctant to ask questions because they feel they are expected to figure things out. It is often during user training that many of the system setup issues are discovered. It is much easier to fix these issues prior to going live, rather than during its implementation. This can also give the users ownership of the process, as training allows them to voice their input for the system prior to it going live.

     4.      Working Through the “But We’ve Always Done it This Way” Scenario

This is closely related to the previously mentioned section about current system documentation. New system implementations will create new and unique processes. Understanding why things are currently done the way that they are will ease the transition to new processes. A map of current processes to new processes should be posted for system users to see. This will allow everyone to understand the relationship between what is currently being done and what is changing to replace or augment current processes.

There will definitely be a learning curve when modifying or completely changing your SAP, but planning ahead can alleviate a lot of those issues. Effectively communicating with everyone involved, and allowing them to participate in the process goes a long way towards reducing the problems that often accompany drastic SAP changes.

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