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Why is user training a low priority if it's critical for upgrade success?

Why is so little effort made on user training when everybody knows it is absolutely critical for implementation/upgrade success?

Why is so little priority placed on end-user, super-user, train-the-trainer, but most especially "end-user" training when implementations, upgrades and conversations begin and end with the employee using the software each day to do their jobs?

With over 12 years experience in SAP, as Project Manager, Team Lead, Training Manager, I find the training development and delivery has little or no priority and emphasis, yet that phase along with the proper blueprinting is critical to a good implementation.

You are totally correct. I did a podcast interview with Daniel Lubin of Abiomed and in that podcast Daniel said that the areas where they had invested in quality documentation (which goes right along with good training), had the most success.

It's a real head-scratcher why companies aren't more willing to invest in training given that there is a broad consensus that training positively impacts your SAP installation. We also see that SAP trainers, in general, are paid significantly lower than functional counterparts. I'm not sure why companies don't invest in more and better SAP training across the board. There are certainly some mature SAP customers that do invest heavily in training because they've learned the importance of training the hard way. But these companies are the exception, not the rule.

I'm glad you posted this question, I hope more folks read it and realize that training is important, but I hope that consultants make a point not to specialize only in training. It's good to have training as part of your skill set, but focusing on training as your core skill is problematic given that companies don't invest in that area as much as they should.

Finally, as to why companies don't invest more in SAP training, especially when there's so much evidence of the impact it can have, I can only guess. My best guess is that this reflects a general bias towards hard skills over soft skills. I know it's an awkward analogy, but there's this feeling that proven technical skills carry more weight than relationship-oriented skills that are "softer" and more difficult to define.

This was last published in October 2007

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