I know we need more SAP Training, but is this the answer?

 

Over the last week or so, I have gotten several sincere comments from a person, from a company that offers SAP Training.

Before I release a comment, I have to review it and without fail, I have released every post, every comment, positive or negative.

Until I received the last set of three comments.

The responses said things like:

you should focus the selected specialization where you already master on that functionalists.
You need to use the previous experience of project and simultaneously upgrade up to the sap market requirement.”

I am not sure that makes any sense to me. And seeing how it makes little to no sense to me, I would be doing a disservice to release these comments. This is really the problem we face in Training today whether it be SAP or Oracle or whatever software is being implemented.

Do the Implementation partners really understand the business they are working with or do they know how they set up the project at their last assignment?

This is the reason that so many new Enterprises failed to utilize SAP Report Painter and Report Writer.

This is the reason that so many Enterprises went without the flexibility of using the Business Area (I have been hearing for a decade that Business Areas are going away! Balderdash!), setting up the Assignment field, using quick text.

This is the reason so many Enterprises even fully utilize 1/5th of the vast power of the New General Ledger with using Roll-Up functionality, using Profit Centers in FI, avoiding for special ABAP reports or silly downloads to Excel Spreadsheets, Planning in FI and on and on and ON.

Consultants know how they did it at their last project and that it what many will recommend at their next project whether it is right or wrong!

I was teaching at a Client in the last month and the “Project Manager” came it to sit in the back row. I asked if I could help or bring him up to date and he uttered with disgust as he walked away “Well I can see that SAP Training is still screwed up! We are not even going to use (whatever my colleague was talking about).

That Project Manager had it all wrong. The Client did not order a special class to reinforce what the Project Manager has laid out as the right course of action. The Client was contacted MULTIPLE times prior to the beginning of class delivery to see if there were any specific areas the Client internal Project Managers wanted us to omit as Trainers, which we did!

But our job has NEVER been to tell a Client what SAP cannot do. Our job is not to hide other solutions to business processes just so the SAP Project Manager will look good.

Our job, first and foremost is to train, to educate, to let the Client know about all of the functionality that is availability right out of the BOX. We don’t deal with user exits, special interfaces to legacy systems; we don’t solve problems that arise from antiquated Business Processes. We show Clients how to use the tools that they have been provided

We Train. We Educate. We open doors and let the client look in, see what it available and only then can they make a decision on what is the right path to chose.

I understand that End User Training is End user Training and not Project Team Training. I understand that after the decision has been made on how the system with work and respond that my job is to understand your needs, how our software meets those needs, how is it configured and design courseware that COMPLEMENTS the project.

I’m sorry. I can’t in good conscious, post a comment that says something so off base as:

Training provided by functional consultant to end user before project go live. End user roles involves like a data entry level, who creates inquiry, quotation, order, shipping and billing transaction, i dont think so additional enduser training required..”

Imagine if they can’t write a simple marketing piece, how effectively will they train you end-users or your project team? And I really don’t care if they say their name is Peter…

Write back. Tell me I am off base. I still am puzzled if all of these Software companies are selling so much, just who is doing the training. I just know it is going to the lowest bidder. I am not blowing my own horn, but I have nearly 21 years of SAP implementation FI and Reporting experience. My colleagues have equal amounts of SD and MM and you name it. Each year we teach fewer and fewer courses. These teams and these users are being trained by someone. MANY of the companies I cross paths with or who contact me every day to represent them can spell SAP, but that is about it.

It is very distressing!

 

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You have invested in SAP Training…

Now what?

One aspect of SAP Training that has always confused me is how an Enterprise is so willing to pay top dollar to train the users and Project Teams, but then at almost a drop of a hat, the person is yanked from the classroom to “put out a fire”!

One on the downfalls of onsite training is how easy it is to pull someone out of class. I have rarely taught a class with a full roster from beginning to the end. I don’t believe it is that the team doesn’t need the training, but it goes to Management’s Project Dedication.

If I was boring, if I was teaching non-essential information, I would suspect after teaching nearly 80 percent of each month for nearly twenty years, I would have figured that out. No. The attendee, the User, is pulled to complete a report, to bring a system up, to solve a problem. Heaven forbid if you were asked to solve that problem yourself. Heaven forbid that this employee were to come down with the flu or break a leg OR WORSE!

How would your organization survive?

Has the Management Team fully committed to this Project? Most Trainers, including myself, are paid the same, no matter if there are 1 or 100 in the class. I have had classes where there have actually been 0 (ZERO) attendees. Trust me, it will still cost your organization around $5000 per day plus expenses.

Commit to Training. Commit to the Project. Unless you have allowed months (and you have not!) to learning and implementing SAP, you need to be training. Your Users, Super-Users, Power Users and especially Project Team members, must be available to take advantage of the training. One of the huge errors and myths that arrive from every SAP Project to date is that there will be a “knowledge transfer” from your Implementation partners.

Trust me, it is truly not in their interest to “knowledge transfer” to your internals. It will not happen or will not happen well. What is their incentive to “knowledge transfer” and cut into their future billing hours?

None!

Trust me. You are not learning Microsoft Office. But SAP is not difficult. It just needs to be understood. It is harder to find someone that you can pull out Production wherever for several months that understands the flow of your Organization. Upstream and downstream! And you should not accept that SAP has failed you in some way. There are too many Enterprises in too many locations around the World, JUST LIKE YOURS, that have managed to use this tool to meet and exceed their ERP requirements.

Once you accept that, and stop accepting and listening that it was a bad decision to purchase SAP or it doesn’t work and start training your organization and looking for the answers in SAP to solve your problems, the more efficient, and timely, on budget and complete your SAP Project will be.

PS: I am not an Apologist for SAP. They can stand on their own. I don’t work for them. But two areas that are woefully failing on most SAP Projects especially in North America is Training and Reporting in SAP.