Microsoft Dynamics CRM — The Necessity for Software Training

By - January 15, 2017

All too many times, I have seen software implementation projects fail to gain User Adoption.  There can be many reasons for this: poor requirements gathering, poor product design, failure to go-live for budgetary reasons, etc.  However, the most prominent and avoidable reason I have come across is lack of Training.

There is obviously a great deal of importance paid to getting the system right.  This is understandable; if the system does not work right for the users, they won’t be able to use it.  But what about training?  This is often an afterthought.  It’s the small line item at the bottom of the work plan that has the least hours and least dollars next to it.  You’ve just spent tons of money and time “getting the system right” but you failed to spend any time properly instructing the user base HOW they can use it.

There is no magic formula to say how much training is necessary for a Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation.  However, let’s take all things into consideration:

  1. There are a great many data entry components in the system. The users need to know the What, How and Why for all data entry pieces in the system.
  1. There are quite often Business Rules and logic built into the system. If users do not have a firm grasp on this logic and how it affects their ability to perform data entry and review they will likely get confused and feel that the system is wrong or not working.
  1. Processes are built into the system to help guide users along. Especially in cases where they are coming from a prior system that did not have a process, users quite often have their own variations to the process in their head.  Now, in a unified manner, those processes may be changed for the user and they may not be entirely accustomed to it.  They need to be trained on it and how the business implemented those processes in the system.
  1. Data retrieval is a huge factor in user adoption. Knowing how to get to where I need to go to see what I need to see.  Training can help save a lot of time for end users preventing them randomly looking around for what they need vs. going straight to the best avenue.  Reports, Views, Forms, etc.
  1. The number of clicks it takes to get something done can have a great impact on user adoption. Often there are many ways to skin a cat. However, there might be a “best way” that might not be uncovered and explained to the user if enough training is not provided.
  1. Users often like to have variations of a system, an ability to see things slightly differently and in a way that is pleasing to them. Especially in Dynamics CRM, there are a great deal of personalized preferences in the system that should be exposed during training so that users can feel that they can make the system theirs in their own special way.
  1. Role-driven systems can often require different levels of training. It cannot be assumed that everybody can all do the same functions within the system.  A proper training regimen will take the roles and levels of access into consideration and allow proper time to be spent with each role and level.  Often times a generic training regimen can leave too many questions unanswered.

As you can see there are so many things to consider when training a group of users for a Dynamics CRM go-live.  This step is absolutely crucial to the success or failure of the project as a whole—if users do not use the system, it doesn’t matter how great it is.  I urge you to ensure the proper attention is paid to training for your CRM implementation.  Don’t let it be that tiny, inconsequential line item in your work plan.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make our Dynamics CRM implementation project a success, contact our experts at RSM

by Chris Witham for RSM

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