A major cross-cultural analysis of success factors in ERP implementation synthesizes 11 critical elements from the applicable academic literature. Not surprisingly, training and education are cited as key, specifically technical knowledge about the ERP system and its reference models, as well as understanding of its operation and use for IT and business people.
Training and education help to establish belief in the system among its users. A major university study shows that training influences the shared beliefs that users form about the technology, and that the shared beliefs influence the perceived usefulness and ease of use of the ERP system. This study provides both empirical and theoretical support for the use of managerial intervention such as training and education, since perceived usefulness and ease-of-use contribute to the behavioral intention to use the technology.
Because ERP systems span functional boundaries and are designed to provide a unified view of organizational processes, many users at different levels of the organization are involved in its implementation. To be successful, a strong mutual sense of trust and commitment must develop between those involved to facilitate the free exchange of beliefs and opinions. As the study notes, this shared sense of belief about project benefits provides the foundation for common ground and a shared sense of purpose.
An Epicor white paper makes the salient point that training and education, while related, are different: training explains and demonstrates the “how” to perform a task; education explains the “why” the task is performed and its role in the company’s business process. Both the how and why are necessary if users are to share the belief in the system, which is a prerequisite for successful ERP implementation.
Posted by Amy Baker, Manager, Product Marketing