The ABCs of Preparing SAP ERP HCM Training, Part 1: Create Effective Training Environments

  • by Rob Lancaster, SAP HR and Payroll Consultant
  • December 7, 2010
A well-planned training environment can enable organizations using SAP ERP HCM to deliver effective training to their staffs over the long term. These best practices, drawn from recent experiences providing SAP ERP HCM training, show how to design the training system and materials to achieve maximum long-term benefits with minimal ongoing cost and effort.
Key Concept
A training program should start with a phase of intensive training, followed by catch-up and repeat sessions. You also need to leave in place a mechanism to enable the training of new employees and staff who transfer into new roles within the organization. A training program includes logistics such as location, resources, dependencies, sequencing, and evaluation.

Organizations frequently miss opportunities to gain benefit from their SAP training programs by neglecting to plan thoroughly. A relatively small investment in time before the training program begins can minimize the ongoing effort involved in maintaining a useful training system. I developed the following approach from my experience planning, leading, and evaluating SAP ERP HCM training programs in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and India. My model is suited for an implementation or major upgrade of SAP ERP HCM, but is also applicable during significant organizational change, such as the creation of a shared services center. 

Training Needs Analysis

You start with a training needs analysis, which is a review of the skills your organization needs against the skills that are currently present. The resulting approach to training is usually presented in one document, although occasionally the problem and solution are detailed in separate documents. You should approach the training needs analysis with the following questions in mind:

  • Who to train?
  • What functionality to cover?
  • How to allocate content to different courses?
  • How and when to deliver the courses?

You then need to assemble training materials:

  • Course outlines
  • Slides and trainee notes
  • Exercises
  • Trainer’s guides
  • Sandpit exercises
  • Training administration

Rob Lancaster

Rob Lancaster is an SAP ERP HCM consultant specializing in Payroll and Time Management. Based in the UK, Rob has undertaken roles on Europe-wide and global projects, including work in India, Germany, France, Netherlands, and Italy, working in both commercial and public sector organizations. He is particularly interested in process design, change management, and training.

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