Let’s face it: as an ERP Project Manager, training can be one of the most challenging obstacles of the entire implementation. Sure-you’ve expressed this to coworkers, your Microsoft Partner and even some friends, and maybe they’ve hinted at some of the tips we have below. The difference between this post and what you’ve heard through the grapevine? We’ve evaluated the pros and cons of each, so that you can objectively identify what will work from not only a team perspective, but also an individual perspective (because everyone learns differently, right?)
Tackling Dynamics AX Training
1. Customer Source
One of the resources you’ll attain as a Dynamics AX customer is access to Customer Source. Customer Source is your go-to dashboard for Microsoft updates, news , training and other resources.
Pros: What’s nice about Customer Source is that they have a full, comprehensive library categorized by role, topic and proficiency level. Thus, for example, if someone already has a basic understanding of Dynamics AX, they can begin training on an intermediate category, instead of having to start from square one. The demos are thorough, contain some interactive elements and ultimately ‘get the job done.’
Cons: As I’ve been told, the adult brain shuts off after 3 hours. However, the monotony of the structure and voice over might shorten that timeframe. It might be useful to pair this content with other content to ensure effectiveness.
If the thought of sitting through hours of monotonous content was enough to put you to sleep, say no more. A number of Microsoft Gold ERP Partners invest in producing tutorials and demonstrations that are avaible to the public.
Pros: What’s great about YouTube is that the videos are free. For example, perhaps as a Project Manager, you are evaluating Dynamics AX and need to get the ropes down before proposing it to your organization, YouTube is a great way to understand the ins and outs of a system. Also, it’s more likely that you’ll run into training content that is under the 5 minute mark-ensuring that you absorb the necessary points and nothing more.
Cons: Although YouTube training is great for a refresher and/or getting over an obstacle quickly, it’s rare that you’ll find highly technical in depth topics in a 3 minute time frame. Also, streaming videos online omits the ability to ‘raise your hand’ and ask questions-which sometimes, is all you need to move to the next level.
3. AX Conferences
Videos are great for focused visual and auditory learners, but it’s known that some people excel in a hands-on, interactive environment. This is when it might be helpful to consider a Microsoft Dynamics AX training conference.
Pros: As aforementioned, conferences guarantee that you’ll show up in-person and leave more knowledgeable than you came. In addition to ensuring that you’ve learned something, conferences grant attendees the ability to ‘raise their hand’ and ask questions.
Cons: Yes, the likelihood of learning something is high, but be warned: conferences can be traps for pitching sales angles for additional products and add-ons. There’s also the chance that you’ll be taught by someone that doesn’t have a good handle on the subject matter and is merely walking through a lesson plan. We recommend reading reviews and asking colleagues who have previously attended the conference to get firsthand feedback before committing. Also, airfare + registration + hotels can add up, so it might be useful to send one person who will be responsible for bringing the knowledge back and sharing with the rest of your team.
4. Local on-site/departmental training
As with all training, the real trick is making sure you’re getting the information you need to run your business. Bringing in a consultant from your Microsoft Partner could be just what you need to tackle training quickly and effectively.
Pros: Having someone come on-site is a hands-on opportunity to ask questions and interact with the software. In addition to this, you’ll also be training in your organization’s environment, meaning that the training content will apply to your users specific responsibilities.
Cons: This is by far the most expensive option, which is why as an ERP Project Manager, you’ll need to be sure that your staff shows up and is prepared. Also, you’ll need to ensure that your solution provider is sending someone out that is knowledgeable and experienced with Dynamics AX.
Remember: You're Not Alone!
Countless organizations are upgrading and adopting new enterprise accounting software every day-which means someone out there is facing the same training challenges as you. As an ERP Project Manager, you can tackle any and each of these topics yourself and then choose to train your team in weekly or daily sessions. Keep in mind that hands-on, interactive training is the most effective method for adopting new software. And don’t forget, the adult brain shuts off after 3 hours! Good Luck!