Your System – Not Guilty As Charged

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“The Big Lie about ERP Training”

Posted by Joel Schipper on January 7, 2015

This is from a comment I made on Andy Klee’s JDETips Blog in response to his April 21, 2014 posting about “the big lie in ERP training.”

I think this “big lie” also stems from a tectonic, generational shift towards “Apps” – the younger people who are coming of age in using corporate information systems today (e.g., ERP) have been schooled to believe that the “app” already encapsulates everything they need, and that the “app’s” are intended to be intuitive – at least to someone who uses app’s all the time and has learned their paradigms.  This mindset lends itself to not understanding or believing why a person would require lots of formal education and training …. if the “app” is intuitive, if it does a specific purpose, and if you understand the usual paradigms in the UI, then why would there be a need for training.

This ignores the “real world” of business applications that are not set up that way, that allow for a rich variety of approaches towards solving a business problem, and of course, configuring the software to match and improve on the business practices already in place outside of the software or “app.”

The training that’s needed is both in the software, and in remembering the power of how to think for ourselves.

I can only expect more and more “Cloud” software solutions to essentially “dumb down” their solutions to better fit the “app” mindset expectation.  That’s what the new generation of buyers will be looking for.  But at a cost of giving your company software that does exactly what the next company’s software gives them, and slowly eliminating “process improvement” as a way to differentiate yourself.

If that happens, the key to getting your company ahead will be to innovate in business processes, and to write your own software – or get agile, adaptable ERP software – to support those transformational processes.  Being “best in class” will not be enough because everyone by definition will be “BIC” if everyone uses the same (or similar) Cloud applications.  Best to leave those “app’s” for commodity processes such as self service HCM processing, self service purchase requisitioning.  And then to drive your user community to remove all non-value activities, focus on using those commodity “ERP” app’s in a standard manner across all divisions and regions, and eventually consolidate those functions into shared service centers that (sigh) eliminate the human moving parts.

All the more reason to learn “how to think” again.


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