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System Success – Good Training and System Ownership

Any software system is only as good as its users and the data they enter. Hence, good user training is vital to the integrity of the system.

It’s common for users to find knowledge retention difficult when the training sessions are run too early in a project, meaning that users don’t get to use the system and consolidate what they have learned. At Fenwick, for our implementation and upgrade projects, user training sessions are scheduled to occur just prior to the system Go-Live date.

When we do start the training the most common question we get asked is: “Do we get training manuals?”.

The most common question we get asked is: “Do we get training manuals?”

In earlier versions of Business Central, PDF copies of manuals were included in the software installation. Nowadays, Microsoft publishes these online. We don’t provide user training manuals as these should be tailored for the business and companies rarely want to pay the additional cost involved.

In our experience, on the occasions when Fenwick has prepared user documentation there is lack of ownership from the user. Then it becomes out-of-date when it isn’t revised following business decisions made in the months after the system goes live.

Our recommendation is that a nominated user should document the business procedures for each training session, based on screenshots and notes. This documentation can be used to build a Standard Operating Procedures manual which reflects the business. This has the added advantage of providing a ‘go to’ document, for new employees or when users are on leave. Of course, it’s up to the company to keep these documents current.

Our own Fenwick Gold software is delivered with documentation, as these granules are sometimes implemented after the project has been completed. Additionally, we do have manuals that cover frequent questions such as, ‘How do I run month-end and year end processing?’.

A software system is a tool to help a business run effectively and efficiently. Companies that embrace their systems and consider them to be an integral part of their business, gain the greatest benefits and reap the best return on their investment.