How to Overcome the Challenges of User Onboarding

* This article is part of a White Paper called “THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO ASSURING CLOUD ERP ADOPTION.”

Aharonovitz (2010) showed that in countries with dynamic labour markets there is a clear pattern of underinvestment in training.

Companies do not invest because they believe that their employees will just move on and the investment will be lost. So they just hire ‘trained’ replacement staff and the vicious cycle accelerates.

The problem with this approach is that one company’s implementation of an ERP system will be very different to another company’s implementation of the same package. Processes will be different and the skills carry-over will be small. ‘Learning on the job’ and the inefficiency that entails is a significant cost in itself.

Clearly, under-investing in training on core enterprise systems would be a mistake, but it still happens all too frequently.

Set up a formal Change Management Programme

This will provide the framework for the ‘soft’ aspects of the migration/ implementation. The usual rule of engaging a visible high-level champion should not be ignored. Use modern methods such as social media to reinforce messages and build project momentum and user engagement.


Match the Training Method to the Worker and the Application

The type of application, the sophistication of the end-user audience and the geographic distribution of the users will create different demands.

Consider options such as self-paced learning, just-in-time training and online training (as well as classroom training.)

Keep Training Sessions Short

Best-practice organizations limit end-user training to half-day sessions. Longer sessions impair retention, particularly when the system is difficult to use.

Seek opportunities to segment the learning process into basic and advanced topics, with some time in between sessions to allow users to absorb and practice what they’ve learned.

Create an Enterprise Training Server or Intranet

Maintaining all training courses and knowledge bases in a single location makes them easier to catalogue, use and keep up-to-date.

Similarly, place all course schedules, frequently asked questions, user tips and fixes, cheat sheets, links to third-party websites, and so on in easy-to-find locations on the corporate website.

Consider Outsourcing Training to a Third Party

Third-party trainers can be an effective option to avoid devoting internal head count to training. However, the cost can be high for on-site delivery and the quality of training can vary widely across topics, geographies and vendor products.

Use Flexible 3rd Party Onboarding Toolsets

The advent of Cloud enterprise systems has enabled the creation of a new family of onboarding tools – the ‘workplace assistant’. These toolsets can provide economic, individual task-based handholding.

The advantages are that time assigned (off the job) for individual training is reduced, training is highly context-and data- specific and the investment in individual training is minimised while the loss of knowledge capital is also minimised.

This article is part of a White Paper called The Essential Guide to Assuring Cloud ERP Adoption.”

Claim your free copy by filling the form below.


The White Paper covers a range of topics including:

Chapter  1: Key Conclusions from Data about Cloud ERP Adoption

Chapter 2: Do Cloud ERP Offerings Stack Up Functionally?

Chapter 3: The Top 5 Challenges in Adopting Cloud ERP

Chapter 4: Overcoming the Challenges of User Onboarding

Chapter 5: Tools You Must Know About that Will Make Adopting Cloud ERP Easier

Chapter 6: The Checklist for Successful Cloud ERP Adoption




Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor of ERPeople. ERPeople is a blog focused on all Enterprise Resource Planning business management platforms. ERP can be used by a company to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from many business activities, including: Product planning, cost, manufacturing or service delivery, marketing, and sales.