My colleague Josh Knox (https://iamjoshknox.com/) and I attended the D365UG Summit event this week. On Friday afternoon, we showed up for a session called “How to Make Training a Success in Your D365FO Implementation.” Unfortunately, there was a scheduling snafu and no presenter.
We figured what the heck, let’s steal this thing and MC a discussion! Then a room full of smart end users gave us a lot of free great content. And since we’re in the spirit of stealing, we figured let’s take that content and make a blog post too!
Training Around Go-live
Probably the biggest issue raised by the group was how to support users during the go-live. It can be quite overwhelming for users to adopt a new system, and sometimes minor steps or deviations in the process can cause headaches.
Some of the ideas presented by the group for supporting the users included:
- A dedicated triage room at go-live where users can meet with system experts and SMEs to immediately get help and have questions answered. Also, once they get answers, also provide documentation of the question and answer.
- Ensure training scenarios include what to do when things go wrong.
- Give end users visibility and training into how the system works beyond their individual scope by explaining other upstream and downstream processes.
- Provide business context for the processes being done in Dynamics.
- One idea was to not do that much training prior to go-live. Teach users some basics about Dynamics, but wait until they have actual business data to process and do the training then.
Implementations are challenging as generally the people involved have extra work. Also, during a go-live users won’t be able to process things as fast as they could in their old system, creating work backlog and additional stress. It’s important to have strategies in place to mitigate this.
The user community came up with these strategies to help:
- Have healthy lunch catered – eating poorly does not help stress levels.
- Nominate one person as a captain to train others in their group; this person doesn’t necessarily need to be the group manager. Also, it may be beneficial to nominate this person based on their success learning Dynamics.
- Prior to go-live, allow users to set aside a certain amount of time each day to learn.
Everyone feels better about a new system with some reference materials, even if only for the most frequent processes.
Advice in this area was:
- Decide on the format and storage of the documentation. SharePoint and Word seemed like the general tools of choice. (I personally really like Manula https://www.manula.com/ for writing process documentation.)
- Use a good screen grab tool helps create documentation:
- Show high level processes in Visio, and have links back to Word documents with the Dynamics process.
- Task recordings and task guides were not widely used. One user found success by organizing the library of Task guides in SharePoint, and teaching users how to find them.
- In the past, personalizations were hard to share. With the new Saved Views feature coming soon, it will be much easier to publish UI modifications.(https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/fin-ops-core/fin-ops/get-started/saved-views).
- Microsoft Learn now has Dynamics content (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/browse/?products=dynamics-finance-operations).
- Train some end users on your selected documentation tools, and have them help write the documents in their areas of expertise.
Teaching users keyboard shortcuts for high volume processes can greatly improve user efficiency.
Speed up your data entry by:
- Downloading this free one-page guide of common Dynamics shortcuts (https://www.saglobal.com/en-us/product-information/keyboard-shortcuts-for-microsoft-dynamics-365-for-finance-and-operations.html).
- There’s a Right click > View shortcuts button in Dynamics that shows only shortcuts that apply to the current form.
- Have a keyboard shortcut expert walk through and document how to do specific processes only using the keyboard, then train the users on those specific steps.
- In Personalizations, there’s an option for “Skip”. The purpose of this check box is to jump over skipped fields when using the Tab key to navigate.
Validation (The Human Type)
Implementations are challenging! It’s so important to be supportive and understanding when going through this massive change, and to let people know some stress and frustration is a normal part of the process – and that you will all pitch in to get through it.
My first job was doing an implementation on Axapta 2.5 back in 2002. Never in my life have I had weirder dreams than during that six months. I had a dream where my friend and I were at a restaurant and he said, “I’ll have a Fanta with my waffles. Then I want to you kill me!” And then my brother wrote a song about it. And then he made a hiphop mix because my family is weird (https://soundcloud.com/matthewdean/fanta-hiphop-mix).
To reiterate, trust me when I say EVERYTHING you’re feeling is normal and you will make it through that go-live!