Proper Microsoft Dynamics 365 training is absolutely paramount to a successful rollout. In this article, our team at Strava Technology Group shares best practices from our 15+ years’ experience with Dynamics CRM/365.
Developing your training plan should begin early in the project — during requirements analysis. It is important to assess the user base and the levels of training needed as well as logistics, training documentation, etc. We begin development of the training plan during the planning phase of the project.
Planning Your Training
Training should be done by functional group, and synergistic groups should be combined so each knows the full process. For the initial training, we recommend in-person delivery unless it is just not possible. Think about the different functional areas that Dynamics 365 will be deployed to and break them into groups (Sales Support, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, etc). Then, draw lines to the groups that should be cross-trained (like Sales and Sales Support). It is important for groups that interact to understand each other’s processes and use of the system. We have found that the ideal class size is 10-15 users per session — above that, it becomes more difficult to control the room and stay on point. Plan not only a trainer, but a room monitor to provide one-on-one assistance to users during the classes.
Hands-on is Essential
Every training should have a hands-on component; in fact, the proper ratio is 1/3 instructor led content to 2/3 hands on exercises. People often learn best by doing, so having effective hands-on time is very important to reinforce learning.
Every training should include custom training materials that show the use of the system and the business process. All of our training programs come with custom documentation that is not only valuable for the initial training, but as a take away tool for the users and for new employees.
The Four Hour Rule
We have found that the maximum single class should be no longer than 4 hours. Our classes are typically 2-4 hours in length.
Management & Executives
One significant deficiency we see in implementations we were not involved in is failing to engage the management & executive teams. They will use the system differently than end users and need their own training separate from the end user content. There are some great tools in Dynamics 365 for the managers and executives including Goal Management, automatic notifications on KPI’s, dashboards, and more. We always engage the management & executive teams and provide training uniquely to them.
Training should be based on business process. Dynamics 365 is a large platform with many ways to accomplish tasks — training should include the business process and show one way to accomplish each task. The business process is equally or more important than the technology. If you don’t specify the detail on how users are expected to perform tasks, you are leaving it up to them to decide. This will cause lack of consistency and downstream challenges with reporting. Let’s look at some examples — when a lead is assigned to a sales rep, what are their follow up requirements, how will the record get updated, and when and how should a lead be disqualified? Not providing details on the business process will put the project in jeopardy.
We utilize several tools to develop our training programs. One is the customized help facility in Dynamics 365. This allows you to create contextual custom help pages that are in-line in Dynamics 365. When a user clicks for help, your custom help pages display and enable you to build in your business processes vs generic Dynamics 365 help content. We highly recommend leveraging this tool when developing your training approach.
Here’s an infographic we developed to help you and your team remember these essential tips:
Need help training your user base? Strava Technology Group offers expert training services led by trainers with many years of experience. Give us a call to discuss how we can help provide training to your users — 844.8.STRAVA (844-878-7282).
About the Author: David Buggy is a veteran of the CRM industry with 18 years of experience helping businesses transform by leveraging Customer Relationship Management technology. He has over 15 years’ experience with Microsoft Dynamics CRM/365 and has helped hundreds of businesses plan, implement, and support CRM initiatives. To reach David, connect with him on LinkedIn. To learn more about Strava Technology Group visit www.stravatechgroup.com.