Business Process Improvement

The first thing I believe you must understand is the range of training needs around Dynamics AX. Different types of people need training, and it generally falls into the following categories:

  • End-user Training – the end-user is typically not trying to be an AX expert. They want to be able to do their job quickly and efficiently. Training that goes into too much detail may serve to just confuse them.  What is needed for these people is training that is specific to their job.  It will be most effective when using company specific information in their training. The most typical training here would be in the form of work instructions.
  • Company Expert Training– the company expert (SME) is interested in a much more in-depth knowledge of specific areas of the AX. They typically will serve as train the trainer resources and are the first line of defense to deal with issues within their area of influence. They typically are involved in development of the work instructions. They should also be very heavily involved in the AX implementation process. They are interested in a much more comprehensive training but the most effective training comes within the framework of their business environment. Training with nonbusiness specific information will only be effective based on the individual. In most cases the company specific information is the most effective.
  • Consultant training – since consultants are working across many different companies and environments, use of generic data is much more effective. One of the considerations though is that the information must include enough business cases to be effective. Another issue is that most training for consultants tends to be purely functional in nature.  Consultants also need to learn how to actually implement the system to get the best results. This would take the shape of a workshop that would involve building a working environment of the area in question. From this they can get a better idea of how to proceed on building up things such as business models within an implementation process. Consultants also need real consulting skills training. Within AX, we are confusing technicians for consultants, which could be contributing to many implementations that are less than successful. Consulting training would include things that are not really of a technical nature like training on handling exceptions and conditions, team building, proper role definition, and building consensus.
  • Development training –  I believe developers learn differently than most people.  A good developer can adapt to virtually anything.  A bad developer should probably be doing something else.  Much also rests on strength of design team and company methodology. These are not factors that are AX specific.  What we have found is that developers learn fastest by using business cases that are relative to standard processes.  They are looking at how one goes about specific things.  They tend to just need some help getting started and then they can take it from there.  Although training exists, I do not believe it is optimized for developers.
  • Administrator training – There’s a vast amount of information for administrators that is not AX specific. What is needed is more formal AX specific training.  Such things as AX SQL training, architecture training, best practices and code maintenance/merging are aspects someone needs to own.  What makes it even more complex, is that generally it is version specific. During implementation, not enough is done to prepare customer administrators to take over these duties.  This along with development training are the hardest trainer slots to fill.