Training for a shared service project for two UK public sector bodies

Training for a shared service project for two UK public sector bodies

Unit4 ERP

RapidScope®Planning & designing your training
Reference GuidesComprehensive end-user manuals
Trainer PacksLesson plans for consistent delivery
Quick CardsDouble-sided simple process cards
eLearningFour interactive and passive eLearning options
Skill the TrainerPrepare internal team for delivery
Online DeliveryVarious web-based learning options
Presentation DeliveryDemonstrations to large groups
Project overview
  • Unit4 implementation to 4,000+ staff members across two councils.
  • Workstreams include Finance, Project Costing and Billing, Procurement and more.
  • Implementation will bring major changes in workflows and processes for end users
  • Developed various training materials before supporting with the delivery phase.

Optimum, the specialist IT skills consultancy, has designed and will deliver an end user training programme for approximately 4,000 employees of two Cheshire councils implementing a key Unit4 ERP system.

Cheshire East Council has joined forces with Cheshire West and Chester Council to boost efficiency and cost effectiveness by replacing their existing Oracle system with a tailored Unit4 solution. Phase one of the project in 2021 includes finance, project costing and billing, procurement, invoice to cash and some human resources elements.

The implementation will bring major changes in workflows and processes for end users. Optimum is working in tandem with business transformation specialist Augere Group as part of their over-arching change management programme to maximise users’ buy-in to the new system.

"Optimum’s professionalism and focus is totally reassuring. They’ve created training materials and courses using a blend of tried and tested methods to make sure Cheshire councils’ employees will be ready to embrace the new system."

Nick Brown Change and Implementation Manager

All of the end user training is tailored to the councils’ system build and is job specific. Optimum is ‘training the change’ and will focus not just on system and process changes but also where new workflows are impacting on a person’s individual role.

Executive Sponsors of the project, Frank Jordan (Executive Director, Cheshire East) and Mark Wynn (Chief Operating Officer, Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “As with any new system of this size and complexity, training is key, as it’s essential that all users have the right skills and knowledge to carry out their role.

“Having Optimum on board, who have many years’ experience in training delivery on Unit4 ERP, is extremely reassuring and we have no doubt that with their support the transition from the old Oracle system to the new one will be a smooth one.”

Following a four-day scoping exercise, Optimum has dedicated a core team of nine consultants to the project starting with knowledge transfer sessions. They’ve then created a complex mix of lesson plans, courses and materials within three months and will deliver more than 100 days of classroom style training in 2021. With end user experience key, each individual training path is bespoke. There are, for example, 13 different iterations of the general ledger training alone.

The full range of training documentation includes a mix of detailed reference guides and train the trainer packs for heavy users of the system, with quick cards and online videos designed for lighter users.

The logistics of delivery have been complicated by the councils using different learning management systems to upload online content to, and also by the coronavirus pandemic. Delivery will be a blend of eLearning and remote interactive classroom sessions facilitated by a trainer.

Optimum has long established expertise in training on Unit4 ERP and within the public sector, supporting over 350 Unit4 projects in the past 20 years. This means the consultants can react quickly to accommodate changes in the system build and still deliver to tight timescales. They’re also able to manage complex projects, planning ahead to identify the most efficient ways of structuring and delivering the training programme to make the best use of resources and offer maximum value.

The Council’s Change and Implementation Manager, Nick Brown from Augere, said: “Optimum’s professionalism and focus is totally reassuring. They’ve created training materials and courses using a blend of tried and tested methods to make sure Cheshire councils’ employees will be ready to embrace the new system.”

He added: “Optimum’s consultants have been very flexible throughout, they’re always on the front foot and nothing phases them. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.”

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