Switching S/4HANA Training from Classroom to Virtual

Whitepaper by:Nicky Cortes
Director of Training and Development

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted S/4HANA implementations across the world, impacting upon every phase, especially user adoption.

Scheduled and developed classroom training is now being reimagined as virtual sessions – two very different learning environments. Here we discuss the key differences and how to account for each when delivering online. The amount of S/4HANA ERP training content which can be addressed during a virtual online session is less than can be addressed in a face-to-face classroom setting.

Lack of face-to-face contact with the delegate:

Optimum consultants use the delegate’s body language and facial expression to understand how the delegate is progressing during classroom sessions. This connection is limited over virtual delivery. So, it takes longer to solicit from the group how they are managing/copying.

Virtual approach: At regular intervals the Optimum consultant will provide delegates with the opportunity to ask questions as well as ask questions of the group to establish learning is taking place. For the more timid/shy delegate, the consultant is able to establish how the delegate is doing by their quiz responses. Optimum uses Socrative to provide online consolidation activities.

Using video cameras:

In some instances, delegates will be uncomfortable with switching on their video camera, however, with COVID-19 this has reduced considerably. That being said, if a delegate does not engage with their video on, it is difficult to cultivate a group learning session.

Virtual approach: The groups’ expectations are managed at the outset and will be advised that the session will start with camera’s on for introductions but then delegates have the option of switching to audio only for the walkthroughs/consolidation activities.


More breaks need to be taken throughout the S/4HANA training session to provide the delegates with time to deal with their new “working-from-home” commitments.

Virtual approach: All lesson plans which support the content flow and delivery are designed in a modular format to support regular breaks.


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Consolidation activities take longer:

During classroom delivery, the trainer can walk around the room offering assistance as soon as he/she sees a delegate struggling. This kind of checking takes far longer and with breakout rooms, if used, adds an additional layer of technical complexity. For the trainer to check whether learning has taken place, they can check the S/4HANA solution to ensure each delegate has posted the correct transaction but again, this takes longer.

Virtual approach: Ideally, delegates have two monitors. This means they can watch the Optimum consultants’ walkthrough as well as trying out the steps for themselves. This means they have hands-on practice before attempting a consolidation activity themselves.

Participant numbers:

Delegate numbers must be limited as it takes longer for the trainer to check learning and ensure all delegates are engaged.

Virtual approach: To ensure the session does not turn in to a demonstration, it is critical that maximum numbers are adhered to. If not, the delegates will not have the opportunity, or feel comfortable to, ask questions of the Optimum trainer.

Distracted delegates:

It is incredibly tempting for delegates to “quickly check their emails” during an online S/4HANA session. As engaging as the training is designed to be, there is sometimes a need to repeat content a second time because delegates have missed this. The time to do this is increased when delivering virtually.

Virtual approach: Introducing regular breaks reduces this occurring during the delivery.

WiFi connection:

For some delegates, they may not have the strongest connection. If delegates drop in and out of the session, this will take longer for the trainer to wait until the delegate has reconnected.

Virtual approach: This is unavoidable. Whilst the delegate is attempting to reconnect, the Optimum consultant will keep the remaining participants engaged with discussion and questions on the content covered up until this point.


Optimum has continued to provide market leading SAP S/4HANA training solutions throughout the global pandemic, and offered SAP end-user training programmes across the whole range of SAP products. Contact us today to see how we can assist with your project delivery.

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