Transitioning from AX end-user to AX consultant
Ever wonder how the transition from being an AX end user to an AX consultant would be? One of AKA’s Senior Microsoft Dynamics AX Consultants has been there and she shares some valuable insight:
Once the hiring process is complete and the end-user is on board, he or she will have a good idea of the employer, their policies and rules. But they won’t be ready to go on a new project until they are equipped with the following:
5 days of AX training with internal trainer. It is highly recommended to go through the process of setting up a new company from scratch, cover basics and purpose of each module, standard functionalities in AX, cover different scenarios and give them a chance to ask questions if anything is unclear.
Most of the time, end-users who have worked with AX will not know if the functionality they have been using is standard AX functionality, or if they have become familiar to a customization that was implemented in their environment.
Some people, when hired, will be trained on how to use Microsoft Dynamics AX and might become experts later on but might never learn the standard functionality, instead will assume that functionality is standard and will not bother to look into it.
In my example, in the organization where I was working, the BOMs are used completely differently than what the standard is. We’ve had so many customizations, and I was only aware of a few, but certainly not all of them. When I later learned how the BOMs work in standard AX, I realized that we were doing everything backwards at the old company – all for a good reason to serve our business processes since they were truly unique and didn’t fit in the standard AX mold.
In general, AX end-users will know the details of the process or processes they were responsible for. How an order flows or an approval process works or how to pay an invoice, you name it, but they will most likely not understand how it has been set up and the value and importance of the parameters. The end-user can get easily confused when it comes to setting up AX for a new client.
After a week of AX training, the end-user will be well informed and their confidence level will increase.
Provide training material: They should be provided with the books, and soft copies of all the modules. This material, preferably printed should be used in the 5 days training session. In case they have any additional questions, they will be able to find all the answers in the provided material (or at least the majority of the answers).
At this point, our end-user is going to be ready for a new project after completing the training, hands on experience in the new AX Company and access to the provided training material.
Scheduling an End-User to a New Project: Before assigning the new consultant to a project, it is important to gauge their strengths and weaknesses. Projects vary from each other, in size, complexity, location and stage of the project. New consultants, are used to a team environment and are used to going to work. Therefore it is recommended to place them in preferably an on-site and stable environment where they can be guided/mentored by more experienced staff or project managers. The team needs to be aware of the new consultant’s background and experience level.
Projects are fast paced, and more decisions are made on a daily basis than the new consultant was used to in their former role. Exposure to a customer while no longer being on that side of the fence is a new challenge and the risk of going native with the customer is always looming as they understand the position of the customer. The New Consultant needs to be very aware of project scope, tasks and budget to avoid burning hours on out of scope activities just out of the goodness of their hearts. It is work on a budget, no longer just on a payroll.
Communication is key; especially regarding new consultants. Every new consultant wants to make their mark and contribute to the project from day one. They will need guidance and avoid over-promising. The transition from End User to New Consultant is a process and team members can help by patiently showing their support and guidance. This is not that easy for everyone but good processes are worth putting everyone through and as such create a stronger, more successful team.
There is a shift happening in implementing ERP software, where either because of cost control or due to logistical reasons projects are implemented, to a large extent, remotely. This creates big challenges for New Consultants as they will need to learn to navigate many new aspects of their new professional life at once; self-guidance, communication via online tools or phone, as well as a feeling of being isolated. This can make New Consultants insecure and potentially create issues in the project.
To read the full post visit The Wizard of AX blog Have you also made the change? Let us know if you have any helpful tips to share.