Super users are heroes and heroines in the world of ERP implementations. There are many reasons why ‒ they are the backbone of the support that organisations provide to end users after go-live; super users understand the new system and the related business processes.
Super Users are the coaches who make people better drivers of ERP. They are our trainers and our champions making ERP implementations more successful. They test, they teach, they approve content, and they generally help ensure user adoption at go-live and beyond. The concept of having super users as part of a large project in which you are introducing new technology and updating business processes isn’t limited solely to ERP projects, although we believe they are a must-have for any ERP implementation.
What does it take to start a network from scratch?
One of the responsibilities of a change manager is to build super user networks from the ground up during ERP implementations, to ensure there is continuity in having robust super user networks that provide ongoing end user support.
Here are the main steps to building a Super User Network
Step 1: Decide how many?
Understanding how many super users you need is really both an art and a science with many organisations determining their own ratio. It depends on the business, the infrastructure of the company, the geographical locations and number of end users, the complexity and the number of super users available and their capacity to support. It can range from 1 to anything between 12-50 end users.
Once you know how many super users you’ll need, you can start recruiting with an end state in mind.
Step 2: Select your Super Users
Often, super users are nominated by their managers. This can work just fine if the managers doing the picking understand who the right people for this important role are. What you want to avoid at all cost is choosing super users based solely on availability. Just because someone has free time doesn’t make them a good candidate to be a super user. Years of experience building networks has proved that super users have a distinct personality type:
- They are the first to raise their hands when someone needs help.
- They are already the go-to people on your team.
- They have a passion for being the best at what they do.
Step 3: Build an Infrastructure
People who build successful super user networks take the time to create the foundation of the network long before anyone announces that it exists. As you build your infrastructure, we suggest defining the following:
- How you’ll keep track of your super users, and how you’ll measure their success
- How end users will find them
- The communications methods you’ll use
- How you’ll promote your super users
- What kinds of levels and certifications you’ll offer
- How to keep super users engaged
- What incentives you’ll offer
Step 4: Create Your Super User Identity
Understanding what you are trying to accomplish with your super user network is as important as any charter, vision, or mission you have ever created. Every super user network is different, and designing yours based on your company culture is key. We encourage developing a detailed communications strategy and plan for your super user network. Let end users know the super user network is coming. Better yet, talk about it in the present tense as if it already exists. Have a detailed communications strategy for team meetings of super users and for the audiences who will become your super user network’s customers…the end users!
Step 5: Assign a Leader!
We can’t stress how important this point is. Time and again we’ve seen organisations start a super user network and once it’s live, the team that built it moves on to the next project. Please remember, super user networks don’t run themselves. The cost of starting a super user network is nothing compared to what a well-run super user network will give back to the business. But these networks need care and feeding. It takes effort to make sure the community continues to thrive. It needs someone passionate about these communities—someone who may even have come from the ranks of your super user team. Be sure to appoint a leader who will help you sustain your super user network!
We hope these five steps will get you on your way to building a successful super user network.