About 20 Johns Hopkins IT managers clustered around a Mount
Washington conference table recently for one purpose: to
learn how to prepare their employees for their user roles
and training in the new SAP software system being
They angled their faces toward Pam Somers, senior
specialist from Organizational Diversity and Development,
as she tried to allay their apprehensions: "What do you
really want during that 'doom and gloom' feel [as the
go-live date approaches]?" she asked.
"Chocolate," someone blurted out.
"Reassurance," said another.
Somers didn't have any chocolate, but she and the
HopkinsOne team did provide support and reassurance during
the two-hour meeting on July 13, the second of more than 85
HopkinsOne manager preparation sessions taking place across
Johns Hopkins between now and mid-September.
These "Nuts and Bolts" sessions give directors,
managers and supervisors the information and materials
needed to understand how SAP will impact their
organizations and to prepare employees for fall training
courses for SAP access.
At the sessions, managers learn the processes for
different SAP roles and receive training information,
individual transition plans and materials to facilitate
communication with employees. The individual transition
plans lay out the roles mapped for each employee and the
training he or she will have to complete before the system
goes live on Jan. 1.
More important, the trainers coach managers on how to
talk with employees about SAP and to help them cope with
reluctance, fear or uncertainty about change.
"The objective is to have a dialogue with your
employees," said Somers to the room of IT supervisors.
"People really need to know that they have a job and that
The goal is to have supervisors communicate training
expectations and individual transition plans to employees
no later than mid-October. Individual training schedules
for each employee will be e-mailed on Sept. 18, the date
that Web-based training becomes available.