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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University July 24, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 40
HopkinsOne: SAP training

By Jessica Valdez

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 implemented by HopkinsOne.

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 they're valued."

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.


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