Ongoing Training Needs for Microsoft Dynamics


Every new business system project has a budget line for training. No one ever buys a sophisticated piece of software like Dynamics and says ‘you know what – we’ll just figure it out.’ There is a budget and a number of training days are done before the system goes in and often, those people go back and do a “train-the-trainer” exercise for the others.

If this is the first time they’ve used Dynamics, and especially if no comparable system was in place before, then the amount of change involved means that just getting the basics is all users manage with that first pass. No criticism is intended of the people involved, even the brightest people can only take on so much new information. You need the system to become instinctive (with the old system they didn’t have to think, they just did) and that takes time and practise.

What very few companies do however is any follow-up advanced classes to take those staff to another level and get the most from the company’s substantial investment. Once it goes quiet, and processes just happen, it’s all considered OK and good enough. That’s like saying to children once they’ve done their first maths lessons and can complete basic addition and subtraction they can stop learning.

Often I visit companies that have used Dynamics for years and cannot believe how the people are actually muddling through because of lack of knowledge. I remember visiting a company in Hull that was doing 13 separate things many times a day; when I leaned over an employees shoulder at the company and pushed the F7 key, pointing out on the statistics page the number she was calculating – she nearly hit me!

I’m also constantly amazed when new people join an organisation and are expected to pick up from colleagues or sometime even the person who’s leaving. Talk about the blind leading the blind! By the time that’s happened a few times the rumours and whisper effect is really taking hold as you see some absolutely mad processes as a result. Fair play to those people – they are doing what they can to get the job done and keep the customer or colleague happy. It’s not their fault.

You wouldn’t buy an expensive CNC machine or a big specialist lorry and trust it to someone who had never seen one before let along been properly trained. Your Dynamics system is one of the most critical ‘machines’ in your business – don’t waste it by cutting corners on the training. There is a fair chance that a rookie will mess up the data while they learn by trial and error and it will take a very long time to get it back right – that’s going to cost you a lot more than a few hours tuition for them.

Author: James Crowter

I’m passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I’ve worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I’ve seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I’ve also had some hard projects over that time where it’s felt more like warfare at times. Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I’ve been working with a small Danish product called Navision that’s now become Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV and I’ve also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I’ve been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It’s my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction. So colleagues & clients have asked me to start this blog to share some of the insight that both this knowledge (obviously where not restricted by NDA’s or client confidentiality) and experience can help. Specifically I want to concentrate not on the specifics of how (there are some great blogs already for that) but why. If any user helps their business make better decisions or consultant can give better advice then that will be objective achieved. I founded Technology Management in 1992 and have led from the front ever since. Helping clients use technology to grow their business is my passion through explaining technology in terms that everyone can understand. My interest in computing began at the age of eight, long before my school had the equipment to cope. Throughout school and university I developed software commercially. I hold many IT certifications, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (for over 17 years), Microsoft Dynamics CRM (for over 10 years), as well as Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange and SQL. In October 2015, I was awarded the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a title given to a select few individuals (31 currently) across the world specifically for Dynamics NAV. After years of working with a range of distribution and manufacturing software for hundreds of organisations, I focus on understanding the business requirements of an organisation, what it will take to deliver the systems required to maximise their potential. Follow me online via my other social channels: - Twitter: @jamescrowter - LinkedIn: Or email me directly at james[.]crowter[@]

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