Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yay or Nay? The Setup Checklist

Whenever I start a new implementation of Dynamics GP, I am faced with the question of how to best acquaint users with the system during configuration.  I will admit that I was a slow convert to the setup checklist (Microsoft Dynamics GP>>Tools>>Setup>>Setup Checklist).  But on my most recent implementation, I decided to once again give it a whirl. 

For those of you that are not familiar with it, the Setup Checklist allows users to access most of the necessary setup screens to complete configuration of the system.  It is a great tool because it lists the items in the order that they need to be completed, to avoid the flip-flopping between modules.  Even better is the feature that allows users to assign tasks to other users, and track the progress by marking if an item is in progress, completed, or not used.  I know that users often feel buried in "homework" when setting up the system, so the setup checklist helps them organize the work involved.

However, I honestly struggle with the learning aspect of it (the trainer in me rears its head).  When a user accesses the setup from the centralized checklist it is easy and efficient, but it doesn't give users a feel for how GP is organized in terms of setup, cards, and the like or how to navigate to the windows independently (and the inherent "exploratory" learning that goes along with that learning). Of course, we can cover this later in training, but the user(s) involved in the configuration are often the poweruser(s) of I am not sure if putting that learning off until later is a good idea.  And I am hesitant to train on both during configuration and cause confusion.

So, I come back to the fact that I think I prefer to train via menus, and then use the setup checklist as a guide for additional companies (either being implemented simultaneously or later).  What about you?  How do you feel about the setup checklist?  Do you use it? How do you "train" with it?


Unknown said...

Hi Christina: Yes, I do use the Setup Checklist, AND use it to train a specific group of users who are responsible for the setup & configuration part of the system.

These users are often more knowledgeable than the average user who of course needs to be trained via the use of menu options, such as transactions, inquiry, reports, cards etc.

Using the checklist, I not only ensure the power-users know the sequence in which the applications need to be configured, but also the 'Why's and How's' beyond the When's. When users later run into an issue which confounds them, the power users are able to identify, in most cases, the likely error at the source.

I have had a fair degree of success with this approach, but the checklists are my own creation and not the ones proposed for use by MS.

David Somas.

Christina Phillips said...

Thanks, David. That is great info as well!