80% of your IFS challenges have the same root cause

January 5, 2024 | Matthew Carswell

In the complex landscape of the IFS ecosystem, the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule has a simple and widely overlooked application. Commonly, we find that 80% of challenges that organizations face with IFS can be attributed to inadequate access to learning and knowledge. The composable architecture of IFS coupled with its deep functional capabilities, means that if used correctly it can act as the ultimate Swiss Army knife of business software. As organizations strive to harness the knife’s full capabilities, understanding how to wield each “tool” it offers becomes crucial.

The Swiss Army Knife of Software

The versatility and functionality of IFS are without question. It’s designed to cater to a broad range of needs, from Finance and Sales to Manufacturing and Supply Chain logistics. But the very features that make IFS an invaluable asset can also present a daunting challenge: mastering its use.

The 80/20 of Training: Just as a few blades in a Swiss Army knife are used more frequently, a small portion of training can impact the majority of daily tasks. However, knowing how to use each “tool” in the IFS suite is not instinctive. It requires meticulous, comprehensive training, emphasizing not just the “how” but also the “why” behind each function.

Beyond the Quick Fix: The Need for Continuous Learning

The transformational potential of IFS cannot be unlocked in a few hours of training. It’s unrealistic to expect users to become proficient with a few quick sessions. Instead, companies must invest in an ongoing learning platform, one that not only delivers the right information at the right time but also evolves alongside the changing landscape of IFS and its applications within the business.

The Continuous Learning Platform: An effective platform should serve as a dynamic repository of knowledge, with curated content that addresses both immediate operational needs and long-term strategic goals. This ensures that as the company’s relationship with IFS grows and morphs, the training does too, preventing the common pitfall where 80% of issues stem from outdated or insufficient knowledge.

The How and the Why: Creating Value Through Understanding

Providing users with “how to” guides to navigate IFS is a step in the right direction, but it’s not the panacea for all training woes. To truly leverage the software, employees need to understand the conceptual underpinnings—the “why”—behind each process.

The Why Matters: When users comprehend the rationale for a process, they are more likely to engage with the system thoughtfully, leading to better decision-making and more innovative use of the tools at their disposal. This depth of understanding transforms basic knowledge into valuable wisdom, ensuring that the use of the tool is driven by the “big picture”, and why each individual part is necessary and valuable.

Proactive and Reactive Training: A Dual Approach

To fully integrate IFS into your company’s DNA, a dual approach to training is required. Proactively, role-based training must be implemented upon an individual’s entry into the company, equipping them with the knowledge they need to perform their tasks efficiently from day one.

Role-Based Training: This focused training ensures that users are not overwhelmed by the entirety of the IFS system but are instead provided with the tools relevant to their specific responsibilities. This strategy tackles a significant portion of potential problems by preparing users before they encounter them.

On-Demand Knowledge Base: Complementing this, a reactive component is equally important—an on-demand knowledge base where users can perform on-the-spot searches to find solutions swiftly. Getting to information quickly on the spot is key. If users find it frustrating to gain information, they will give up on it, which will slowly erode the value of IFS within the organization.

Wrapping it up

The application of the 80/20 rule to IFS challenges underscores a simple truth: the majority of problems can be mitigated through strategic, well-structured training programs. Investing in continuous, role-based learning platforms and ensuring that training materials cover both the “how” and the “why” transforms users from mere operators of a system into masters of a powerful business tool. By embracing both proactive and reactive training approaches, companies can significantly reduce inefficiency and maximize the potential of their IFS investment.

In short, don’t skimp on the training. If you do, you are shooting yourself in the foot!

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