Die SBB setzt auf Blended Learning bei SAP-Einführungsprojekten
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CASE STUDY

Blended learning in SAP projects

How Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) went about setting up an SAP training and education environment and using blended learning in the SAP environment.
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Boundaries pushed with face-to-face training

In the context of large implementation projects, SBB has quickly reached its limits with classic face-to-face training. A high number of training participants (1,000 to 2,000) with different previous knowledge and requirements were spread across the country, and the training had to be offered in German, French and Italian.

Transportwesen & Bahnverkehr
Industry
Transport & Rail
Standorte
Location
Switzerland
Mitarbeiter
Employees
33,000
Umsatz
Revenue
8.9 billion CHF

Blended learning as a solution

The cost of face-to-face training was skyrocketing and time was also a factor. SBB decided to use blended learning to alleviate the situation. Since then, the basics have been taught using web-based training (WBTs) to ensure a basic level of knowledge.

The actual detailed knowledge continues to be trained in various modules via face-to-face training. However, these courses take less time, as part of the knowledge transfer has already taken place with the WBT. In addition, there is course documentation that is created and managed using the tts performance suite.

Reducing costs through blended learning

Less time for face-to-face training, as part of the knowledge transfer has already taken place with the WBTweiz

Training participants have access to up-to-date documentation and additional training opportunities after the courses as well

Structure of SAP training and training environment

At SBB, SAP training is divided into four main classic subject areas: Finance and Controlling, Logistics, Project System, Human Resources. Initially, training takes place on a project basis when new applications are introduced, then ongoing standard training courses are generated from the introduction projects for employees who are new to this area of work.

These standard training courses are structured in stages: Newcomers receive an overview of SAP, followed by basic training in individual subject areas, before the actual user training takes place according to work areas. Finally, supplementary training is provided, such as data evaluation or data exports.

As a training environment, SBB has its own SAP training system with special training users, which is identical to the productive system in terms of structure and settings. Exercises and examples are set up in a master client, a copy of which is created for each individual course to ensure that the same starting point is always available.

On a so-called playground, a copy of the productive system, the users can make their first attempts with non-sensitive data with their respective authorisations without being able to cause damage in the real productive system.

Blended learning in SAP implementation projects

In the context of large roll-out projects, SBB quickly reached its limits with classic classroom training. A high number of training participants (1,000 to 2,000) with different previous knowledge and requirements were spread all over the country, and the training courses had to be offered in German, French and Italian.

Thus, the costs of face-to-face training skyrocketed, and the time factor also played a role. SBB decided to defuse the situation through blended learning. Since then, the basics have been taught using web-based training (WBTs) to ensure a basic level of knowledge.

The actual detailed knowledge continues to be trained in various modules via face-to-face training. However, these courses take less time, as part of the knowledge transfer has already taken place with the WBT. In addition, there is course documentation that is created and managed using the tts performance suite.

Thus, even after the courses, the training participants always have up-to-date documentation as well as additional training options with simulation exercises at their disposal. Special topics that only affect a small group of people and build on the content of previous courses are trained using a WBT to ensure cost-effectiveness. Since these persons are mostly pronounced specialists, their topics can be taught without additional explanations by a lecturer.

Blended learning in ongoing SAP training

Similar problems arose with the standard training courses as with the introductory training courses, but here the small number of participants was the problem. Only ten to 30 people per course have training needs at different times. However, in order to offer courses reasonably economically, a minimum number of participants is necessary.

This in turn means that the courses can only be offered once or twice a year, which does not allow for timely training of the staff concerned. Due to the good experiences with blended learning in the introduction projects, SBB is currently in the process of converting the standard training courses to this system as well.

A WBT with the basic knowledge for newcomers has already been created in three languages with the tts performance suite and is available. Further training courses for basic training in the individual subject areas are currently in progress and will be published gradually. Detailed courses are still offered by SBB as face-to-face courses. This way, a person with immediate training needs can complete a WBT and is then prepared for classroom training.

In order to increase the acceptance of WBTs at SBB, it is being considered to conduct electronic access tests before attending a face-to-face training. This would also ensure a common basic knowledge. Supplementary topics or special areas should be

Die SBB setzt auf Blended Learning bei SAP-Einführungsprojekten

Incorporation of WBTs into face-to-face trainings

New system landscapes such as BW/BI, RPM or web applications can only be partially supported with SBB's existing training system. Therefore, it is planned to conduct certain exercises in face-to-face training as WBTs. These simulations will be recorded in advance as WBTs with the tts performance suite and then called up on the PC during the classroom training. SBB is currently putting together a first training course based on this concept.

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