As we have started upgrading our Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers to the new role-tailored client, we have received feedback from a number of users who felt the new user interface is not as productive as the old one. It has been a number of years but I still vividly remember the switch from DOS to Windows. Many users complained bitterly about the change and quite a few of them had never used a mouse before. It made for some interesting challenges. Users complained about finding things in the new system and some hated having to use a mouse for anything. If you have any experience with implementing new software systems, you will recognize that the first complaint is true anytime you change systems and it has little to do with the efficiency of the new system. You can pretty much count on at least three months of day to day use before you will be as comfortable with the new system as you were with the old one.
Well, the change to the Role Tailored Client is another shift that in some ways is as big as the move from DOS to Windows. With the evolution of technology and software, new systems are much better integrated and users have become much more sophisticated. It is difficult to find a job candidate that hasn’t used Excel and Outlook. Based on those changes and some others, Microsoft carried out extensive research on how to improve the productivity of system users. The result was a role-tailored client, which presents only the functions and information necessary for a person’s particular job responsibility. In addition, it put configuration and what used to be customization in the hands of the users. Now a user can quickly tailor the interface to suit their specific preferences without requiring any programming background. The result in a system that Microsoft claims is 30% quicker to learn for new users and with significantly greater productivity because of the user configuration option. And for those who still like the keyboard, the role tailored client offers a significant number of keyboard shortcuts.
The bottom line is that new users will typically pick the system up much more quickly than the old interface and like it more. For existing Dynamics NAV users upgrading to the new system, it is critical for them to receive enough training on the new system. There are too many changes to just assume people will pick it up, even though the basic functionality is still the same. And make sure you show people how to get the most out of the ability to configure the interface themselves.
By Malcolm Roach of Open Door Technology, Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partner based out of Calgary, Alberta