Nadia Brasseur, a Regional Group Specialist working for SAP in Canada focusing on Mobile, and myself have gained quite some experience taking part in a large number of mobile projects. We have learned that mobile environments are different from traditional IT environments and add a new dimension in complexity as a result of the distributed environment and the various technologies involved. We would like to pass on some of the knowledge we gained in these projects to you. Therefore Nadia and I have created this blog together that provides you with a few basic guidelines that should help you with your mobile implementations.
Following the guidelines can make a major difference – and turn your project into a success. These guidelines have been created by taking into account the experiences gained by customers and project teams in a large number of mobile projects. True, the guidelines cannot guarantee a successful project – however, if followed, they increase the likelihood that a project is going to be a success.
Buy-In: Mobile requires a shift in the way a company does business and project implementations. Due to the various technologies that make up a mobile landscape, many different stakeholders are involved. Buy-in of all parties is required for a project to be successful.
End User Acceptance: End users are a key factor in the adoption of the mobile application. If end users enjoy using the mobile application and see an advantage in this new way of working, this will immensely contribute to the success of the project.
Therefore, involve your end users as early as possible. This is especially important when selecting devices and adjusting the user interface to suit end users’ needs. Involvement of end users from the very beginning is a key factor for the success of the project. This will ensure that the delivered solution matches the needs and expectations of the users.
Device Selection: Performance, stability, as well as look and feel are heavily influenced by the mobile device you select. Choosing a device that is too slow results in frustrated end users. Selecting a device that is not robust enough results in a lot of downtimes.
If the wrong device is chosen or if the choice of hardware is based on economizing, this could affect the performance of the application. Therefore, evaluate a variety of devices and choose one that fits your needs. Invest time in this activity, especially when dealing with handheld devices.
Project Team Expertise: Whether the implementation is being driven by the customer, a partner or SAP, it is critical to involve expert resources in the project team since mobile is a relatively new technology. This will ensure adequate expertise as well as proper knowledge transfer for a successful implementation and enable customers to operate and maintain the landscape themselves after go-live.
Quality Management: QM is very important since it could be a challenge to address issues in a mobile environment. Once the application has been rolled out, it is not always easy to access devices that are out in the field. Keep in mind that the number of devices can be very high.
Proper planning is essential, especially when it comes to defining strategies for dealing with potential issues.
Support Process: Invest a high percentage of your time and resources in support and ensure that your support personnel is able to access devices either directly or through remote login. If this is not possible, develop simple procedures to enable users to re-install their devices themselves to solve issues.
Sizing: Make sure that server sizing fits the requirements and that the performance is adequate. This keeps synchronization times low and ultimately makes the end users happy.