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Enhance Your Business Process Productivity by Enhancing User Productivity. [Part 1]

Why expensive SAP implementations are failing to get the best Results?

 More and more SAP customers are now complaining about their end users not being satisfied and try to follow their own risky ways for doing day to day activities. Both IT and business process owners are finding their solutions failing to reach the peak of process productivity. Let’s start with analysing the key failure reasons. Later we will pull out some high result bearing solutions and discuss them part by part.


Key failure reasons:

  • Lower user productivity results in low business productivity

IT is working round the clock to bring new and very agile solutions and business owners with all their forces are pushing that to the end users. But surprisingly the overall productivity is not improving, in fact in some scenarios it’s lowering down. Answer is simple; the complex and expensive systems cannot run by themselves, ultimately it’s the users who needs to endorse and get the fruit of improvement out.

  • Business process improvement on its saturation, but users are still struggling

Business process improvements comes with lots of promises like reduction in headcounts and quick transactions, but end users are struggling with added steps on their screens. E.g. paper based process is migrated on latest web tools, but user not comfortable using them and spend more time to use them.

  • Expensive rework to fit users true needs

Most important adjustments and fixes are done after go live causing expensive rework. User voice is heard after go live mostly.

  • Users are taking their own risky workarounds to get the work done

User cannot wait for the next fix cycle or release cycle they knowing the system finds their own workaround which could be risky in some cases. Also make governance an impossible job for an organization.

  • New user training is a challenge; Resulting delayed ROI

Most important factor to achieve ROI quickly is the ability to train a new user inexpensively. Training is least thought and system is growing complex every day. Either new user spent excessive time in getting up to speed or they use the system in new ways both resulting in slower ROI.

  • User acceptance is done after development rather before design

User acceptance is done at the very end of the implementation cycle which most of the time is done just to fulfill the documentation. Rather users must be involved before the design and complete UI mock up should be developed and approved by user council.

  • Above all bringing a small change is a big challenge

Even a small change in an enterprise is looked as a big challenge, no offense to IT and business groups, a change is always misunderstood and handled as a customization in standard process which makes future upgrades even more challenging. Rather change should also be handled by developing pluggable add-on functionalities, without disturbing the standard components.


Now we know the problems very well, let discuss some solution which can alleviate some of them.

Few Solutions:   

  • User Productivity Flyovers
  • User Experience sessions
  • 360° View Dashboards
  • Transaction Simplification
Lets discuss them part by part

User Productivity Flyovers:


Let’s discuss an example scenario to understand this:-

Quotation Approval: Normal Flow

Below flow-chart shows a typical quotation approval process, where the sales rep. submits a Quote for approval which in its normal flow will end up in approving manager’s workflow inbox.

Technically the workflow is optimized to its best with all the possible rules of escalations and vacation delegation etc. But due to unquestionable and unavoidable circumstances (e.g. the approving manager is over booked with many other quotations in his tasks list) it’s taking the justifying time for approval, causing a process congestion due to which sales rep. is getting delayed in closing the business.



Quotation Approval: Productivity enhanced Flow

This process congestion can be overcome by using this unique concept of productivity “Flyover”.

Solution overview:

An add-on program is developed which will be triggered when sales rep. submits the Quote.

This program using the workflow API will check the approval manager’s inbox for congestion possibilities. If manager is found over booked, this program will take the control back to sales rep. with message notifying the situation and giving option to select alternate manager for approval.

This way user can take the less congested and more productive route for the same process.


What is done to build this UI Productivity Flyover?

  • A small WebDynpro application view to notify user about congestion and work around
  • A program to read the workflow status of the to be assigned manager and other available managers
  • A modification in workflow to take act according to user action and pass the approval to alternate manager.

Point to notice:

The standard process is unchanged and the flyover can anytime be closed (Non Peak season)

Similarly there could be many business processes in your enterprise with points of congestions, lets take an effort in finding those and sharing with the group, which will give an opportunity for all of us to dig and find appropriate flyover solution to help each other.

To find and know more about Business processes visit BPX page and to learn more about the SAP User Productivity tools, technologies and services check User Productivity.    

That’s all for this blog, stay tuned for details on other solutions in upcoming parts.

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      Author's profile photo Siarhei Pisarenka
      Siarhei Pisarenka
      I really like the idea of user productivity enhancement!

      However, the mentioned 'flyover' example looks a little bit strange. The workflow tool will "check the approval manager's inbox for congestion possibilities". Such action is not very acceptable, because it performs an access to an user private data (inbox messages). Actions like this should require special authorization from the inbox owner. Personally I'd not like the tool which inspect my inbox messages in background.

      But in general the idea is excellent I think. And I see some other ways to check manager's availability. For example, employee's calendar, manager's delay in approvements, etc.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author
      Hi Siarhei,
      I agree your point when considering the security aspects. Obviosly, as you say there can be other ways to figure out the status of manager's availability. I will try some of your suggestions and post the result accordingly.