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Self service as a topic is very wide spread and in demand in today’s world of business as the industry wants everything to happen over internet.

In this demanding business world there has been are few unanswered question which impacts the HCM implementation and upgrade.

WHAT IS THE SKILL SET OF A SELF SERVICES RESOURCE?

SHOULD SELF SERVICE RESOURCE PART OF Technology OR ERP?

SHOULD THE SELF SERVICE RESOURCE KNOW WORKFLOWS?

After spending few years in self services projects I have managed to build a skillset that works in benefit of the project that involves self services.

Self services predominantly revovles around three pillars

a. Business process (ERP configuration)

b. Technology (Webdynpro)

c. Workflows

Let’s look at the best case scenario, if the self services resource has working knowledge on all three of the above pillars then it works out very well for the customer. Resource will be able to address entire self service without any additional resource requirement which will definately reduce the cost of the resources and it has been my experience that this also reduces the duration of the execution.

If one looks at achieving above skills then the most important part is the mindset of a resource wanting to develop skills in the direction of delivery of projects involving self services.

Self services involves a bit of configuration in ERP that is managable even if one is not a professionally qualified functional resource hence it is important for a technology resource to have an overview of business process terminologies that are covered by particular scenarios. It is important to know the ERP configuration involved in self services. Knowing the functional terminology will allow the resource to ease the communication with the functional team.

When it comes to technology definately expecting a self service resource to execute entire development piece is not feasible but a recommendation is that the resource should gain knowldege on following topics.

  • Technical Landscape of self service (How are the technologies integrated within)
  • Debugging skills ( To resolve issues these skills are very handy)
  • Basic Knowledge on workflows ( It is very important to know the technology and functionality of standard workflows as the same is the major selling point for Self services)
  • Modification Techniques ( Self services has various methods of enhancements which vary and are highly technology dependent, it is important that each resource is aware of the methodology)
  • Knowldege with respect to authorization would be an added advantage.

Most of the self services are not used by customer as standard and enhacement and customizations are unavoidable. Self services are wide spread and has the largest user base hence there are lot of modification done in the SAP delievered components. The modifications are unavoidable and hence it is important that the right methods of modifications are chosen.

Business bluprinting of self services should involve a resource having complete skills on self services for accurecy in estimates.

It is important that SAP’s product guidelines are followed when customization is carried out in a self service delivery project.

I am opening a channel of discussion and I am sure there are more questions on this which can be discussed and we can arrive at a conclusion.

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  1. NICOLA MC DONNELL
    Hi Barin

    Thank you for a very interesting post. I would agree that self service functionality is becoming more and more popular with clients to allow for greater business efficiency by providing 24 x 7 access, in addition to making the business more accountable.
    As a business systems analyst supporting SAP HCM modules including ESS/MSS for many years I found it absolutely paramount to have a good understanding not only of the business processes and how they were leveraged and mapped within ESS/MSS but also of the underlying technology and workflow components. Understanding the security authorizations piece was also a big help when dealing with 2nd and 3 rd level HR business support issues globally.

    So I would agree with everything that you outline so far. I think a dedicated self service resource needs a very good grasp of the 3 pillars which you describe. Coupled with this, I have found in the past that a good degree of analysis skills and the ability to pinpoint business / technology painpoints with respect to the design of ESS/MSS services is also useful to ensure that they are truly functioning as expected and also that there are no ongoing bottlenecks that could jeopardise the usefulness of ESS/MSS services. By the same token a good understanding of ESS/MSS from a business perspective can also be a useful tool when contemplating enlarging the range of services provided by self service portals to improve business efficiency. 

    I think the expectation is that each company will need to perform a certain degree of customisation to make ESS/MSS truly meet their requirements. So following SAP product guidelines is important.

    Thanks again for the interesting post.

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