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Author's profile photo Owen Pettiford

New User Interface (UI) or User Experience (UX) for SAPGUI ? The Business Case (Part 3)

In part 1 and part 2 of this blog series I talked about the the options that SAP customers have to renovate (replace) SAPGUI if they want to use SAP tools to do this.

One comment on the first blog by Patrick Brandicourt raised the question about needing to generate business value from this renovation – not just doing it to make stuff look nice.

This blog outlines a framework that you could use to create this business case / value story.

In the first blog I outlined some reasons that you might want a new UI/UX, but these were from the user perspective and I didn’t focus on the value. These were :-

  • Too Complex : The SAPGUI screen has many fields (or describes fields in “strange ways”) and options the user doesn’t need to use.
  • Unsupported Device : The SAPGUI screen doesn’t work on your chosen device / browser (e.g tablet).
  • Missing Business Logic : The SAPGUI screen does not enforce business logic (rules) that your organisation needs which means garbage gets into your system.
  • Wrong Screen Flow :  The SAPGUI user interface/user experience* does not match the user interface/user experience* imagined/required by the user.

If we dig behind these generic use-cases we can look to see where the business value might be. From my experience I would suggest you try to place your value into the following “buckets” :-

  • Process Efficiency : Will a new UI/UX allow the process to be more efficient – can the right people be included in the process at the right time and in the right context. Can information be capture in different environments (in the field via tablets,via gestures (e.g Kinnect) etc) ? This might mean you capture business events earlier, capture more business events or capture events you don’t capture today. It could also be the case that human tasks could be replaced with automated data collection – do you need the UI anyway ?
  • Process Compliancy : Will a new UI/UX allow the “correct” business process to be followed (and perhaps tracked). This might mean that you can reduce the training effort required for users, measure and report KPI’s and perhaps create alerts if the steps are not completed in a timely way.
  • Data Entry Efficiency : Will the new UI/UX reduce the clicks, taps and tabs that someone has to navigate. This is a common way to try to create the business case for a new UI/UX. The value here will be dependent on how bad the existing UI/UX is ! You should consider both the time to carry out the task and the time required to train the user in the first place.
  • Data Entry Compliancy : Will the new UI/UX mean that the data entered into the system is “right” more of the time. Can we default in values, validate relationships etc. The value here can be more difficult to define as the costs might be downstream from the person entering the data.
  • Offload Work : Will the new UI/UX mean that we can get people who don’t work for us to do the data entry work for us – at a lower cost (or for free). Could customers enter demand / orders or suppliers create POs, ASNs, Materials etc.
  • Other : And finally can you think of value that can’t be placed in the buckets above. For example would a new user interface let you do things you couldn’t before or perhaps use an SAP module you don’t use today.

Hopefully this gives you a framework to build you business case.

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