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Background

A company did an innovative work which achieved a great deal of user-friendliness to the workers, in the area of daily work in SAP.  One day this company comes to know that exactly similar work was done by someone else in some other part of the globe, which was presented at the SAP Centric EAM 2013 and received lot many acclaims.  Such was the situation given rise to this post. (The author belongs to the company  mentioned above)

The idea for posting this was born after going through the blog Stories from SAP Centric EAM 2013 – “ A Simple Screen Modification Can Renovate a Crafts World “  by Paul Kurchina.

See the following screens.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/1_312485.jpg

/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2_312486.jpg

These are just two screen-parts (I could share here) from several such, we produced and using for user-friendliness in my company.


These include screens for

  1. Worker Level (1st picture)
  2. Senior Management Level (2nd picture)

These screens were designed to achieve,  the ATM  like user-friendliness to the users, with outputs on single mouse click.

My views here are:

  • The presentation about such innovation during the event cited above must have certainly attracted several acclaims, because of the fact that the potential it has got to influence the user-friendliness of end-users (especially workers), which forms the foundation for any SAP-PM implementation to survive.
  • These tools have got great significance in plant maintenance, where the worker often is not adequately computer literate. (He certainly needs an ATM sort of SAP screens).
  • Even the senior maintenance management need such products. (It has been always difficult for this class too to deal with standard SAP screens).
  • I am sure that, there are not 2 or 3 such cases of these innovations or few more. There will be many across the globe, because of the fact that SAP original screens very likely  force companies to discover such tools for their workers.

Purpose of this post is two fold.

  1. Express my views on the topic in the referred post, which I think already did,
  2. Some Facts and Suggestions  to SAP

Let’s look at the second part

  • There is a need to recognize that users compare and expect the degree of user-friendliness of SAP screens with browser based systems they used earlier and even to ATMs as Paul rightly mentioned.
  • The issue discussed above is more relevant to Plant Maintenance Environment and such basic needs are required to be addressed through standard programs.
  • In the present  SAP modular architecture , the constraints  faced by the Functional modules, caused by the degree of dependency on Technical resources in situations like above should not be undermined.
  • Such ATM like screens discussed so far will have benefits beyond the user-friendliness, such as drastic simplification of Training Time and Expenditure as rightly observed by Paul (We can list many other such benefits) 

The Suggestion Time:


It would be very useful to the Plant Maintenance community, if SAP identifies the areas for ATM like user-friendly screens and provide such products in Standard.


In addition OR alternatively,


SAP should provide a tool to Functional people in Screen Programming area (similar to Infoset Queries in Reporting area) which can develop the user-friendly Customized screens required by the users.


The author is a senior maintenance management in a large SAP customer company. He has 24 years shop-floor maintenance exposure and 6 years of ERP (SAP-PM) exposure .

The views expressed by him here are out of his above experience and believed to be more relevant to Plant Maintenance area. Hope it has got a constructive sound.

Thank you

Jogeswara Rao K

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19 Comments

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  1. Thyagarajan Krishnamurthy

    Hi

    Rightly said , as of my experience  user is tired of executing each T code evertime and getting the result. if we have the option to customise the easy way of doing things it would be better

    Regards

    Thyagarajan

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    1. K Jogeswara Rao Post author

      Hi Peter,

      It is a very nice gesture from you on behalf of SAP. And thank you very much for the links.

      I am sure having this realization, SAP is going to be the leader in User-friendliness also in the times to come.

      Regards

      Jogeswara Rao K

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  2. Henryk Skrobol

    Nice blog, but in my opinion the most powerful in screen simplification is SAP Screen Personas. I was taking a part in supplementation this tool for some basis PM transactions (notification / order create, job confirmation) and it’s really easy to develop and good to work with as end user.

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    1. K Jogeswara Rao Post author

      Thank you Henryk,

      Yes, definitely SAP Screen Personas is a good news in this direction, but the thing remains for the end user is that it is an additional investment.

      Jogeswara Rao K

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  3. Patrick S.

    Hello Jogeswara,

    first of all I have to express a big THANK YOU for taking the time to share this solution idea with the community!

    I have to say I’m really fascinated by the idea to offer a user group specific cockpit-like one-screen transaction with most important & common functions.

    Good point to raise the request to SAP to offer such improvements in standard. But I fear you won’t get this as a free of charge – my opinion is that in future more web based add ons are getting sold (or tried) in addition. Sure lot of companies are lacking to simplify they daily business SAP functions/transactions – reasons are manifold: SAP BBP & implementation project phases are short & on top ABAP development resources are expensive.

    Despite all difficult circumstances, a company should take the time to improve user friendliness to have a buy-in from shop floor to management.

    Thanks again for giving us an insight how solutions could look like. I hope there will be more template ideas shared (as far as confidentiality & privacy allow!) to animate and motivate members (with a backlog on these topics) to act.

    Kind regards,

    Patrick

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    1. K Jogeswara Rao Post author

      Hello Patrick,

      I have been following your silent acclaims to my few posts (through likes).

      First time you’ve commented and this I can say, the best comment ever any of my posts attracted. Also such comments keep me motivated for posting.

      Next, your analytical comments are apt, I totally agree with everything what you’ve said.

      You’ve very rightly said ‘Despite all difficult circumstances…….’

      I thank you for making me receive such a good compliment.

      (For the first time I got an idea that people should be able to give more than one Like to  posts, so that I could have given your comment more.)

      Thank you

      Jogeswara Rao K

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      1. Patrick S.

        Hi Jogeswara,

        I’m glad to read, that you feel honored and motivated by my reply!

        I’m a big fan of SCN and it’s PM contributors and their readiness to help (each) others or provide new ideas (“out of the box”). As all of us, I experience very often that I’m lost with a problem in details and totally miss to find the obvious reason/solution – I got so many constructive answers/solutions on my questions in SCN, just by asking the community who might have a different view/perpective on the problem (..or simply have more experience).

        And very often I’m looking up threads from the past & if I find an idea or solution which brings forward (for free!!!), then a simple “Like” is the least how I can show my appreciation. Taking a look a the lots of blue (= unanswered) threads with lots of answers, then I think that the contributors (who spent their time to answer, maybe even spare time!) are not awarded enough.

        Catching up your point with “silent acclaims”: as I said, if something helps me, it gets my “Like”. Taking a look at the well reputated guys in here, I sometimes just think it’s better to let them answer, as frankly spoken: some of you really have a clue about PM (..even that much, that I sometimes think I’d better lay off my “senior consultant” title).

        So Jogeswara, as I unfortunately can’t invite you for a drink to express my thankfulness, I have to keep on rewarding you with these SCN credits 🙂

        Bye & have a relaxed weekend,

        Patrick

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        1. K Jogeswara Rao Post author

          Wow Patrick!

          An ideal, perfect and very sensible SCN colleague and a person with values.

          Thanks for your invite, it is as good as this has happened. I’m glad I met you.

          You too, have a Great weekend !

          Bye

          Jogeswara Rao K

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  4. James Prabaharan

    Dear Jogeswar,

    I feel I have missed a lot from our forum.(retired and engaged again)

    I face the issues right now, implementing SAP in Defence.

    Appreciate your comments and looking forward to solutions from SAP.

    I had followed your inquisitive posts since you were in a senior position at a steel plant, when I was following SCN. Correct me if I am wrong.

    James Prabaharan

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    1. K Jogeswara Rao Post author

      Dear James,

      I belong to a maintenance fraternity of a large industry, with two and a half decades of functional experience. With this experience when we enter into systems like SAP, the maximum benefiting person will be the end-user. Because I represented my end-user there and developed SAP products for him, because I was the end user and I only can understand what he wants.

      Again the end-user falls into different categories. The fist line, middle and the top. And the SAP implementation is two kinds. One go by book and apply change management and the second one is discover your present processes in SAP products, if unavailable …develop.

      I believe, like my case, in our country the implementations fall in the second category. You’ve referred Defence. There might be certainly difference in maintenance cultures depending upon the type of equipments (Land/Air/Sea). But I believe SAP-PM implementation in Defence must be one of the serious implementations. However, here too I feel the non-integrated part plays vital role. viz, Maintenance Schedules, Breakdown Analyses, Condition monitoring through Measuring Points etc. The integrated part namely Spares consumption might not be the top priority. (I do not know, the practical emphasis there).

      As I mentioned above, SAP is there to help achieve the clients goals by using resources in optimized way. We should be aware of overdoing this SAP, as if it has come to change the company’s goals itself.

      My personal views only. Quite possible few not relevant at all.

      Thank you & Regards

      Jogeswara Rao K

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