You may by now be well aware that one of the key recommendations for all our customers is to develop your own UX Strategy.
Why do we make this recommendation?
Let me highlight a few key reasons:
1. Execution of Enterprise Strategy
Your enterprise will have a number of strategies in place that are also in the process of execution. As a simple example:
- Enterprise Strategy: How does your enterprise deliver value; Achieving which outcomes?
- IT Strategy: How does IT support your enterprise strategy and outcomes?
- SAP Strategy: How does SAP support the IT Strategy and outcomes?
- SAP UX Strategy: How does SAP User Experience support the SAP Strategy and outcomes?
There is a hierarchy of strategies in action that all drives towards execution of the enterprise strategy and achieving the defined outcomes. This leads logically to the primary purpose of the SAP UX Strategy.
2. Business Value
The primary purpose of UX improvement is to deliver Business Value. Please reference topic 03 in my blog series were I discuss this in more detail. It should be clear that to support delivery of the SAP Strategy, we need to fully determine the appropriate mixture of business values to target within a defined period of time.
3. Assessment Guidance
The SAP UX Strategy should be executed through the process of developing an SAP UX Roadmap and implementing the defined actions. During the process of developing a UX roadmap we have to make recommendations. One of the functions of your UX Strategy is therefore to provide guidance during this assessment process.
For example, what is your principle around the topic of remote working? Do you want to provide your user with offline access to the business application? Your UX Strategy should incorporate architectural principles to provide guidance for these decisions.
UX improvements operate within a technical and landscape context. For larger enterprises, your enterprise architecture are under governance control to ensure stable and available business applications. The pace of UX improvements are clearly impacted by the availability of the required technical and landscape components and these can usually not be changed on short notice.
An example here is your internet browser. This is a UX relevant component for using particular UI technologies. SAP UI5 is based on html5 and there are compatibility issues with browser versions. In this case, defining your UX Strategy should help ensure that you have appropriate policies and strategies in place that govern all UX relevant components.
Overview of Strategy
A strategy can be defined as a plan of action designed to achieve future goals. Any strategy is anchored by two states; where are you now and where do you want to go. The current state should include an assessment of both the internal and external environments. The future state sets out a desired future vision.
In between these two states is where the tyre hits the road! A good strategy sets direction – how do we move from the current state to the future state – and must be actionable. To be actionable it should therefore describe the practical aspects with sufficient detail so that is actionable.
Customer SAP UX Strategy
In this blog I discuss the topic from an SAP perspective only, but clearly you may require a corporate UX strategy and the SAP strategy will in this case be a specific supporting strategy.
I want to highlight one particular section that I expect to find in your UX Strategy: End Users.
Ultimately the value of SAP starts by how successful your end users are in their use of SAP applications. Here the expression GIGO applies = Garbage In Garbage Out. It is a bit more complex than just this, but I trust you understand the point here. Let’s consider a few implications.
1. Adoption: At the basic level we need users to use SAP and not use unofficial processes and products. In this case an enterprise is not able to gain a clear and accurate picture with an audit trail of what is happening in their business.
2. Compliance: We need users to use SAP in accordance with the defined processes and policies. The business case to invest in SAP is based on assumed use of SAP. The enterprise and IT strategies are dependent on the execution within a defined framework.
3. Value Add: The above point may sound very rigid. I want to share two considerations.
(a) A very capable end user should be able to add value through their effective use of SAP by making good business decisions and taking timely action.
(b) We recommend that enterprises actively work on gaining insight into the use of SAP and how this may be improved. Please note that this is a very wide topic that straddles enterprise policies, business processes, system process, data, information and technology.
The end user and how they use SAP is where user experience ultimately sticks in your enterprise. The user does not per se care about which technology they use. They do care about how easy it is to use and how effective they can full-fill their role.
One last point: If you take this into account it should be clear that UX should be improved through identifying the priority user groups / roles to target with a holistic SAP solution for all their SAP use.
SAP UX Explorer
This is a very good reference source for customers and supports our ‘Experience SAP’ source. I work regularly with my colleague Juergen Jakowski who has written a section around customer UX strategy which I highly recommend for your consumption:
Also see under the ‘Documents’ section the presentation with notes on the topic.