Personas at the UK & Ireland SAP User Group conference
With barely enough time to recover from TechEd Berlin (see Peter Spielvogel‘s blog TechEd 2014 Summary – SAP Screen Personas, Fiori, and the simplified UX) I was off to the UK & Ireland SAP User Group conference for two more days of talking about Personas. I had two full sessions at the conference this time. The first was my usual intro to Personas including a live demo of what we’ve built and live demos of screen tailoring and script writing. If you’ve seen me speak before much of this will have been familiar, but this time there was the twist of doing the screen tailoring and scripting demos using Personas version 3, the version currently in ramp-up. The audience of about 70 was a good mix of people – at few were live already with version 2, some knew nothing at all about Personas, but most knew of it but hadn’t yet tried it at all. That seems a typical mix for the audiences I speak to, and for most of the them the most interesting thing always seems to be the demo of our live development, showing exactly how much you can do to make SAP systems easier to use. One person afterwards said, “it blew my mind!” There was also a lot of interest in version three, especially from those people already actively using version 2. The two things of particular interest were the theming, which will save some people a lot of time, and the ability to run flavours in SAPgui. Being able to more easily mix tailored screens and standard screens without switching between SAPgui and browser has the potential to make Personas usable in many more scenarios.
My second session was slightly unusual. I was asked to speak in the “Audit, Control and Security” stream about Personas and security. The primary interest seemed to be whether Personas, and especially scripting, allowed users to bypass standard SAP security. The simple answer to that, of course, is, “No it doesn’t.” Even if you don’t see the SAPgui transactions running, but instead they’re running in the background driven by scripts, all of the expected authority checks still happen. There’s no escaping them 🙂 . I also talked about user access to Personas functionality and to flavours and how that is all managed. This was a smaller audience (40 or so) and most had never seen Personas before, and they were very interested.
Outside of the two speaking slots there were many conversations afterwards or in the queues for food or coffee. There seems to be a lot of interest in Personas and in how people can use it to improve the experience for their users, but not too many active projects still. Getting started seems to be difficult for many. If you’ve got a Personas project running in your organisation, how did you get it started? It seems there are many people that would appreciate help and advice about that – please contribute in the comments below!