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Author's profile photo Gerrit Kotze

09 – UX Opportunity Assessment

The purpose of the UX Opportunity Assessment is to rapidly identify business value opportunities and likely timescales/effort to achieve.  Typically this process is most useful when it is run in the earlier stages of a UX engagement, well before starting the UX Roadmap stage.  As a result the decision makers are able to form an initial view on whether there is both demand and enough potential value to invest further in a UX initiative.

NB: A UX Opportunity Assessment should not be confused with developing a UX Roadmap.  The latter is a far more rigorous approach to discover, assess and decide on very specific scenarios, end users, solutions and required landscape components.

Another benefit of this process is that it brings Business and IT stakeholders together to collaboratively discuss a topic with value potential for both parties.

The scope of this blog is not to delve into a full borne opportunity assessment programme, but rather to remain focussed on where, when and how to best utilise this within the UX context.

1. When to use the UX Opportunity Assessment?

As mentioned in my discussion in Blog 04 – UX Improvement Framework, the first stage should focus on knowledge and learning.  Within a UX engagement we also refer to this as enablement.

An UX opportunity assessment can work very well as one of the initial activities, even directly after the kick off meeting/workshop.

  • It sets very broad expectations
  • It validates business demand
  • It brings multiple stakeholders together quickly
  • It helps those involved to then better interpret the SAP UX Strategy and what SAP can offer in light of the discovered opportunities which represent a form of end user demand.

Equally, an UX opportunity assessment also works very well if run directly after the enablement stage of a UX engagement.  This assumes a level of commitment from the customer to continue exploring the value that UX improvement offer.  In this approach the opportunity assessment serves to better contextualise the UX Strategy discussions and formulation.

If your organisation has multiple business units/divisions/LoB who typically are on their own SAP instances, then the UX opportunity assessment can be used very effectively to assess each division before setting up a programme.  I regularly see this work well where one division is driving the UX improvement agenda and the other divisions are not sure whether there is sufficient value from their users.

2. Who to involve?

Although I have seen this work when primarily owned and driven by IT, it is clear that there is a better outcome when both business and IT participate.  Another key success factor from my experience is that there should be a sponsor with a small steering group who both commission the process and decide on how to move forward once they review the results.

A general list of roles to involve:

  • Business and IT sponsors
  • Business and IT senior management – get coverage of all the key areas
  • Business Process Owners
  • Business Improvement Managers
  • IT Business Partners
  • Solution / Process Architects
  • Enterprise Architects
  • Super Users

3. How to organise the process?

Firstly the process should validate that there is business demand for an opportunity as well as an initial estimate of both the value potential and the effort / timescale required to realise the value.

As far as techniques to identify opportunities I suggest using multiple in parallel:

i. Senior stakeholder > 1:1 interviews

ii. End users > End user survey

iii. Super Users / Power Users > Small Focus groups

iv. Business Process Owners; Business Improvement Managers; IT business partners; Solution / Process Architects > UX Opportunity Assessment Workshop.  You can also set up a series of workshops that focus on business or process areas.  For these also consider end-to-end scenarios e.g. procure to pay, order to cash etc.

  • At SAP we use the Design Thinking approach with great success
  • Plan the space; the storyboard of what attendees will go through and contribute to; Agree
    how you facilitate the session and capture the outputs

Note: The use of Enterprise Architects depends on how this particular skilful resource is used in your organisation.

4. An example result

UX Opp Ass_Funnel.png

In this example you see that we suggest a process with three steps:

(1) Identify – Gather as much input as possible

(2) Assess – What is the Value Potential vs. Time to Value (Quick Wins; Tactical; Strategic?)

(3) Progress – This is about further exploring and validating the opportunity through either Proofs of Concept or Prototypes.  These should mainly be time-boxed (set a time limit) so that this does not become a programme in its own right.  The purpose is to do some validation on the opportunities to mainly determine Value Potential &
Time to Value.  We are not trying to pilot solutions here.

In final analysis, the UX opportunity assessment process can be very effective in building up support or momentum for a UX initiative.

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