This month I will return to the ASUG Michigan chapter meeting in Grand Rapids, a dynamic gathering – replete with mini Code Jam – based on specific topics of interest. This month the chapter will focus one topic top of mind to most SAP customers – user experience (UX) design and architectural principles.  I will provide some best practices from SAP customers who have already taken the first steps to plan their journey and define their UX strategy.

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For sure consumerization of IT is driving much of the UX discussion.  Employees want the same delightful user experience at work as they receive at home using consumer based applications.  In the automotive and manufacturing space, we see a number of business drivers that a UX strategy and journey map can address in part or in whole, as organizations look to the benefits of moving to high-volume, high-velocity performance offered by S/4HANA. Some of these include:

  • One Company.  A common UX strategy across an organization can unite global work forces and drive standard work practices. An architect told me earlier this year “global themes drive global teams.” Designing themes related to work areas and patterns can have a big effect on user adoption, productivity and accuracy.
  • Return to Standard. A good UX strategy should be more than making pretty HTML5 screens, it should also provide an opportunity to create performance improvements by redesigning the work and removing complexity.  This is an essential step on the eventual journey to S/4HANA particularly in the cloud where complexities demanded by organizations must be carried forward to the next generation platform.  So best to address the easy to fix areas as part of UX design and work execution.
  • Improve Speed and Accuracy of Decision Making. Older SAP platforms (many companies still have instances due to acquisitions and divestitures of 4.6x and older versions) and poorly designed ECC platforms generate a lot of data latency which can slow down the speed and accuracy of business decision making.  By making the information available to decision makers immediately in easy to consume UX environments (ideally supported by HANA), this latency can be re-examined and removed through technical improvements or even simple governance rules around data ownership and use which can bog down system performance.

Getting started with your UX journey is easy and consists of 9 key steps which I will share at the ASUG Michigan meeting.  For more information to attend the meeting, or to simply download a copy of my presentation, visit the chapter event page (login required).

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