Interview with Ginger Luttrell, SAPinsight
What is a SAP super user community?
Why did you create a SAP super user community?
SAP Super Users have been bringing value to SAP projects and users as long as SAP has been around. But the role can be thankless and not supported beyond projects. From working with Super Users for 15+ years, we clearly know that companies really bump up the ROI in their SAP investment through a Super User Program. Part of the challenge is that Super Users have been underserved/not served in terms of knowledge and education resources outside of their company (and in many cases within their company). They have been recognized only within their company but not collectively together with a community at-large. This community was created to provide them an avenue to Connect, Learn, Influence, and Contribute (we call it CLICk). As well, we know that when we bring them together, we can amp up the awareness in the SAP ecosystem and raise them up to an expected best practice, bringing value that companies don’t even know they can get.
What has been your biggest challenge in starting a super user community?
Definitely the #1 challenges has been getting the word out to all Super Users that there is now a Community for them! They have not been pulling their heads up and looking around for anything outside of their company because there has not been anything for them. So, they have their heads down, doing an awesome job supporting their business and their users. Since the Community is so new, the people who are looking at us are looking with interest but not necessarily pushing that information where it needs to go.
How can companies get involved with the super user community?
Become a member. The cost of an annual membership is $99/person. They easily get a return on that investment by participating in free tips & tricks, discount to annual conference, and reaching out for help they need. They can get involved in the conversations on LinkedIn. We have a group, SAPinsight, that gets good discussions. We encourage members to ask for content as well as conversations with Super Users from other companies in helping to solve a problem, or learning to do something they didn’t know was available. As more join and contribute, more opportunities and content will come forward.
When is your next event for the super user community?
Our annual conference is in Dallas, October 14-15, with the Super User Leader Workshop on October 16 during the ASUG Dallas Ft. Worth Chapter Meeting where we will extend Super User tracks into that meeting. We also have weekly 15 minute Tips & Tricks web demos. We call this Tip Day Tuesdays. These are recorded for our members to view and access the associated instructions.
How often do you hold events? We have events weekly. Check our calendar to keep current.
Can we attended remotely or are your events in person?
We definitely have many remote events. Our Annual Conference does not have a virtual conference component yet, but we are actively looking into that, as well as bringing the conference to other areas of the country.
Tell us your secret sauce – what keeps people coming back to the community?
Content and relationships. They want content that meets their unique needs, content and conversations that will help them do their job better and give them something useful to share with their users. We have to help them be as SUPER as possible. They want to connect with people who “get them.” As well, we are creating new career paths in the market place. I fully expect that within 5 years you will see companies posting jobs for Super Users (certified) and Super User Leaders. This is truly exciting stuff!
If I was a company interested in starting a super user program, what would you advise?
Contact Ginger! This isn’t a sales pitch here, this is having the unique opportunity to get exactly the help you need. I would tell them not to do it alone. I can get them connected to the right people who will help them every step of the way. We have a Leader Board that is always open to providing insights. I would tell them, “Don’t do it on your own. There are so many people now that you can tap on and learn from. They can help you do it right, and fast track your success. Networking doesn’t cost cash!”
Are there any best practices you can share?
Yes! Under the umbrella of SAPinsight, we do have a Super User Model called the SUPER© Model. It is a balanced performance model. It was developed over the last 15+ years as a way to build a high performing sustainable community. We are working with our Leader Board to build this into the industry leading best practice model.
Do you offer services to help companies that want additional assistance?
Yes, most definitely. My job is to help a company get exactly the help they need, whether it is through networking, content, consulting support. This is a very exciting time for Super Users!
What are the most common challenges in creating a super user program?
First, quit thinking about Super Users as a project structure. This should be project agnostic. Once past that, Strong Executive Sponsorship is the number one challenge.
2. Getting the right person to lead the program.
3. Getting functional management to agree to their people participating.
How are you seeing companies address these common challenges?
Now that SAPinsight is here, they are reaching out to network with others who have already been down the path. They are learning a lot from each other. I see companies now starting to invest in their program as an entity by assigning leadership. Some are even hiring this talent into their company. The talent pool will only grow from here.
What don’t people know about your company?
Well, first, there are so many people that don’t even know we exist. Once they know we exist, they “get” that we are a networking community and that we have content and events within our membership. What is not so obvious is that they can use us as the portal into which they can get any level of support that they need. That can be anything from gaining access to the SUPER Model upon which to either build or restructure their program, to consulting help in building or refreshing their program, to helping with internal workshops, to advice, and more… There is a lot of support at their fingertips! We are the portal to Super User everything. I have had people referring to me as the “Godmother of Super User,” LOL! The important thing here is that I bring many years of practice into this community, lots of credibility. This is the real deal.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
To leaders I would say, “You have Super Users by default or design, which one do you want?” Whether you organize and recognize them or not, you have them. Better to organize and govern the support to your business. The returns are amazing. If leaders are still not convinced, I would tell them they have nothing to lose by giving it a try. One compelling thing that brought me to where I am today with this Community, is the passion of a Super User. The people that endure in these communities (whether formal, informal, or self identified) are very passionate about helping their users and their company be the best that they/it can be. They have amazing ideas for improvements that can go un-heard and un-realized. More progressive companies are tapping into this resources as way to take ownership of the business improvements.
What was the last book that you read?
WOW, I haven’t really had too much time for this lately! I pulled out my old copy of Beyond Reengineering: How the Process Centered Organization is Changing Our Work and Our Lives by Michael Hammer. It has highlights and notes everywhere. This is a great read to generate process improvement thinking. A team could do this together. These days, I spend more of my time with microreading/microlearning – taking 15 dedicated minutes to read an article, a page, etc… that is relevant for the challenge of the week.
Would you suggest it to others?
Everyone is so crazy busy these days with how lean companies have become. I would suggest that everyone commit to reading 5, 10, or 15 minutes each day. I started this by picking up a book and committing to read 1 page per day. It might sound crazy, but it kept me reading, and I could focus on that 1 page of learning. Consuming business books can be overwhelming when you are trying to fit it in with everything else in our hyper-busy lives. I say, create a reading model that is realistic for you, and stick to it or tailor as needed.