Essential Roles for S/4HANA Fiori Projects
Latest Update November 2020: All profiles have been updated for the current SAP S/4HANA releases.
Delivering on the promise of S/4HANA innovations means introducing new UX at scale with broad & diverse impacts on your target audience – including your end users, business process experts, business stakeholders, & IT support personnel. We have too often seen early S/4HANA adopters struggle to find right mix of roles & responsibilities necessary to:
- Centrally coordinate common activities;
- Collaborate effectively across all impacted groups;
- Enable the S/4HANA project team to meet & exceed expectations.
Based on our experiences across many of these early adopters, this blog introduces the roles & associated responsibilities of S/4HANA projects implementing Fiori user experiences.
Just as digital transformation involves more than introducing mobile apps, delivering S/4HANA user experience involves more than simply activating Fiori apps. Core S/4HANA innovations provide strategic impact through: real-time insights-to-action via embedded analytics; enhanced automation; and contextual support. Business users derive immediate value from these S/4HANA innovations through Fiori user experiences.
Delivering User Experience (UX) is therefore a core capability of S/4HANA projects, regardless of the business processes being deployed, the industry solution in scope, or whether deploying Cloud or On-Premise. Based on our experiences across many of the early adopters, S/4HANA projects require new & updated project roles to deliver UX successfully. Including the new and essential role of User Experience Lead who takes central responsibility for ensuring your project meets or exceeds the user experience expectations of your S/4HANA target audience.
To assist customers and partners implementing S/4HANA, we have compiled best practice descriptions of the project roles and responsibilities essential to successfully deliver S/4HANA User Experience. Each role description includes:
- An overview of the role’s key challenges & responsibilities
- How the role interacts with other project roles to deliver end-to-end user experiences
- Need-to-know UX Fundamentals for the role
- Critical & Optional activities for the role depending on project scope
- Recommendations & linked resources for Getting Started
- Recommendations & linked resources for projects with Advanced scope, such as extensions, custom apps, and advanced Cloud-based capabilities
These roles essential to delivering S/4HANA User Experiences include:
- User Experience Lead
- Functional Application Expert
- Analytics Expert
- Basis Expert
- Enterprise Architect
- Project Manager
On S/4HANA projects, your UX Lead takes the central responsibility for ensuring your project delivers a simple, coherent and immediately valuable user experience to the target audience of your S/4HANA project. Your UX Lead acts the central point of contact & coordination for other project roles with user experience responsibilities.
For further insights into the essential Fiori roles and profiles required for S/4HANA projects, see the following link:
Fiori Profiles Essential for S/4HANA Projects
We start with a brief background on how Fiori delivers great user experiences in S/4HANA, and then For further insights
Fiori – Merging the People / Technology / Business
SAP Fiori is a UX framework that brings great user experiences to enterprise applications. Based on user roles and business processes, SAP Fiori simplifies doing business. SAP Fiori is a paradigm shift away from monolithic ERP solutions towards light-weight apps tailored to the users’ tasks. To accelerate the transformation of the world’s digital economy, SAP is using the UX framework to leading technology platforms.
Fiori is all about placing people at the centre of business and technology, leveraging all 3 for the most favorable user experience that delivers desired business outcomes. The following venn diagram articulates where the 3 dynamics merge and where Fiori is clearly placed in the centre.
Introducing Fiori puts greater demand upon the consideration of an end-to-end user experience. This is even more so for those deployments touching a larger user base. Those S/4HANA projects deploying at scale, will demand highly skilled and dedicated UX resources, with the UX Lead a new fundamental role for S/4HANA implementations.
If you are still a little unclear on what truly makes a good user experience, there is plenty of collateral out there, however the following link is a great place to start learning more about making UX Actionable, Engaging, Connecting with Emotion and more:
What makes a good user experience
A successful UX is underpinned with a strongly articulated and easy to understand UX strategy. To learn more about how a successful user experience leveraging Fiori (and more), is more than just some simplified colorful tiles and screens. The following link provides greater insights into the supporting principles, technologies and examples supporting a complete UX strategy.
The UX Lead is a new role for S/4HANA projects. This role is essential due to the volume of new apps and breadth of impact across the target audience. Just as the Functional Application expert considers the end to end business process, and the Enterprise Architect considers the end to end Architecture, the UX Lead considers the end to end user experience. For more detailed insights into the UX Lead follow this link:
User Experience Lead in S/4HANA Profile
The Enterprise Architect is not a new role for ERP projects, however the focus has changed slightly along with the responsibilities and interaction points. Along with the more traditional responsibilities, the Enterprise Architect will be responsible for several activities relating to user experience within the project. For more detailed insights into the Enterprise Architect follow this link:
Enterprise Architect and S/4HANA UX Profile
The Basis Expert is not a new role for ERP projects, however the focus has changed slightly along with the responsibilities and interaction points. It is a misunderstood perfection that the Basis Expert would be the only person taking care of enabling Fiori; this is not correct, the responsibility involves ALL the roles described here. The Basis Expert will certainly need to be well versed with the latest technologies not least of which being HANA and Fiori. The role of the Basis Expert may not have changed a great deal, however their required skill set certainly has. Along with the more traditional responsibilities, the Basis Expert will be responsible for several activities relating to user experience within the project. For more detailed insights into the Basis Lead follow this link:
Basis Expert and S/4HANA UX Profile
The Analytics Expert is not a new role, although we might have previously referred to them as Reporting Leads. The technology, best practices, strategies for analytics certainly have changed. The changes to analytics will be demanding significantly greater and more diverse skills of the Analytics Expert. Insights to action, along with real time analytics, and a great level of simplicity and self-service will all be focal options for the Analytics Expert. Along with the more traditional reporting and data warehousing responsibilities, the Analytics Expert will be responsible for several activities relating to user experience within the project. For more detailed insights into the Analytics Expert follow this link:
Analytics Expert and S/4HANA UX Profile
Functional Application Expert
The Functional Application Expert is not a new role for ERP projects, however the focus has changed slightly along with the responsibilities and interaction points. The Functional Application Expert will certainly need to be well versed with the latest technologies and simplifications, not least of which being Fiori and Analytics. The role of the Functional Application Expert may not have changed a great deal, however their required skill set certainly has. Along with the more traditional responsibilities, the Functional Application Expert will be responsible for several activities relating to user experience within the project. For more detailed insights into the Functional Application Expert follow this link:
Functional Application Expert and S/4HANA UX Profile
The Project Manager is not a new role for ERP projects, however the focus has changed slightly along with the responsibilities and interaction points. The Project Manager will need to ensure the correct prominent focus on UX, ensure the correct activities are present within the project plan and are catered for within the budget matching UX expectations. The role of the Project Manager may not have changed a great deal, however their required insights and appreciation to a new S/4HANA paradigm, methodologies and best practices has. For more detailed insights into the Project Manager follow this link:
Project Manager and S/4HANA UX Profile
Pierre Cassano, S/4HANA Regional Implementation Group
Great to see this released for everyone at last!
FYI - on one of our Australian Utilities projects I am involved as UX Lead right now. With over 600 Fiori apps now available in 1610, there is a real need for leadership in the UX space:
It's a great role for someone with a passion for ensuring digital transformation makes a positive impact on people.
Sounds like you have your work cut for you. Enjoy the experience.
My observations as UX Lead for Australian Insurance Provider embarking on digital transformation with S/4HANA 1610, it is important for engagement for the role from early stages of the Discovery phase of the Project to engage with business users , Technical Teams , Functional experts and deliver a UX Strategy to run through with wider team for enablement.
The project might overlook the User Experience needs for the delivery of the project due to tighter timeframe and decisions can be made which can be only challenged by UX Lead to get the UX needs on track.
As Jocelyn , pointed out there is real need for leadership in UX Space for S4HANA Projects.
Thanks for the blog Pierre. It's worth reminding people that the new UX is a key benefit which attracts customers to S/4HANA and contrary to popular belief it doesn't come out of the box. It's worth noting that UX is not just delivered through Fiori. Screen Personas is another very useful tool in our kit bag and fits many use cases where a Fiori app isn't available and takes too much effort to build.
I see a lot of the UX Lead responsibility falling to functional consultants on smaller projects. Indeed on any project it is an important role, but may be a hard one to convince Customers of.
Hi Derrick, thanks for your comment. It is indeed sometimes hard to convince customers that they require the UX lead role.
However, from SAP side we regard this role as essential for delivering innovation successfully with S/4HANA. The UX lead will have the required knowledge which other functional and technical consultants would typically not have (yet) and hence need to learn from him/her.
Transitioning to S/4HANA requires change management to be successful and the introduction of the UX lead role is one of those important changes.
For conversions there are many other aspects to consider as well: https://blogs.sap.com/2017/12/15/10-golden-recommendations-from-the-s4hana-rig-for-planning-and-executing-your-sap-s4hana-system-conversion-project-successfully/
Hello Pierre Cassano : I need to do organization design for one of my customer. The definition of organization design is to ensure that all users of the new solution have the SAP security roles they need to perform their job, while preventing access to data and functions not needed. Three different types of roles are suggested for end user access as mentioned below. These can off course be changed based on SAP recommendations. Can you kindly let me know where to start from for this activity of Fiori/security roles ? Are there any blog or whitepaper or reusable accelerator provided by SAP.
Functional Roles : tied to business functions and process steps and define the basic role names and transactions.
Technical Roles : further define Functional Roles to add in region, plant, & other restrictions
Business Roles : group the Technical Roles to be mapped to users.
Hi Somraj, there are various blogs and artifacts available, however you could try this blog as a starting point:
Do let me know if you need further details.