My name is Brad Braun and I’m the VP Product and App Factory at ConvergentIS. At the next Fiori Makers call on October 11, 2018, I’ll be presenting ConvergentIS’ purchase requisition application. In this blog, I’d like to review our Design Thinking approach we used with our client, Freeman, to develop this application.
ConvergentIS was the first partner in North America to receive the SAP AppHaus designation for our in-house design centre. The AppHaus Design Centre is the perfect space for Design Thinking and design doing, and this recognition from SAP is indicative of how much we truly believe in creating a good user experience for our clients.
Setting the Stage
Freeman is a multi-billion dollar provider of marketing and trade show services with over 75 offices around the world. They needed a new purchase requisition application to help simplify their buying process and provide a consistent approach across their many offices. They had the following issues that we sought to solve and simplify through a new app:
- Creating hundreds of Purchase Requisitions daily
- Difficulty generating purchase requisitions in SAP GUI
- A lot of data entry and re-entry
- Business process issues
Freeman was using SAP GUI to enter their PR’s and manage their approvals. Our goal was to move the entire process to SAP Fiori.
Due to the complexity of the current process and the goal of simplification, we quickly realized we needed to start with a Design Thinking approach. As a result, we headed out on the road to hold workshops across four different locations in North America. Our goals for the workshops were to:
- Understand the entire purchasing process (not just the SAP portion of the process) from the perspective of the end user by conducting user research
- See what was impeding the users from using SAP
- Identify how the process could be simplified
During the design sessions, we created personas and journey maps to gain more insight into the users. We also did a lot of observing to see how they used their current systems and the end-to-end process. We came away from the design workshops with the following key issues identified:
Speed/velocity of UI was not an issue:
- When the required details were in hand, super users were very fast at the actual creation process in SAP
The usability issues were primarily related to:
- Everyone needed cheat sheets
- Accessibility of PR status
- SAP GUI too complex
After the journey mapping exercise came the fun part: Sketching! We created low fidelity mock-ups using markers and whiteboards. This part of the process allows us to gather feedback early on, helping us to identify what may or may not work for the personas. It proved valuable in learning how they might use the actual application we were developing.
From this we moved on to creating mock-ups using Pencil and the feedback tool SAP BUILD. This allowed us to thoroughly test out the key concepts of the application and the process flow with Freeman. This is part of our iterative process we use for designing new applications because it allows us to continually build and improve upon the prototypes.
After the Pencil mock-ups, we moved on to creating a functional prototype in SAP Fiori/SCP using WebIDE. Again, we took screenshots to create a BUILD study to collect feedback. As you can see in the screenshots below, the application is starting to take shape and you can see a few things like individual filter criteria at the top.
After we’d collected, analyzed, and made changes to the protypes based on the feedback, we created the application with SAP Fiori on-premise. The application was implemented in ECC6 and SAPUI5 1.28 for Freeman.
We had such great success with the Freeman implementation that we turned the application into a ConvergentIS product. Our purchase requisition app has been implemented for local and international companies alike.
If you have any questions regarding this project or would like a demo on the application, please get in touch with us. Additionally, you can join us on the next SAP Fiori Makers call. On the call, we’ll present this case in more detail and can answer your questions directly. SAP Fiori Makers is a great learning community open to all who are interested in learning how to create great, user-friendly enterprise apps using SAP Fiori. Interested? Check out our SAP Fiori Makers page to register for the call series.