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SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – How SAP Business Roles simplify deploying SAP User Experience

This is the 2nd blog post in our SAP S/4HANA RIG blog series on SAP Business Roles and catalog design. Find the first blog post and an overview of the series in SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – Understanding Business Roles.

As you have seen explained in blog post Understanding Business Roles, SAP Business Roles are template selections of SAP Fiori apps, classic user interfaces (UIs), and the navigations between them.

SAP Business Roles also provided a default selection of home page (SAP Fiori 2.0) or pages (SAP Fiori 3) content for the business user.

Once you have understood the concept of SAP Business Roles, you will find they are very useful for setting the granularity of UX tasks in your SAP S/4HANA project:

  • For a new implementation of SAP S/4HANA
  • For a system conversion from SAP ECC (SAP Business Suite or Suite on HANA) to SAP S/4HANA
  • When upgrading from your current SAP S/4HANA release to a higher release, e.g. from SAP S/4HANA 1610 to SAP S/4HANA 1909 FPS02
  • In Continuous Improvement projects to introduce new business value in your current SAP S/4HANA release.

Because the tools that help you do this have been released over time, this blog post and the next blog post aim to bring together a short summary of the best practices, tools and references to get you started.

In this blog post you will learn how SAP Business Roles simplify deployment.  In the next blog post of the series you will learn how the business roles concept simplifies refining your own custom roles.

This diagram gives a quick explanation of the major tools and the overall flow of deployment – from exploring SAP Business Roles through to creating your own custom business roles.

In this blog post, you will learn how you can simplify deploying your SAP User Experience (UX) for SAP S/4HANA by using SAP Business Roles to:

  • Scope relevant SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs to be deployed based on your current GUI transaction usage
  • Map your business processes to your business roles based on your desired SAP Best Practices
  • Rapidly activate SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs to experience SAP S/4HANA sooner
  • Explore and fit-gap the new business value of SAP Fiori apps

In the next blog post you will learn how Business Roles simplify refining your SAP UX for SAP S/4HANA.  That is, once you have understood what is delivered as part of SAP S/4HANA you can use SAP Business Roles to simplify building and refining your own custom business roles:

  • Derive security authorizations for your custom Business Roles
  • Build custom launchpad content for your custom Business Roles
  • Organize custom launchpad content for your custom Business Roles
  • Test your business roles

SAP Business Roles simplify selecting SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs (based on current SAP GUI transaction usage)

All of the SAP Fiori launchpad content for SAP S/4HANA – including SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs (User Interfaces) – is provided in the SAP Fiori apps reference library. There are literally thousands of SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs available for SAP S/4HANA.

While you can just look around the SAP Fiori apps reference library, there are a few accelerators you can use to more easily scope your SAP Business Roles when putting together your business case or in the early stages of your project:

How these accelerators work:

  • Provide a list of your current GUI transaction usage, and these reports will suggest related SAP Business Roles and most relevant SAP Fiori apps within them.
  • You can use transaction ST03N to generate the list of your current GUI transaction usage, just follow the how-to guide or video for the report
  • Each of the tools provides a report which links back to the detailed per app and per business role information in the SAP Fiori apps reference library

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Example: Readiness Check 2.0 SAP Fiori section showing recommended SAP Business Roles based on current GUI Transaction usage

Find out more in:

Tip: Watch out for recommended SAP Fiori lighthouse apps in the accelerators and in the SAP Fiori apps reference library itself.  These are recommended starting points for discussing the new business value of SAP S/4HANA with your business stakeholders. This list is updated alongside new SAP S/4HANA releases, so you can check for the latest and greatest apps that deliver new business value each time you upgrade. This short video Lighthouse apps explains how to use the SAP Fiori lighthouse scenarios with your business stakeholders.

SAP Business roles simplify mapping business processes to business roles

If you are doing a new implementation of SAP S/4HANA, or taking a digital transformation approach to improve your business processes, your best starting point for scoping business roles and associated SAP Fiori apps is the SAP Best Practices Explorer.

Select the best practice scope item for your desired business process, and you will be given advice on how to map your to-be business process to your to-be business role.

You can see this exemplified in any or the SAP Best Practice business process scope items for SAP S/4HANA, e.g. Accounts Payable (J60)

In the related process swimlane diagrams, the main and sub flows show you that the relevant SAP Business Roles include:

  • Accounts Payable Accountant
  • Accounts Payable Manager
  • Cash Management Specialist
  • Cash Manager
  • Accounts Receivable Accountant

In addition, the needed SAP Business Roles are listed in the associated Test Script as you can see in the example below.  The list of roles even includes SAP Business Roles needed to configure the process, such as Administrator and Configuration Expert – Business Process Configuration.  There is even a reminder that these SAP Business Roles are templates you can use to create your own custom business roles.

The Test Script also gives you:

  • Purpose and expected outcomes of each main or sub process
  • Further details on which process steps are performed by which roles
  • Details on which SAP Fiori app or classic UI are used for each process step
  • Detailed step-by-step examples of user actions to be performed by each role
  • Detailed process configuration examples

SAP Business Roles simplify activating SAP delivered content for the SAP Fiori launchpad

Once you have scoped your SAP Business Roles and are ready to explore SAP S/4HANA in your sandpit system, you can use SAP Fiori rapid content activation to accelerate activating your selected business roles.

Rapid content activation provides 2 main task lists:

  • Once-off set up of your SAP Fiori Foundation, i.e. your SAP Fiori launchpad, Embedded Analytics engine, Enterprise Search connectors, etc.
  • Repeatable activation of SAP Business Roles, including all the related SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs.

You use SAP Fiori foundation task list if you are doing a new implementation of SAP S/4HANA or doing a system conversion from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA.

The SAP Fiori foundation task lists is updated in each release and Feature Pack Stack with the latest best practice performance and configuration settings.  If you are upgrading from your current SAP S/4HANA release to a higher SAP S/4HANA release, while you usually do not need to run the Fiori foundation task list again, it’s worth checking the SAP Fiori foundation task list in your new SAP S/4HANA release.  There might be some specific tasks you want to run individually to take advantage of these new settings.

Once you have your SAP Fiori foundation in place, you can active new business roles using the role content activation task list.  You can activate business roles en masse or individually.  This lets you manage the scope and pace of organizational change appropriate to your organization. For example, you might want to activate all roles for Finance and Procurement as those are in scope for your system conversion, then activate additional roles for other Lines of Business as part of a series of Continuous Improvement Projects after your initial SAP S/4HANA go-live.

Activating the SAP Fiori foundation and all of the business roles en masse takes less than a day.  You can find detailed explanations and videos of the end to end technical process, including transportation between your DEV, QA, and PRD environments, in these blog posts and blog series:

IMPORTANT: You can only use Rapid Activation if you have deployed your SAP Fiori frontend server in embedded mode.  If you are using standalone(hub) mode, follow the advice on alternative approaches in SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – New Rapid Content Activation on SAP S/4HANA  Part 4: Customizing & transporting your activated business roles

SAP Business Roles simplify exploring and fit-gap analysis of SAP S/4HANA

Whether you are a business stakeholder or a functional consultant, the best way to experience SAP S/4HANA is the same way your business users do – via a business role.  Using business roles for exploration and fit-gap analysis gives you a clear understanding of how SAP S/4HANA will fit to your organization’s people and processes.

Rapid content activation simplifies exploration by optionally generating a test user for each SAP Business Role, with the test user id aligned to the business role name itself.  This gives you a starting set of test users that your business stakeholders, functional consultants, and technical consultants that you can use for process workshops, fit-gap analysis, and even troubleshooting.

By traversing the system through the perspective of different business roles you gain an understanding of:

  • The entry points for different processes and tasks
  • Navigation between related processes and tasks
  • What the user sees and what actions they can do
  • How the user handles urgent disruptions to their current task, e.g. when a notification is received, or when they receive an urgent query about a different process
  • How to make the most of SAP Fiori launchpad features to support productivity such as Notifications, Enterprise Search, and App Finder
  • Personalization options available to improve productivity

During fit-gap analysis you use this to assist you in key decisions and discussions regarding:

  • What’s important to this business role
  • What’s the right pace of organizational change for this business role
  • Where are the boundaries between this business role and other roles in the same process
  • Which SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs will be needed for your specific custom business process and roles
  • How to optimize the layout of the launchpad content for productivity
  • Which personalization options should be highlighted to business users

A good starting point for fit-gap is to review showcase videos with your team such as:

You can find more suggestions in blog post Best UX Resources for Functional Consultants.

Technical consultants should also consider which SAP Business Roles are relevant to them and which should be shared with functional leads and business process experts.  This consideration is especially needed for the SAP Fiori apps that are used to configure/adapt/extend other SAP Fiori apps including:

  • Analytics Specialist SAP_BR_ANALYTICS_SPECIALIST
  • Configuration Expert – Business Process Configuration SAP_BR_BPC_EXPERT
    • This role contains apps to configure and manage the latest new business processes and innovations in SAP S/4HANA, such as Group Reporting, Central Procurement, Manage Workflows for flexible workflow, and F3264 Monitor Situations for Situation Handling

IMPORTANT:

SAP S/4HANA implementations are NOT appropriate for exploring with the well-known SAP_ALL security profile. Unlike SAP ECC, it’s usually dubious whether there’s even any value in creating users with the SAP_ALL profile.

This is because one of your major aims with SAP S/4HANA is to modernize the user experience.  So turning on SAP_ALL is like deciding to explore your first Apple IPhone by installing every single app of the thousands of apps in the Apple App Store. That’s just not going to be a happy experience for anyone!

It’s also worth knowing that assigning SAP_ALL to your profile does NOT assign any SAP Fiori apps or classic UIs to your SAP Fiori launchpad. The only way to assign launchpad content is to explicitly assign business roles.

Next steps after exploring the SAP Business Roles

Once you have explored your selected SAP Business Roles and done some fit-gap analysis to work out what you want to use for your people and processes in your organization, you are ready to create custom business roles.

In the next blog post in the series on refining business roles, you will see how SAP Business Roles help you:

  • Create custom business roles
  • Assign your selected SAP Fiori apps and classic UIs to your custom business roles
  • Refine launchpad content to include custom Fiori apps and your custom classic UIs
  • Organize launchpad content to optimize the day-to-day experience for your business users
  • Derive & refine security authorizations for your custom business roles

Becoming a SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA guru

You’ll find much more on our SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA wiki

Brought to you by the S/4HANA RIG

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