Managing Your User Experience Like a Pro Learning at the Speed of Business

January 2015

www.sap.com/uem-by-knoa

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Learning @ the Speed of Business

You probably think this magazine is just another advertisement for SAP. And, you're partially right. Though, we also want it to help you do your job better, keep you informed, and occasionally make you smile.

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Our theme is Learning @ the Speed of Business. We know change is coming at you from all directions - from your customers, from within your industry, and yes, from SAP®. SAP Education would like to help you find ways to slow things down and make sense of the chaos.

SAP super users are on the front lines, dealing with change every day. Claudia Faerber is one of our resident experts on change management and super users, and she's written about how to take your super user program to a new level. If you’ve ever thought about building a super user program, Claudia has something to teach you.

In any learning environment, as knowledge requirements change it's essential to measure how well learners are keeping up. Learn more about SAP UEM by Knoa, the only end user experience management solution for SAP applications that simultaneously improves both application and end user performance. 

Sincerley,

David Wald

Head of Delivery, APJ SAP Education

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Humans Are Not Robots

Sometimes we’re so enamored of new electronic toys that we let them overrule our better judgment. This can lead to texting at the dinner table, tweeting before thinking, or sharing photos we should have kept to ourselves. New workplace technologies often don’t have the same hold over us, because we approach them differently than our personal technology.

Where is the Fun?

Think about it. We select our personal mobile phone, tablet, service provider, and operating system in response to a barrage of sophisticated marketing campaigns, comparative reviews, and peer advice. Not so at work – where few of us have the opportunity to provide input, choose from different options, or even give meaningful feedback. At home, common automation technologies include timed lighting, programmable thermostats, and security systems with motion detectors, window and door sensors, and even cameras. Less common but increasingly popular options offer remote Wi-Fi control of household devices via smartphones. We tend to approach these new personal technologies as an adventure, a game, or a chance to show off our “geek chic.” We admire the sleek styling of our gadgets and their amazing capabilities. We like displaying them to the envy of our friends. But when was the last time you heard anyone (especially actual users) brag about new enterprise software, supply chain management, or business process improvements?

Preparing for Change

Imagine handing a smartphone to someone who has previously only used a landline and has no friends or acquaintances with smartphones. This person has never been exposed to highly orchestrated ad campaigns and marketing techniques and did not ask for or expect to receive the phone. Then imagine you press this person to use the phone and all its functions immediately. While you watch. And take notes. And critique the process. He or she is likely to react by being suspicious, uncertain, intimidated, and annoyed. Wouldn’t you? Users can’t optimize what they didn’t expect, don’t understand, and have no reason to want. When uncertain, users create resistance, make mistakes, impede progress, and waste an organization’s time, energy, and money. That’s why encouraging effective adoption of new technology – by executives, mid-level managers, other employees, suppliers, vendors, and customers – requires a thorough, relevant strategy for organizational change management. You must create positive expectations before an implementation, build skills during the implementation, and sustain engagement and motivation after going live.

SAP® Education Can Help

Effective change management begins by examining the existing expectations, needs, and attitudes of people involved in the change. It then leverages those characteristics to make change relevant for each individual, role, or group.

Using the SAP User Experience Management application by Knoa, you can see whether users are performing tasks correctly and quantify the specific results of new technology.

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Reduce Your Support Costs

User Enablement Delivers Cost Savings

Developing a learning culture can reduce the cost of support dramatically, allowing vital funds to be switched to providing innovative solutions that further your long-term aims.

User support takes up a significant proportion of the IT budget, so it’s not surprising that executives are keen to reduce it as much as they can. Every dollar spent on support is a dollar that can’t be spent on new innovations that underpin future success.

Training, or more accurately user enablement can have a significant impact on support costs. Consider this figure from Gartner*:

  • Untrained or under trained desktop users will cost 5x more to support than a well trained worker

Support is just one part of the equation. Untrained and undertrained workers make more mistakes, which not only decreases productivity but also incurs costs to put them right. Plus, research shows that, as well as making fewer mistakes, trained operators take 15% less time to correct them when they do occur **. Clearly well-trained teams can substantially improve individual and company performance.

Enablement is Not a One-Time Activity

When systems are implemented some form of user enablement is invariably included. Typically it is classroom training and, often it is left to the last minute and rushed. In such cases it is not unusual for individuals to be ‘under-educated’, leading to higher support costs than might otherwise be the case.

After implementation things change. Very often there is a huge collective sigh of relief and further learning requirements are quickly forgotten as project teams dissolve and move on to the next assignment.

But educating teams is not and never has been a one-time activity. Existing staff members change roles and new employees are brought in. As a result, skill levels drop. Applications and business processes change, through upgrades, new regulations, and new business initiatives.

Sometimes the cost of user enablement is seen as an issue. Classroom training, which was cost effective for the large numbers at implementation, is no longer efficient for small volumes of employees. With resources and budgets under pressure, it can be difficult to take people away from their day-to-day responsibilities.

Finally there is the question of mobile and remote workers. Advances in technology are enabling staff to become mobile, and the prevalence of home working, and virtual teams is increasing. Both these trends make it increasingly difficult, and costly, to organize traditional classroom-based training.

Conclusion

As we have seen, holding back on training can be a false economy. A poorly educated workforce increases support costs significantly. Not only that, it costs in terms of productivity and can also negatively impact on customer service, revenue, and profit.

Putting in place a coherent, adaptable learning culture helps to ensure your support costs are minimized and employees remain productive. To achieve maximum impact at minimum cost a variety of tools and approaches will be needed. But the reward is clear – a highly effective workforce that makes fewer costly mistakes, and has a vastly reduced reliance on your Help Desk.

* Source: Untrained Users Cost More to Support than Trained Users, Gartner March 2006


**Source: Skill and Certification: Key to Achieving Technology Value, Cushing Anderson, IDC, May 2008


*** Source: Impact of Training: Functional Excellence Leads to Operational Productivity, IDC #215762, December 2008

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SAP User Experience Management by Knoa

Boosting User Efficiency

Today’s global marketplace demands that you derive the business benefits from your implementation of SAP software quickly and affordably.  Efficient and effective use of SAP software by end users is key to achieving this

By Rawad Khaliffe - Enablement Executive for Software 

One important way you can streamline operations and drive savings is through the efficient and effective use of SAP software by end users. Proficient users require minimal support services and help you realize ROI quickly. And to improve the performance of your users, you need to understand what the issues are.

What are the problems you are facing?

There are a number of questions a company might be facing after the implementation of an SAP system:

  • How can you tell if users are helping you optimize the business benefits you expect from SAP software?
  • How can you identify which people are having difficulty executing transactions?
  • Which transactions seem to be most problematic for them?
  • What does it mean when employees say the system is slow?
  • How can you acquire the concrete facts you need to separate real problems from subjective opinions and take corrective action?

 

The Solution

The SAP User Experience Management (SAP UEM) application by Knoa helps you collect the facts you need to understand how people work and help them reach the next level of business execution excellence. While consuming almost no local computing resources, you can investigate which screens or transactions they use, how long they spend on each, the errors they encounter, and how they sequence their tasks.

SAP UEM thus captures the real user experience directly from the end-user’s environment. Its innovative design allows the application to discover all transactions across the SAP software that your users access. The application then tracks selected actions they take when executing each transaction, along with any performance issues they experience – or create – along the way. SAP UEM automatically adapts to discover any new transactions in their work without requiring any additional professional services. And that’s what makes the application both affordable and scalable.

In addition to gathering information from the user community, SAP UEM provides functionality to aggregate the input and help you analyze it. You gain executive insights at the highest level, as well as problem-solving detail at the lowest level. You can generate reports at various levels for key organizations in your company, including user support, IT support and change management. Where user performance does not match best practices, you can retrain. Where the application itself could do better, you can reconfigure.

Conclusion

SAP UEM accurately measures how each individual executes your SAP solution. Then it consolidates and sorts the information based on user attributes such as role and location. Comprehensive reports and alerts, including business intelligence drawn from SAP BusinessObjects™ software, provide you with actionable insight into user performance.

Next Steps

If you would like further information or to see a demo of the software in action, please do not hesitate to contact SAP Education, using the contact details located throughout the magazine.

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Looking for the Key to Quick and Sustainable ROI? It's the End User!

In order to ensure ROI, you need to optimise three key elements: People, Process and Technology. There are many tools to help with process and technology monitoring, and yet there is very little available for people.

Here's an all-too typical scenario. It is 12 months after the ‘go-live’ of your new SAP system. The decision to invest was based upon a sound business case. The management team expected to cut costs, bring innovative products and services to market faster, improve compliance with regulations, and optimize end-to-end execution on core business processes. But, along the way, something happened and the projected business improvements haven’t materialised.

So, what do you say when the CEO asks why the key cycle times have not decreased, or forecast productivity gains have not been realised, when costs are still rising, and business agility is still hamstrung?

ROI isn’t real until it’s realised.

Three key factors drive ROI from your SAP applications: an efficient infrastructure, optimization of the SAP application for your environment, and effective end-users. People, Process and Technology -- the simultaneous optimization of all three is the key to success. But, what do you really know about your end-users?

  • Have employees adopted the applications?
  • Are employees actually using the right transactions to execute the business process?
  • Are system problems and slow performance impacting end-user productivity?
  • Are the employees efficient, or are they making significant errors?

 

Effective end-user performance is critical to realising ROI, but few companies have implemented a comprehensive end-user management program. Why not?

Illuminating the end-user "blind spot"

Until now, there's been a real gap in the toolset that's available to manage the performance of "people, process and technology" working together.

Traditional process management tools track process execution, but cannot pinpoint the root cause of performance shortfalls. Is it user behavior, user proficiency, or a cumbersome user interface that is extending process cycle times? And the best-of-breed infrastructure and application management tools can only identify factors that impact user experience, or simulate user experience. They cannot measure actual user experience. Are slow transaction response times or application quality problems impacting end-user productivity?

So, until now, understanding end-user experience and managing end-user behavior has required difficult, manual effort. It's been a complicated task involving surveys, observation, off-the-job testing, or tracking calls to the help desk. It's been incomplete and almost always clouded by anecdote, hearsay and opinion.

There is a software solution type that can give you the insight you need to measure end-user experience and manage end-user performance. End-user Management solutions automate the collection of end-user metrics and provide organizations with a global perspective on the performance the SAP applications deliver to the end-users. The most comprehensive end-user management solutions go beyond that to monitor end-user adoption, utilization and performance. This complete picture of the end-user experience and behavior is catching CIO's attention because it can simultaneously improve both application performance and end-user performance, and can help to reduce IT operating costs.

See the Forest and the Trees

The end-user vantage point is the parallax view for performance management. By measuring application performance from the perspective of the end-user you gain insights not available until now. Measuring execution from the end-user vantage point enables you to gain invaluable insight you can use to drive adoption and sustain efficient, effective and compliant application usage. A robust end-user management solution monitors all users and all transactions all the time to give you:

 

  • Application utilization metrics
    Provide detailed information about how employees utilize the applications, including what transactions they are using, how often they are executed, and how long they spend on them.
  • Transaction response time metrics
    Capture actual user-experienced response time for key system transactions, such as navigating between application screens, save operations, and execute operations. With end-to-end transaction insight, you can fine tune application performance at both the system and application levels.
  • Execution “play by play”
    Captures the actual steps in the user’s interaction with the application in a time-synchronized workflow that gives insight before, during and after the transaction.
  • Application and system error metrics
    Capture and report 100% of all errors presented to your end-users so that you can drive continuous quality improvement.
  • End-user error metrics
    Provide comprehensive visibility as to where end-users are struggling to use the applications by reporting the error messages your end-users are seeing, along with complete contextual information about the actions that led to the error
Benefits for the entire team

End-user Management solutions let you see just how well your applications are performing for your end-users and just how each employee actually uses your SAP applications. Dashboards, alerts and comprehensive reporting give you insight you can use to pinpoint training needs, adjust business processes and ensure that your end-users are using the application to deliver all the value you expect from the application.

  • Application Support teams have global error tracking to understand the impact and proactively remediate application and system problems.
  • Application Performance teams have comprehensive metrics of actual end-user response times for all transactions, for all users, in all locations, all the time to quickly address response time issues.
  • End-user Support professionals have immediate visibility into actual user interaction with the application before, during and after the transaction, so they can quickly resolve issues with minimal disruption to the end-users.
  • End-user Training organizations can pinpoint which specific application areas (even which specific users) require additional training.
  • Application and Process Engineering can spot cumbersome work flows and errrors that are affecting end user satisfaction and efficiency
  • Business process owners and executives have actionable insight to drive the highest possible levels of adoption and efficient, effective and compliant use of the application.
Raising the Bar of Performance Management

Peter Drucker, one of the most influential business thinkers of the past century, reputedly said, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” The phrase has become a common business bromide, but at the time, it was the kind of insight that raised the bar for professional corporate performance management. It’s time to raise that bar once again—by delving deeper and measuring the experience received and the performance achieved by the end-users of the enterprise applications that deliver the business results.   

Corporate performance management is all about understanding the difference between what you've planned and what actually happens. If that understanding stops short of the end-user performance, this critical link in corporate performance is ignored, and no enterprise application will achieve its full potential. End-user experience and performance management solutions let your organization realize that potential by delivering an end-to-end analysis capability for an end-to-end corporate performance management strategy.

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SAP Education Solutions for Super User Programs

Running SAP without super users is like giving someone the keys to a new car before they’ve learned to drive. They know what the car is used for. But having never driven one, they wouldn’t know how and where to start it.

We can say the same about implementing software as powerful as SAP. End users need training. They need communications. They need to take test drives. But once they are behind the wheel of SAP, it’s likely they’ll still need a driving coach. They’ll need someone with many hours in SAP who can show them the ropes, help them navigate sharp turns, and talk them through if they get stuck in a ditch, not knowing where they went wrong. Super users are the coaches who make people better drivers of SAP. Last December I attended the first annual SAP Super User Conference hosted by SAPInsight. In most ways, it was like any conference where professionals gather to represent a competency of any kind. What was remarkable was that often, super users don’t attend these kinds of conferences. Looking out into the crowd, I was also struck by how attentive the audience was. Then it hit me. Download the complete article to read more.

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Education Learning Architects

Helping you Transform, Perform & Refine

In this article, Liz Dwyer, one of our Education Learning Architects in the United Kingdom explains how to choose the correct Education offerings to suit your particular needs.

With a solution as comprehensive as the SAP Business Suite, one size really doesn’t fit all. Whatever the stage of your implementation, you will be considering ongoing education for your project team members, end user community, super users, support personnel and technical experts. How do you make the right choices from the range of different education offerings available to you? Liz Dwyer, one of the UK's Education Learning Architects explains how.

More importantly, your organisation doesn’t run to support your SAP systems; rather, the systems are put in place specifically to help your organisation run better. Any education you choose for your SAP communities needs to integrate with your normal business: your corporate goals and standards, your existing education provision, your business drivers and pressures.

SAP Education Learning Architects (ELA) are SAP’s experts in the fields of training, learning technologies, organisational development and performance consulting. A Learning Architect will work with you to understand your organisational pressures, stakeholders, risks and business drivers to help you align your education strategy with your organisation goals, addressing the whole of the Education lifecycle. We can address all aspects of SAP and non-SAP education, to create an overarching solution that’s truly tailored for you. 

An SAP Education Learning Architect understands the requirements and possibilities of each stage of the Learning Lifecycle, supporting learning during a transformation project, extending into steady-state performance optimisation and continuing as the solution is refined over time. Working closely with representatives from your Learning and Development and SAP teams, your Education Learning Architect will help you determine the strategy and plan which perfectly suits your own unique situation.

Transform, Perform, Refine

If you are currently starting or embarked on an implementation or upgrade project, you are in the Transform phase of the Learning Lifecycle. Your Education Learning Architect will work with you to tailor-make education programmes for your project team, end users, support staff and super-users, along with a bespoke plan for your centre of excellence. SAP Education Learning Architects are engaged, for instance, with a key customer in the process of implementing one of specialist industry solutions – making sure that SAP Education delivers the right tailor-made blend of core and specialist learning modules.

During business as usual, you are in the Perform phase, where focus is on managing and preserving knowledge to maximise your investment. Your Education Learning Architect will help develop an individualised strategy with appropriate tools to deepen your organisational knowledge base and make sure that your training and documentation continues to serve your own unique requirements. An SAP Education Learning Architect is currently working with a UK-based manufacturing organisation to review the education requirements for their support centre staff over the coming year. The Education Learning Architect has shown the customer team how, by planning for staff development activities in the medium term, they are beginning the process of achieving self-sufficiency from their support partners and investing in their employees – stopping that post-go live technical brain drain in its tracks!

Closing the loop of the Learning Lifecycle is the Refine phase, if your organisation is starting to consider greater exploitation of your current solutions, and further development of your approach. Factors influencing these decisions are absolutely specific to your own organisation, and your Education Learning Architect will work with you to tailor-make the right solutions for you.

For example, an SAP Education Learning Architect in the United Kingdom has been working with a major international consumer products manufacturer over the last twelve months, beginning with a formalised ‘Problem Statement Framework’ – what was it that the customer wanted to solve? Exploring from this starting point, our Education Learning Architect helped to establish the full context of the requirement, direct and indirect influencing factors and the customer’s own learning and development culture. We designed and implemented a fully bespoke development solution including project team training, end user support and a revolutionary learning needs analysis approach which perfectly suits this complex organisation.

An SAP Education Learning Architect can help you through all phases of your Learning Lifecycle.  Whether you are at the Transformation, Perform or Refine phases, your ELA can work with you to ensure you choose the correct Educational strategy for your needs. .  A truly tailor-made solution focuses not just on what SAP Education has to offer across all areas of learning and development, but also on establishing a deep understanding of your requirements, context and business drivers. If you would like to discuss how an SAP Education Learning Architect can work in partnership with you, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the contact details in this magazine.

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Old Habits Die Hard

aka Make Change Stick

My highway revelation quickly reminded me of a discussion I’d had with a customer at the recent SAPinsider conference. She had asked why end-users so often learn and, theoretically, understand the new tools they’re given. They seem to recognize that the new processes are making their jobs easier, faster, and more productive. Usually, they are interested and even motivated. But somehow, after the initial learning period, they drift back to the old ways of doing things.  

It’s not obstinance. It’s not even a conscious decision. It’s simply the pull we all feel toward our comfort zone. Especially when we are facing deadlines, distractions, performance measurements, or any of the other pressures that most workers encounter daily in their jobs.  

That’s why managing change means more than creating initial changes in behavior. Implementing a new process is fairly easy. Making the new process so comfortable that it displaces the old, that’s where real change management comes in. What makes it 'stick'.  The goal is to convert the change into second-nature behavior, a habit – to create a new, lasting comfort zone.  

That’s the only way to get safely to our intended destination.

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Managing Your User Experience Like a Pro
Learning at the Speed of Business
January 2015

Solutions is published by SAP. Information is correct at time of going to press. © 2014 by SAP. All rights reserved.

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