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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