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5 Ways to Increase User Adoption in SAP S/4HANA

As with any new technology, user adoption is an essential part of the transformation journey. Digital transformation, if not carefully managed, will eventually fail to give its intended benefits. So, how do customers drive user adoption of their SAP solutions across different parts of their organisation? That is the question we will attempt to address in part in todays’ blog…

Here are five ways to increase user adoption. As with any other recommendation, I don’t claim these to be silver bullets but rather levers that you can use to see what works best for you. 

  • Identify & Engage Key Users Early:  Identifying key users is vital to the success of your transformation initiatives.  Key users are intimately familiar with their departmental processes and SOPs, they also understand where processes can be tweaked, or enhanced to improve the uptake of the user adoption. Identifying these key users and involving them in the design and testing phases will be invaluable. The natural question then is, at what point of the project should you identify these key users? I recommend this activity start during the planning phase when conducting resource management activities for internal/external resources. That way, these key individuals will become custodians and ambassadors of the design and will drive implementation success throughout the project.

 

  • Super User Network (SUN): Super users typically have deep functional and/or technical expertise in a particular domain area and are generally considered experts by their peers. In addition to possessing detailed understanding of their own functional process area, they typically have cross-functional knowledge and relationships.  Super users have three primarily responsibilities:
    • Assist the organization in user adoption of implemented solution
    • Assist in triage and troubleshooting of implementation solution
    • Provide input to business process owners for future enhancements

The Super User Network is generally overseen by the business process owners, who in turn roll up through key stakeholders and a steering committee.  This ensures proper attention is given to the overarching goals, key performance indicators, and strategic initiatives. 

  1. Continuous Monitoring of User Patterns: Consistent and continuous monitoring all too often gets overlooked. Once “go-live” hits everyone is conducting “smoke-testing” to ensure the business can run smoothly, then most everyone is scrambling to triage and troubleshoot problem areas that got overlooked or just aren’t working as intended.  It is imperative that business leaders work with the change management team to monitor how users are interacting with the system, and that they are conducting business efficiently and effectively.  

We all know the term, “habits are hard to break”, and this is equally true with users of new technology.  If something seems difficult or not intuitive, the will fall back upon processes that are familiar…monitoring usage patterns can help identify issues early so minor course corrections can be made without having to completely retrain the user base.

  • Adopt “Standard” SAP Fiori Applications – SAP Fiori applications take the legacy functionality found via transaction codes, and overlaid “persona-based” simple and efficient user experience via a tile/dashboard UI.  The good news is if you are in SAP S/4HANA Cloud you are familiar with this…However if your organization implemented an SAP S/4HANA AnyPremise (on-premise) solution…You may have the legacy GUI or a hybrid deployment with both GUI and Fiori.   

The uptake of user adoption is dramatically increased with the Fiori especially if the dashboards are tailored to the user community.

Note:  As someone who’s lived through this experience multiple times; please ensure the dashboards aren’t cluttered with unnecessary tiles.  If the user doesn’t require the tile/functionality…it should NOT be on their dashboard!

  • Microlearnings using SAP Enable Now Assistant – Microlearnings using SAP Enable Now Assistant ensure that users get the right kind of support at the moment they need it the most.  The SAP Enable Now solution can provide prompts/breadcrumbs  during execution of a transaction, or it can link you to internal project training documentation, or even provide reference to relevant external training curriculum.    

While these guidelines will augment your project implementation plans, I urge peers and clients alike to take a persona-based and human-centric view to implement SAP solutions.  If your people can perform their tasks in a simple, standard, and efficient manner they will be more likely to support your future endeavors.

 Have questions about SAP S/4HANA topics?  Ping me via email at adamanderson@mindsetconsulting.com, or comment below if you’d like to discuss further.

Adam Anderson is Mindset Consulting’s Managing Director of SAP, Managed Services, & Delivery Excellence. He's held executive leadership roles both in consulting and in industry throughout his career and a former SAP Customer Advisory Council member for SAP S/4HANA Cloud and holds certifications as an SAP Solution Architect and Systems Integration & Technology Delivery Lead. His passion is driving business innovation through business-led, technology enabled solutions via a simple, standard, and efficient mindset. Adam lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife and three children, and can often be found ferrying the family around to baton twirling competitions and football games.

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