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SAP Fiori Difficulty: Are Your IT Engineers Also Designers?

For decades your IT engineers department has been turning out beautiful, intuitive, and easily learned applications. Your business users cheer each new release, as the software quickly adapts to their modern lifestyles.

I’m joking of course. I hope I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, but just about all of the software running today’s Fortune 500 companies is the opposite: ugly, counterintuitive, and difficult to learn.

Is a fancy new set of libraries from SAP really going to change that?

Well, it can. I’ve seen it, We’ve built it, and it can be amazing.

But, it can go just as wrong as every other software project has gone. And here’s why:

– Engineers are not designers.
– Getting it done vs. doing it right.

It’s important you understand each of these points.

Designers. I’d love to see every company have a team of truly talented, inspired, and innovative people building software. Oh, the things we could accomplish! The only difference between Fiori, and everything else delivered over years at SAP is good design. And if you haven’t been designing great custom software before now, the same thing will likely happen again. It’s only when you truly appreciate design, the process, the work, and the people — that great things will happen.

Getting it done. Waterfall software development methodology is what we all grew up on. It doesn’t work for good design. Take requirements, jam them all onto screens until tester says we have them all. Move on. Agile methodology can be just as flawed unless the team incorporates design into their acceptance criteria. The hard part is that rarely does truly beautiful design win out over business requirements, stories, tasks, timelines, and deliverables? The same thing can happen with Fiori. And all would be lost again.

In IT, we are becoming challenged every day to stay relevant. I believe if we can learn to truly embrace Fiori, and embrace truly good design, that we can start to really change the role of IT and bring great contributions to our business.


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