Three Things SAP Users Can be Thankful for This Season

For a long time, being an SAP user has had a pretty bleak outlook. There is no doubt that SAP has always been a powerful ...

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For a long time, being an SAP user has had a pretty bleak outlook. There is no doubt that SAP has always been a powerful piece of software, offering enterprises almost everything they need to run almost every facet of their business. HR, payroll, finance, manufacturing, logistics: you name it, SAP has it. But despite its functional prowess, it has not been known for high levels of usability. Often, mentioning SAP to users elicits a grown and a steady list of complaints. This season, however, there are several things that SAP users can be thankful for, and I’ve outlined a few below.

Collaborative Design

For several years now, SAP has utilized the Design Thinking process to build better tools for its end users. In turn, experience-driven companies like Mindset have also adopted this methodology, and have been working together with clients over the years to improve the user experience.

During my first Design Thinking workshop with Mindset, one focused on the needs of field sales reps, I remember a particular comment one of the sales reps made to us after the session. He mentioned he had been there a few years ago when the company was first implementing SAP’s CRM solution and felt that the tool was something that was forced on the users, and didn’t take their needs into account. After the collaborative design workshop, he felt like they were making great strides in giving users tools they could actually use, and that his company was valuing his needs. Giving users the ability to co-create their future has been something we’ve seen have powerful results for both the users and their companies alike.

 

Agile Development

I first practiced true Agile development when I joined Mindset a few years ago. While it may seem like this is primarily something for the development team, I’ve seen it have a positive impact on end-users as well. By aiming to deliver value every two weeks, and demoing the application to the users at regular intervals, the users are always in the loop about what’s being created. This gives them time to offer feedback and reduces change management efforts at the end of the project. With help from the business, the development team can always be focusing on delivering the highest priority features and making things better for the users during every sprint. 

 

Results

When you combine user-centered design processes with agile development, you are able to deliver value for your users. Throughout Mindset’s history, we’ve been able to deliver hundreds of applications across laptops, smartphones, and tablets, helping users complete their tasks when and where they prefer. We have a channel on Slack where we post feedback we get from our users, and it’s been incredibly gratifying to see the impact we’ve been able to have, with collaborative partnerships between our team and our clients. As Mindset’s grown this year, it’s exciting to look back at the projects completed, the users impacted, and be excited for what’s to come in 2020.

Dan Flesher

Dan Flesher

Dan Flesher is an experienced SAP UX Architect and Design Thinker. He began his SAP career as an ABAP developer, and transitioned to a focus on SAPUI5 and Gateway OData service development. In addition to his development background, Dan has a passion for Digital Transformation, and Design Thinking, helping clients with their trickiest challenges. With a user-centered focus, Dan is typically involved in all stages of projects, from design workshops and prototyping, through development and delivery. Dan is a frequent speaker at ASUG and SAP UX events, and contributes blogs and development tips through the SAP UX newsletter and the Mindset blog.

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