Focusing on training success

Dr Susan Foster discusses how SAP User Experience Management Software by Knoa can be used to ensure users are effectively trained and using the system correctly.

 

Enterprise systems are in a constant state of flux from upgrades, enhancement packs, and business process changes designed to add new functionalities and additional features or optimise business processes by increasing efficiency, effectiveness and agility.

With all these changes, how do you ensure users are effectively trained and using the system correctly?

One way is to establish a set of metrics – more specifically, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs can help you focus on specific problem areas and are useful in defining and measuring performance in terms of meeting operational or strategic goals. In other words, KPIs are a business metric used to demonstrate how effectively a company meets its operational objectives, and to evaluate its success at reaching targets. Framing KPIs in the form of questions that focus on the problem areas at hand is a critical factor.

However, KPIs need to be constructed with a clear understanding of the issues and the desired outcomes. One approach might be to brainstorm an area of concern such as user errors, identify the top five key issues, and focus on these initially. For example, you may have errors occurring with a system or users in a particular department.  Some examples of questions might include:

  • What is the type and duration of system error occurring in the (production area)?
  • What is the average percentage of user error in the (production area)?
  • What is the average percentage of business process error in the (production area)?

If you want to know what issues are being experienced by users and their frequency and location of the issue in a specific application, then the question might be framed:

  • What user errors are being experienced in xxx application?
  • What is the frequency and location of user errors in xxx application?
  • How long does it take users to navigate around xxx application?
  • Are users executing transactions in the best compliant way in xxx application?

Once you obtain and accumulate the statistics, you can establish benchmarks upon which to address actionable metrics. However, this is not so easy. How do you obtain the necessary metrics? Most often, analysing help desk calls is the only way to track and trace issues end-users are experiencing. This is certainly a valid approach and works well to a point, but it takes time and can be a costly exercise to exactly pinpoint the problem. As Peter Drucker said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

How User Experience Management (UEM) software can improve results

A support tool referred to as the SAP User Experience Management (UEM) Software created by Knoa is designed to optimise the performance of SAP applications and of the people who use them. Knoa software is the leading provider of user experience management and workforce optimisation software. You can assess how an application performs for each user – separating real usability issues from opinions – and take corrective action to ensure value delivery you should expect from your SAP software.

Jesse Bernal, a senior solution engineer at Knoa, is certainly passionate about the product and what it can do. Bernal originally worked for Johns Manville, a building industry company in Denver, Colorado, who implemented UEM software to 2000 SAP software users. The company’s main objectives behind the implementation were to increase employee productivity and satisfaction; improve IT response to potential end-user errors before they were reported; install a solution that would immediately notify IT as errors occurred in order to proactively correct them before they impacted operations; and to achieve a better understanding of performance issues providing an opportunity to address them.

The top benefits they obtained were:

  • 17 per cent increase in user satisfaction and improved productivity through accurately assessing and targeting training requirements,
  • 27 per cent decrease in user errors, and
  • 100 per cent reduction in system errors by pinpointing network performance issues.

Amongst other things, UEM software provides a comprehensive workflow monitoring approach to enable drill-down to data on specific user interactions within SAP systems. For example, which fields and buttons were used, when and what was the system response.

One critical factor to the success of the uptake of this software solution is the identification of the end-users. Apparently in Germany, this functionality has been disabled. The fact that individual end-users are being monitored is likely to leave them feeling threatened and vulnerable. To overcome this issue, policies and procedures should be established which outline how interactions with users should be conducted. One way to establish user involvement and buy-in is to ensure end-users are part of the process to establish such policies and procedures. If UEM solutions are going to be fully utilised and adopted, then the establishment of accepted policies and procedures which are viewed as supportive are critical to their success.

If you are interested in:

  • Promoting excellence in the execution of critical business processes,
  • Reducing the overall cost of user training and of IT and support services,
  • Establishing an opportunity for executive-level insight into application usage and policy compliance,
  • Providing a comprehensive workflow monitoring approach so that you can drill down to data on specific user interactions within SAP systems – for example, which fields and buttons were used, when and what was the system response,
  • Lowering end user support costs and reduce help desk calls, and
  • Monitoring user performance,  

then SAP User Experience Software by Knoa is for you.

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:
www.sap.com/training-education/learning-software-svc/learn/solutions/user-experience-mgmt/index.html
www.insidesap.com.au/Market-Insights/knoa-launches-new-executive-dashboards-for-sap-solutions
Case study: Johns Manville: Improving end-user experience with SAP Knoa – www.sap.com/training-education/learning-software-svc/learn/solutions/user-experience-mgmt/index.html

Dr Susan Foster is SAUG Lead for Business Analyst Community and Organisational change and training, and a lecturer in the Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University. 

This article was first published in Inside SAP Summer 14/15 – subscribe to receive our next edition

 

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