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Recently my colleague Lori Williams presented at SAP TechEd 2013 Las Vegas to a room full of attendees who were interested in a conversation about the performance of people, rather than simply the performance of technology. The topic of user experience management and how it relates to improving visibility into user performance seemed to be a big draw. Lori shared her experience in a recent blog post, and I’d like to add some of my own thoughts on the topic.

Improving the end user experience means improving the business

In the push toward better business performance, we spend a significant amount of time focusing on learning initiatives. A lot of this time is spent talking about how to deliver learning, especially how and when to target training. Certainly, delivering targeted learning content when and where it’s needed, as in the case of SAP Workforce Performance Builder can make a big difference in building user skills and improving time to value on enterprise applications.

But we seem to spend much less time talking about the “why,” probably because we don’t have the visibility to see the reasons specific user skills are lacking. It can be more effective in targeting on-demand learning opportunities and promoting a culture of agile learning when we can see why business processes are breaking down. For example, when managers can see on their screen specifically what the issues are – for individuals and the SAP community collectively – they can quickly identify which skills need to be built up.

Visibility is only truly valuable if it’s comprehensive

It strikes me that when we’re able to gain insight into how users are performing and conducting business processes on SAP applications, the result is greater visibility into the health of the business. Correcting inefficiencies and reducing support costs takes detailed insight to get to the root of the problem. SAP Education offers a powerful user experience and performance management solution called SAP User Experience Management by Knoa which gives managers deeper insight into a user’s performance and related business process performance. For example, customers using this solution have reported that 90% of errors in SAP solutions were user errors, not system errors*.  Understanding these errors, at both a general and detailed level, is critical to providing the appropriate remediation.

We’ve found that information such as the workflow associated with a problem, specific user error messages, and an overall view of where the performance gaps exist, have been difficult to access with traditional application performance management tools. And we know that with a truly comprehensive view of how applications are used, we gain new opportunities for help desks to diagnose the issues and for managers to inject learning initiatives to avoid issues proactively.

We also know that preventing errors and decreasing help desk involvement is possible – just ask SAP customer Johns Manville. With SAP User Performance Management by Knoa, they reduced SAP support calls by over 50% and reduced user error by 27%. Recently, Johns Manville discussed their experiences in a webcast. I encourage you to listen to the webcast and read more about their experience experience here.

An improved user experience and higher productivity is within your grasp. Please check out the resources listed here to find out how.

Related Resources

* Knoa Software proprietary material