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Part 3: Design Thinking- The Creative Framework Behind Fiori Apps

Last week we launched the first SAP partner built Fiori app on the SAP Store, which also won the SAP & Google apps for work challenge.

Our use case involved a common business challenge found among logistics, pharmaceutical, retail, oil and gas, and construction industries, where enterprise users immediately require temporary resources from staffing agencies for high volume seasonal needs.

All transactions and data flow between the enterprise users, staffing agencies and resources are performed manually. Due to the high volume of transactions and quick turn-around requirements, organizations often hire a HR person to work with the staffing agency for scheduling, time management, utilization tracking and billing. This information is passed between organization either via paper sheets, emails or phone calls.  As a result, companies not only face lost revenue in labour leakage but also increased costs and lack of transparency due to manually intensive coordination.

By using design thinking, we came up with a solution that enables seamless collaboration  between enterprises, external recruitment firms, candidates and regulatory bodies resulting in higher efficiencies and control. As a result all parties can make faster (and better) informed decisions backed by analytics that will improve productivity and profitability.

This solution utilizes the power of SAP Netweaver Gateway and UI5 making it easier to integrate with any backend and provides a responsive/coherent experience on any device. Here are the Fiori design guidelines that we followed for building this app.

Inside View: App Development Process

just 3 days. The design thinking approach uses empathy, visualization, co-creation and rapid experimental approach to  create the solution prototypes in a very short time. It establishes small yet concrete steps to move the innovation journey one step forward while minimizing risks.

During the design phase, we continued to use iterative build and end-user feedback approach to refine the detailed features and backend integration for this app. In just 10 days, we completed the end-to-end development of the custom Fiori app (Labour Cockpit) and submitted it for SAP certification. The overall certification process included a methodical design review of our app by SAP internal Fiori product team as well a detailed technical/functional integration test by the SAP ICC team.

Implementing Design Thinking

Personas and Journey Mapping

Using the design thinking persona based approach, we created the journey map of the business process that provided the cognitive reality of the business process. Rather than using a traditional blueprint approach involving lengthy word documents and excel spreadsheets, the persona based approach helps us create insights and learn about the emotional components of the journey as opposed to just the functional components.

Persona: Recruitment managers (Staffing Firms and Enterprise) require the following:

  • Need to quickly turn around seasonal and urgent resource needs.
  • Ensure that the resources hit the ground running as quickly as possible. Work under pressure
    and time constraints
  • Optimize operational efficiencies and staff productivity.

Visual Mock-ups (Low Fidelity Prototype)

Once the journey map was designed, we created our interaction design using SAP Fiori prototyping kit.  A visual simulation of end-state solution provided a clear understanding of information flow that was crucial for creating a fresh and easy user experience.

Proof of Concept (Low/High Fidelity Prototype)

The next phase included building basic settings of UI framework that could be tested with mock data. This approach enabled us to validate our key assumptions with quick experimentation before moving to deeper cycles of development. This resulted in better risk management, cost control and design alignment.

Iterative Build/Testing (Finalize Development)

As we continued to refine our working solution, we integrated the backend system using SAP Netweaver gateway/ Once we completed all of the integration testing and user documentation, we submitted the app for certification and launched it at the SAP store.

Are you interested in building your own Fiori app?  Or customizing an existing SAP standard Fiori app? Let us know.  A standard Fiori app can be deployed in as early as two days. And a custom Fiori app can be developed in just a matter of 10 days.

Contact me at to learn more and I will personally invite you to an educational session on SAP Fiori apps and SAP UX & mobility framework. In addition, I will demonstrate how we can quickly customize (map new fields etc.) a Fiori app for your needs in less than a week.

Part 1: Why You Should be Excited About Design Thinking?

Part 2: How is Design Thinking Really Done?

About the author: sana.salam

Sana Salam is the president and founder of Sodales Solutions - an award winning SAP certified partner specialized in enterprise mobility, user experience and Big Data solutions. Sana Salam has over 10 years of experience in leading $multi-million engagements across utility, oil & gas, mining, engineering, telecommunications and public sectors. Previously, she has helped many companies across North America rescue their IT investments by reviving struggling SAP projects.

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