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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
Latest Update November 2021: Added the link to blog post SAP Activate – Understanding the UX Adoption workshops

This blog post is currently applicable to the roadmap SAP Activate for RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition. Similar features may be extended to other roadmaps in future.

You want to bring the new business value of SAP S/4HANA to your business users. You know that means you need to deploy the SAP Fiori for S/4HANA User Experience (UX).

So now you are wondering:

How does the UX Adoption process work in context of other project activities such as fit-to-standard and adapting/extending apps?

Even more importantly if - like most customers - you cannot realistically bring all the new UX in one wave...

How can you establish UX Adoption as an iterative process?

In this blog post you will understand the flow of the workshops and how they fit with other project activities. You will find below UX Adoption as an iterative process – the overview diagram

Followed by: The 10 key principles that drive the iterative UX Adoption approach.

These UX Adoption principles are based on experiences from real projects and from conversations with customers about what works/what doesn’t.

Lastly you might be asking, have other customers successfully grown their UX adoption over time? YES!

For example, one of my favourite (and small) New Zealand customers grew from just 12 apps for a handful of user at go-live to more than 100 apps and over 990 users in less than 1 year!

You will find a short summary of successful customer approaches in Experiences from other customers.

UX Adoption as an iterative process – the overview diagram

In the diagram below you see an explanation of how UX adoption works as an iterative process. The UX Adoption workshops are highlighted in blue and bold.

Cycle of SAP Activate phases showing UX Adoption and related workshops and activites of each phase

IMPORTANT: Please note this diagram covers the major activities.  For minor activities, such as taskTransport Fiori Activation, refer to the roadmap using the  User Experience tag as explained  in: SAP Activate – Introducing the User Experience tag

For those who prefer a summary table:

Phase Workshop / Task
Discover Establish the business value of UX (workshop)

UX Strategy and Guiding Principles (workshop)

Scope the Future (workshop)

Envision the Future (workshop)

Activate SAP Business Roles (refer to task Activate SAP Fiori in the initial system)

Fit-to-standard (workshops)

Configure, Adapt, Extend, Build UX (refer to tasks User Interface Design, Enhancement and Development of User Interface)

Design your Launchpad Layout (workshop - can alternatively be executed late in the Explore phase)

Create your custom business roles (refer to the task Create your custom business roles)
Deploy (no major tasks - minor tasks include Transport Fiori activation)
Run Review realized UX business benefits (workshop)

You can also see from the UX Adoption diagram that selecting your UX comes before activating SAP Fiori and before you explore the apps in fit-to-standard. That might surprise you.  But customer experiences show us that it’s more efficient to select UX first.

In some upcoming blog posts you will find:

  • SAP Activate – Understanding the UX Adoption workshops - an overview of each of the UX adoption workshops, e. how they help you drive the conversations you need to have about UX, and

  • a discussion on why it is more effective to select your UX before fit-to-standard when you are managing the pace of change of UX

The 10 Key Principles of UX Adoption

These are the 10 key principles that drive the iterative UX Adoption approach:

  1. Aim to start small and iterate to grow

  2. Discuss the business value of UX early

  3. Agree on your initial UX strategy up front and adjust as you grow

  4. Select your UX before fit-to-standard

  5. In fit-to-standard verify your selected UX aligns to your to-be processes

  6. Consider end-to-end task efficiency

  7. Keep the core clean as you configure, adapt, and extend

  8. Design launchpad layouts that make your users productive immediately

  9. Refine your own custom business roles using SAP Business roles as templates

  10. Retrospectives on lessons learned trigger the next wave of UX Adoption

Principle 1: Aim to start small and iterate to grow

Start small and iterate to grow is a clear pattern of success that can be seen again and again in customer stories and customer events.  This holds true for both very small customers through to very large customers in SAP S/4HANA and even for those who introduced SAP Fiori in SAP Business Suite or Suite on HANA.

By focusing on a small group of users, it’s much easier to understand needs and pain points, discuss options, deliver success, and grow change evangelists to the rest of the business.

Start with users who are eager for change and will therefore be more patient as you build skills.

Principle 2: Discuss the business value of UX early

You need to discuss the business value of UX early in the Discover phase of each iteration. You do this to flush out early high-level expectations around desired business outcomes and desired changes in user’s working behaviour.

Discussing potential value early means you can include those value expectations in your business case and adjust scope, skills, and solution needs based on your high level UX adoption roadmap that you use to guide your first/next waves of UX adoption.

Example UX Adoption Roadmap showing UX Value Goals planned for selected business roles

Principle 3: Agree on your initial UX Strategy and adjust as you grow

A high-level UX adoption roadmap, some initial business expectations, and some default best practices are enough to get started on your UX Strategy. You need to agree on some cross functional fundamentals to keep your user experiences coherent and narrow the technical scope such as:

  • UX entry points (local launchpad, SAP Launchpad service, SAP Business Client, SAP Logon)

  • Types of mobile devices and access channels (Internet, VPN, or intranet access)

  • Cross functional launchpad features (Search, Notifications, User Assistant, Personalization, Corporate theming, Accessibility options, etc.)

Principle 4: Select your UX before fit-to-standard

In the Prepare phase, you select your target UX before fit-to-standard. Essentially, you need to be aware of what UX options are available to you before you go into the process discussion.

You raise awareness of generic possibilities, such as self-service personalization and in-app extension options.  You start shifting mindsets from old to new to ease the fit-to-standard evaluation process.

You narrow down which SAP Business Roles need to be activated so you can explore them in detail alongside your process use cases in fit-to-standard.

Principle 5: In fit-to-standard verify your selected UX aligns to your to-be processes

In the Explore phase, you use fit-to-standard to do a deeper verification to confirm your chosen UX aligns to your to-be processes and your specific use cases.  This includes reviewing the available personalization and in-app extension options for your apps for quick ways to fill any identified gaps.

Principle 6: Consider end-to-end task efficiency

Most functional consultants and business process experts will automatically consider process efficiency.  But to really change user behaviours fast you need to consider end-to-end task efficiency.  You want the end-to-end task to follow the path of least resistance.

You will need to capture app-to-app navigation points as you evaluate, including dynamic navigation points from SAP Fiori apps to classic UIs such as GUI transactions. Users should feel the next logical step is only 1 click away. That makes sure your launchpad content is complete and ready for creating custom business roles (see principle 9).

Principle 7: Keep the core clean as you configure, adapt, and extend

In the Realize phase, you configure, adapt and extend apps where needed.

Most SAP Fiori apps do not require any additional configuration. If the process is configured, and data exists, the app works.  There are always a few exceptions, where you need to check the app documentation.

With extensions your aim is to keep the core clean to minimize future roadblocks and maximize opportunities to take advantage of the latest business and technology innovations. Refer to Custom Extensions in SAP S/4HANA Implementations - A Practical Guide for Senior IT Leadership

Principle 8: Design launchpad layouts that make your users productive immediately

The launchpad home page is the first impression of SAP Fiori for users.

A good default launchpad layout per business role gets immediate UX Adoption buy-in from your business users by showing you understand what they do.

A good layout makes immediate sense to your business users in their business roles(s) and makes sure they are productive from first login.

Principle 9: Create your own custom business roles using SAP Business roles as a starting point

The fastest and safest approach to business role creation is to start from a fully working SAP Business Role and remove any apps you don’t want, then add anything extra such as your custom apps and your launchpad layouts.

Think of it as like building from a kit home rather than architecting a house from scratch.  If you would like a deeper discussion refer to blog post SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – Creating your custom business roles – the end-to-end process and video p....

Principle 10: Retrospectives on lessons learned trigger the next wave of UX Adoption

Managing the pace of change means following through on your roadmap.  That means once you deploy and start to run your new UX you need a trigger for the next wave of UX adoption.

As a minimum, set a review point to capture lessons learned and discuss whether anything needs to be adjusted in the current deployment as you bed in your new UX.  Then discuss which business users will be next and why.

Experiences from other customers

In SAP S/4HANA Customer Care we have seen all customers from very large to small, and all sorts of approaches that have worked successfully including:

  • Big bang with more than 450 SAP Fiori apps introduced on day 1

  • Slow and careful growth with some quick wins

  • High value innovation first

  • Focus on mobile first

  • Focus on real-time analytics first

  • Using upgrades to kick start significant uptake

The takeaway is that you can start wherever you want so long as you are pragmatic about scope, skills, and capacity for change.  The sooner you get started, the quicker the time to value.

Find out more about SAP Activate in the SAP Activate Community

Visit your community topic page for SAP Activate and community topic page for SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA 

Other helpful links in the SAP Community:

Brought to you by the SAP S/4HANA Customer Care and RIG.

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