By Lisa Ayala,Schlumberger 2015-2017 SAPinsight Leader Board Member.
Executive sponsorship and management support are key to the success of a Super User program. A Super User leader must ensure there are clear expectations of the Super User and the program enables growth of highly resourceful and skilled Super Users through training, communication and continuous improvement. Managing expectations is the primary focus at the outset of a program as the value and benefit of Super Users is realized over the continuum of time. Early wins and success stories paint the picture while working to broaden the foundation of skills and experience for Super Users.
The most valuable and helpful Super Users are those whose business role has them interacting daily with the systems, process and tools in their function and business domain. Individual management nomination of Super Users signifies the belief and value of each person to perform in a highly visible role for the business unit. This reinforces the time commitment for the Super User to rise to the challenge and promote knowledge sharing within the local group. With maturity of the program, Super Users specialize in an area of interest and natural skill, ranging from Support and Training to Testing and Documentation, along with Mentoring. These are all tangible benefits of a fully enabled Super User contributing to the dynamic business landscape, as systems and capabilities grow.
Recognizing leadership, expertise and commitment of Super Users is vital to the program. The Super User network provides valuable channels for Super Users to increase visibility and leadership within the organization. Recognition by both peers and management motivates the Super User to reach even higher and achieve greater value both personally and for the organization. Super Users see the value of their broader network and work together for increased collaboration across business units.
The most transforming aspect to achieve through the Super User program is a mindset change in the way Super Users approach challenges and issues during the course of daily activities. Arbinger’s book, the Outward Mindset, explains the two versions of our mindset; one focuses inward and the other is focused outward. The inward version focuses on our own objectives, while others are objects or obstacles in the way to get what we need done. The outward version focuses not just on oneself, but on others as well. We take into account the objectives, concerns and desires of others, as we consider our own. It is through this outward mindset that the Super User realizes ultimate value to him/herself and to the organization. A vital part of growth and change is in discovering our impact on others.
A high level of engagement and great support from the Super Users along with the mindset change leads to improved business outcomes for the organization. What begins with a single nomination by management, results in the full blossoming of a transformed Super User working with an outward mindset to lead and model change. Now that is perspective!