Giving Thanks to Our Super User Community! You inspire me!

By Taryn Brown, City of Dallas.
2015-2017 SAPinsight Leader Board Member.

I recently saw an Instagram post that said “Here’s to those who inspire us and don’t even know it!  How many times have people you see from afar or interact with everyday given you that spark to dream, be determined or just support your cause?  There isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t inspire me!

As we approach the Thanksgiving season and with the close of 2017, many of us will begin to pause, reflect on our many blessings and give thanks! For almost two years, I have been a part of the SAPinsight Community and it has been a source of true inspiration. This year has been a milestone as we recently concluded the Superuser Experience Event (SEE17) with a call to a new business imperative.

With the release of “The Super User (R)evolution” book, by Ginger Luttrell (our SUPER Leader) and Michael Doane, at SEE17, the foundation has been laid for companies and Super Users to have the justification and authorization to create Super User Networks (SUN).

An example of one of those justifications was outlined in Michael’s Doane’s keynote and is referenced in Chapter One, “Drivers at Work” of “The Super User (R)evolution.” It highlights what happens when “Alice” (an alias) or any End User is not trained in their “all-important business process role”.

In this scenario, at Alice’s company, sales people entered orders under $10,000 and they are automatically moved from sales to manufacturing and distribution which streamlined the order-to-cash process. Alice was responsible for reviewing all orders over $10K. Because she ran a batch job at the end of the day rather than check incoming sales orders on a regular basis, the large orders were delayed by a full day.

Even though “Alice” was trained to perform sales order monitoring, the fact that she was not processing large orders in “real time” was costing the company millions.

Doane further commented, “To perform in an excellent fashion, end users must know where their role fits inside of a major business process so that they can understand what occurs before and after their contribution. Had Alice been aware of the downstream effects of her holding orders to the end of the day, she would no longer have done so and instead would have prioritized rapid review and approval of orders in order to facilitate on-time delivery and thus avoid penalties.”

He said companies can best address this by teaching users their role in fulfilling business process steps in an excellent fashion. Other remedies, such as generating an email alert to “Alice” when an order > $10K occurred, are less seamless and less reliable than “user knowledge”.

According to Doane, during implementation projects of SAP and other ERP software, project leaders and stakeholders are CONSTANTLY discussing “horizontal business process”. “It is idiotic of end user trainers not to even mention it while providing initial end user training,” he said. “Training should address a) features and functions, b) query functions, c) navigation, and d) each individual user’s role within a horizontal business process.”

As Super Users, you are indeed our link to driving very real business value and ROI (Return on Investment) through business process execution excellence.  Because you “unleash the collaborative forces already in the business enterprise” you are the “go-to people” who are the catalysts for process improvements, while ensuring business continuity; drivers of efficiencies, cost savings, automation, and user acceptance.

Super Users are well-respected, have an excellent working knowledge within a given process/functional area and have a positive influence within the business.  “Additionally, what I find invaluable is your great communications skills, aptitude and enthusiasm for learning and teaching others.”

To our Super Users, Community Partners, Sponsors and Volunteers—thank you for inspiring me!

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