If your company either runs SAP, or is planning to run SAP, then you should have a team of Super Users. But what exactly is a SAP Super User? What do they do? What do they know? This article explores what it takes to be a highly successful SAP Super User and how to maintain your SAP Super User network.
A SAP Super User should possess the following skills/characteristics:
- Strong knowledge of SAP and the business
- Ability to troubleshoot
- Testing expertise
- Ability to communicate effectively with technical teams, users and management
- Continuous process improvement skills
- Ability to document processes, functional specifications, etc.
- A calming presence and a high degree of patience
- Care for the success of your company/process area
- Detail oriented
- Adaptable to change
- Love of learning
What Do SAP Super Users Do?
The first thing to understand as a SAP Super User is that you are the first line of support for your customers (your colleagues using SAP). When users need help running a transaction, identifying the source of a problem, or understanding integration points, they turn to you for answers. Super Users are able to filter end user requests and only pass along issues that are truly IT related or enhancements. This will take a solid understanding of SAP, knowledge of your business processes and a great deal of patience. The patience becomes imperative when you are asked the same question for the eleventh time.
In addition to being on the front line of support, Super Users also act as liaisons between business and IT organizations. This liaison role is an art and a highly valued skill among SAP Super Users. Super Users are often the people that write functional specifications. Once a SAP configuration specialist or programmer fixes your problem, you’ll also need to be able to thoroughly test the changed process before handing it back to users. In order to do this, you must understand how to test and make sure the changes you made didn’t impact other data or processes (i.e. something else wasn’t broken while fixing the original problem).
You will also be a major source of training. This training will include updating others on any changes that have been made and training new hires. You must possess the ability to train individuals one-on-one, as well as presenting to a larger classroom. Both skills are essential to the Super User role.
SAP Super Users are required for all phases of your company’s SAP life. You play a significant role during your implementation, providing ongoing SAP support, driving continuous improvements and again playing a key role when your company decides to perform a SAP upgrade or other major project with SAP.
Super Users Are Vital Long After Implementation Is Complete
It is important to ensure you continue your Super User program after implementation. Sometimes companies can fall into the trap of redeploying their business resources back to the business once the project is done. However it is essential that companies protect a percentage of time (10% in stable) to ongoing support from their Super Users.
Inevitably, Super Users retire, quit or simply can’t hold the role anymore. It is important to ensure that replacements and backups are identified early in order to ensure the role does not remain vacant. Companies should also plan to rotate Super Users to ensure knowledge can be spread to more than one person. The overall result of a successful Super User program is higher end-user acceptance and satisfaction.
As organizations and processes mature, tools like SAP Solution Manager can be of great benefit to Super Users. Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) functionality exists to facilitate and automate things such as:
- Documentation of business processes
- Business process monitoring
- Job scheduling
- Change impact analysis
- Regression testing
SAP Solution Manager also provides a common platform to facilitate communication between the business and the IT staff in a structured and efficient manner.
If you are interested in learning more about Super Users or SAP Solution Manager please contact us.