Super User programs: Where do I begin?

Whether you have an existing Super User program or are just starting to build one, the first question most people ask is “Where do I begin?” Too often, organizations jump immediately to the area that I recommend become one of the LAST areas to address, which is “structure.” (To whom will this program report? How many Super Users do I need? How will I need to reorganize people?)


Before you worry about these questions, start with a baseline assessment of your Current State of support. You need to answer the questions: “How do our end users obtain SAP support today? If they have a problem or question, what path do they follow to obtain help?”


Keep in mind that there will be multiple paths and channels used by your end users. Even within one department or group, employees will probably use several means of obtaining assistance. Don’t guess about this or base your assessment on heresay. Instead—go to the source by randomly interviewing various employees as well as managers and supervisors. You might want to “shadow” some of your employees to get a better sense of what a “day-in-the-life-of Tom End User” is really like.


It’s important that this not appear to be a witch hunt where you’re trying to identify “bad” behaviors. Instead, position this as a means of gathering knowledge about how things are being done today, with the intention of trying to find a way to make support easier for both the end users as well as your SAP team.


As you conduct these interviews, you will discover that some employees automatically walk down the hallway to “Joe” or “Mary”—and ask that individual. Others may call the Help Desk. There are those who will contact someone they know who is (or has been) on the SAP implementation team. Perhaps some employees actually use the documentation you provided them during training (Yes, I know…highly unusual—but once in awhile we luck out!). Some may choose to approach the manager or supervisor, perhaps not to get help as much as to whine for awhile…after which they decide they then need to find a source who can actually assist them. Bottom line: you want to get a clear picture of every possible way that your end users seek help today.


Physically, map out all of these avenues and paths that employees are currently taking. You can use software or paper—it doesn’t matter. What you need to produce are objective “snapshots” of today’s Current State of support that accurately reflect the various behaviors and patterns that  exist among your end users today. In addition, you will begin to uncover (if you don’t already know) attitudes and dispositions of your end users related to your systems and operations. This will be valuable information to apply to your change management strategies that you will develop as part of your implementation strategy later down the road. (More on this in future blogs.)


In my next blog, I will talk about how to get your arms around options for the new-and-improved support path you want to implement and how you use these Current State maps as part of that process.

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