|Review of Participatory IT Design (Bødker et al. )|
|Review of Understanding Your Users (Courage & Baxter)|
|Review of Observing the User Experience (Kuniavski)|
By Kostanija Petrovic, SAP AG, User Experience – Updated: January 12, 2009
This review takes a personal look at the book Usability Management bei SAP-Projekten, edited by Petra Abele, Jörn Hurtienne, and Jochen Prümper.
Petra Abele, Jörn Hurtienne, & Jochen Prümper
|No photo available|
|Dr. Petra Abele: Consultant for software ergonomics, participatory systems design, as well as occupational safety and health conditions||
Jörn Hurtienne: Consultant for software ergonomics and usability engineering, particularly in the areas of introduction and customizing of ERP software
|Prof. Dr. Jochen Prümper: Author of numerous national and international publications about the topics software ergonomics and usability engineering|
Until now, there was no specific approach available for usability management
in SAP projects and SAP implementation projects in particular.
This book is targeted at decision makers and consultants who implement SAP software systems in companies. The topics covered in the book, such as user productivity, total cost of ownership (TCO), and occupational safety and health conditions are of relevance to many companies.
The book is based on a cooperation project with SAP AG that was conducted by BIT e.V. Bochum, bao GmbH Berlin, and TBS NRW Dortmund.
One of the project's goals was to enable managers and consultants to understand and successfully apply methods of user-centered design in their implementation projects. Therefore, the book includes a chapter on SAP user-centered design, written by two SAP User Experience colleagues.
Based on the Accelerated SAP (ASAP) implementation approach for R/3 systems
and following its five steps, the authors offer an easy to understand approach
to user requirements gathering and other activities that result in a better
user experience of the final system.
For each ASAP phase, there is a collection of selected methods, tools, and activities that will ensure the overall usability of the implemented system.
Here is an overview of the ASAP process and some examples of how the steps are addressed in the book:
All of the chapters in the book are illustrated with examples from real projects.
In my opinion, this is an important and very useful book, although not always
an easy read.
As a non-expert audience is targeted, the authors introduce all relevant concepts in the beginning of the book. Another benefit of the book is that the authors also provide insights into the legal context of such projects in Germany.
Furthermore, the book has the right amount of information to provide a basic level of understanding for the implementation team. Therefore, it is a good reference guide for German implementation projects. It helps answer the question "What can I do at this stage?" and it also helps to understand at what stages in an implementation project expert’s support is needed.
Regrettably, the book was only published in German, so it is limited to a German speaking audience. As SAP is a globally operating company, meaning that our customers are everywhere in the world, it would have been useful, if more international terms were used in the book and, even better, if it were written in English (which would, however, require that also international legislation is covered). But leaving theses gripes aside, I can and would like to recommend the book to my (German) colleagues from consulting.
Note: The book contains a chapter, SAP User-Centered Design-Prozess, written by SAP User Experience colleagues Ulrich Kreichgauer and Gerd Waloszek.