Super Users in Practice: A Case Study

A short presentation

The company where the study has been made had its ERP system implemented around 10 years ago. For the implementation, a network of Key Users was created. As this was project-oriented, it ended once the project was completed. However, when one of its Shared Service Centers had its location transferred in 2014, the role was reprised in some departments, this time not related to a specific project.

In 2015 and 2016 I conducted a study in this Shared Service Center, comparing 6 of the departments of the Shared Service Center, and with other process experts, we measured BPM Maturity using the BPM 6×5 Model.

This model basically details 6 main Maturity factors in each of the 5-level CMMI maturity scale. Each Maturity factor is composed by 4 or 5 areas of capacitation. Each unit being evaluated (in this case, each department receives a grade from 1 to 5 in each of the areas of capacitation, indicating on which level of maturity this department measures. The result represents the average of the areas of capacitation for each Maturity factor. The final number is the average of the levels of the 6 Maturity Factors.

In the study, the six evaluated departments were similar in many respects: they were transferred to the new location at the same time, had similar interaction with internal and external customers, are part of the same macro-process (Order-to-Cash), and its employees were mostly locals and approximately of the same age (about 30 years-old). The main difference between the departments was that four of them (A to D) had Super Users and two (E and F) did not. The results of the research are astonishing.

Results

The Table below represents a summary of the results, which consists of the evaluation of each department for each of the Maturity Factors.

Figure 1

The following table shows the detailed uncombined results.

Figure 2

Departments E and F demonstrate lower maturity than Departments A to D, not only in overall maturity factors, but also in each of the areas of capacitation. The Maturity Factors in which Departments E and F are closer to A to D are Methodologies and Technology, which makes sense, since all are using the same ERP system and the processes are managed by the Process office on a Global level.

Contrasts are greater in the People and Culture category, ranging, in one instance, 92 between the higher rate and the lower. Departments A to D are already way ahead, and could grow even more if the other Departments did not have the effect of pulling them back. Departments A to D have a higher knowledge of the processes they perform, higher willingness to assume initiatives related to processes, and capacity to react to changes in processes. The fact that the Departments A to D are in level 4, both in “Attitudes and behaviors from processes” and in “Attention given by the leadership to processes” is very positive. This shows that not only the understanding of the benefits of BPM is internalized by both team and manager, but that it effects peoples’ behavior and is reflected in their working habits.

This analysis indicates that Departments E and F are not at the same level as the other Departments because they lag in the People and Culture category. This confirms that Super Users have an impact on two Maturity factors:–changing people’s mindset and creating a process-based continuous improvement culture, and this takes the Maturity in BPM to a next level.

Our next Articles will focus on aspects of the Super User role that impacts the organization’s culture.

References

  1. Rizoto-Vidala-Pesoa, L. M. The Super User Role: An Extended Concept, 2018,
    BPTrends, https://bptrends.info/the-super-user-role-an-extended-concept/
  2. Rizoto-Vidala-Pesoa, L. M. The Super User role as a tool to progress in
    maturity in Business Process Management–a study case of Cabot Latvia. Master thesis, University of Latvia, 2017. https://dspace.lu.lv/dspace/handle/7/36320
  3. Rizoto-Vidala-Pesoa, L. M., Kuz̧ecova, O. The Role of the Super User in
    Achieving Business Process Management Maturity. Information Technology and Management Science. December 2017, vol. 20, pp. 74–78. https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/itms/20/1/article-p74.xml ©2017.

Laila Māra Pesoa

Laila Māra Pesoa is a process and knowledge management expert with a focus on organizational learning and continuous improvement. Having started as CAPM certified by PMI (Project Management Institute) and graduated in Business Administration in lbmec Business School, Laila developed for her final Bachelor's project the Model BPM 6x5 (BPM 6 by 5: a self-assessment model to measure and develop action plans for the company to grow in Maturity in Business Process Management (BPM)). However, her focus has gone beyond structuring the company's processes. By combining concepts of BPM, Knowledge Management, and Project Management, she works to enable the company's growth in Maturity in Business Process Management by developing on people a knowledge-sharing and process-oriented mindset to enable and strengthen a Continuous Improvement culture. This approach has led to the creation of the consulting firm Process-U (Process-u.com). Her Master's studies at the University of Latvia in Strategic management & Leadership concluded with a Master's thesis proposing the use of the Super User role (both process and knowledge specialist) to enable the company's growth in maturity in Business Process Management. Now Laila is an ambassador of the Super User concept, and part of the Leader Board of SunSource (https://www.sunsource.io/), a community dedicated to Super Users and their leaders. This goes hand-in-hand with her experience in systems development. In Cabot Corporation, Laila had a key role in the upgrade of the company's ERP system by supporting testing, progress follow-up, quality control of testing evidence, and improvement of testing scripts master for all company's process areas. Laila has led projects both in non-governmental associations and companies, in Brazil and Latvia, on National, European (Erasmus+ projects), and Global levels. She is fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Latvian.
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