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Boost Your Workforce and the Value of Your IT Investments

by Jan Meyer | SAPinsider

July 1, 2013

When budget cuts need to be made in business, it’s often the training budget that ends up on the chopping block. These cuts actually end up costing more in the long run since well-trained teams deliver more value from enterprise applications. So it is important to make sure you have training tools in place that effectively and efficiently train your workforce while providing a return on investment. Read this article to see how SAP Workforce Performance Builder can help you reach these goals.

No matter how advanced or powerful an enterprise application is, companies can’t fully benefit from it if users don’t understand its features or how to use it properly. Research shows that well-trained teams deliver more value from enterprise applications than untrained teams. An IDC survey by Cushing Anderson found that projects that met most or all objectives included team members with 40% more training than projects that failed or partly met objectives.1 According to Anderson, passably trained teams achieve only 30% of objectives, which hurts business performance.2

When budget cuts need to be made, it’s often the training budget that ends up on the chopping block. So, as important as it is to make sure you have training tools in place, it is equally important that these tools enable effective and efficient training that will show a return on investment.

Improve Worker Performance

To harness the true capabilities of IT applications and realize their benefits, the workforce needs to use them accurately and efficiently throughout the entire application life cycle. Whether it’s a new software implementation, solution upgrade, or change to a business process, your workforce needs to be able to effectively use the new technology as soon as possible to minimize negative business impacts and maximize time to value.

Most of us are very aware of these requirements. But not everyone realizes how efficient such a holistic, sustainable, 360-degree workforce enablement process can be. It makes it possible for companies to quickly and easily deliver content development, translation, and maintenance for end-user enablement, and to seamlessly answer user questions at the right time and place.

One way to maximize the value of training and improve team performance is by implementing an Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) to provide integrated, in-application, in-context guidance to users when they need it. For instance, when users are working within an enterprise application and are unsure of the next step in the business process, the system can push notes, suggested entry values, or change management information to the users. Users can also request information, all without leaving the application. This enables efficient and effective learning on the job.

Effectively Enable Your End Users

SAP Workforce Performance Builder is SAP’s state-of-the-art EPSS solution for end-user enablement. The solution delivers true single-source capturing, editing, translation, and maintenance of content. It can capture a process once (in the original language) and generate documentation, test scripts, simulations, and advanced in-application help, which provides relevant reference materials and real-time process guidance directly to users when they need it. With one click, the solution also allows automatic translation of content into more than 40 languages. The solution is not limited to SAP applications; it’s beneficial for any software.

In addition, SAP Workforce Performance Builder improves your workforce’s productivity and speeds up process execution. It helps increase user adoption for new applications and processes. Employees no longer have to manually search on several platforms for required reference materials or hints. The solution delivers context-sensitive application-level, page-level, or field-level help to the workforce while working in an enterprise application in parallel.

SAP Workforce Performance Builder contains four components (see Figure 1):

  • Producer: An efficient authoring tool for workforce enablement, which designs, records, edits, and deploys content such as simulations, help documents, and rapid e-learning courses
  • Instant Producer: An intuitive process recorder that provides an easy-to-use, wizard-driven transaction recording utility designed for use by subject matter experts
  • Manager: The platform for collaboration, learning, and performance tracking, which provides server-based content workflow and collaboration features, and project management, basic learning management, and reporting capabilities
  • Navigator: The assistant in the live system, which delivers help directly in the application window whenever the user accesses the appropriate object
The four components that comprise SAP Workforce Performance Builder
Figure 1 The four components that comprise SAP Workforce Performance Builder

    Customers using SAP Workforce Performance Builder have reduced costs for developing test cases, process and training documentation, delta-trainings and localization of user acceptance tests (UATs), and content enablement by up to 90%. These customers also reduced help desk inquiries by up to 60% and reduced the time spent on correcting user errors by up to 40% (see sidebar).

    Since its 2012 launch, more than 410 companies have implemented SAP Workforce Performance Builder, including Pure Fishing, a global sporting goods company, and AfriSam in South Africa.

    Foster Knowledge Development

    Average user competency and minimal training are no longer enough. To get maximum value from your IT investments, you must ensure sustainable end-user enablement and knowledge development. There is huge potential to continuously raise adoption and performance to higher levels of productivity and efficiency. With an EPSS like SAP Workforce Performance Builder as an integral part of your enterprise application and project landscape, you can widen your approach from project-based enablement to develop a continuous, company-wide, 360-degree knowledge development, sharing, and access culture. To learn more, visit


    Jan Meyer ( has more than 12 years of expertise in and around SAP training and knowledge transfer, starting as an instructor, then working in various management roles in Product Management, Service and Support, and SAP Education. In his current role, he is driving new enablement solutions like SAP Learning Hub and SAP Workforce Performance Builder.

    1 IDC, “Survey: Impact of Training on Project Success, 2011” by Cushing Anderson (June 2011). [back]

    2 “Learning via Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS)” (November 15, 2012; [back]

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