Terry King clicked on the image of the Rubbermaid
Spacemaker, a storage organizer for pens, pencils and the
like, adding the item to her online shopping cart. It was
her first time using the new SAP business suite to shop on
Rather than placing her order online and then
re-keying the information into a Johns Hopkins accounting
system, which is current practice, King placed the order
and it automatically flowed from the Office Depot catalog
into the new, integrated SAP business software system being
developed for the Johns Hopkins institutions.
"You're getting everything done in one entry," said
King, a project coordinator in Oncology Nursing at The
Johns Hopkins Hospital. "This is neat."
King, under the direction of Hopkins-One's Debbie
Jackson, was in the first wave of end-users getting early
exposure to the new SAP system.
But King wasn't in training; she was part of a
contingent of 105 enterprisewide future end-users going to
headquarters in Mt. Washington in August (and continuing
until Oct. 27) as part of the "user acceptance testing"
process. King and her colleagues are applying the SAP
business suite to end-user scenarios to test the
effectiveness of the system.
President William R. Brody also joined the system
testing at Mt. Washington one day, chatting with the
acceptance testers as they worked. During his two-hour
visit on Aug. 31 to monitor the progress of Hopkins-One,
Brody spent nearly an hour working through one of the SAP
online courses developed by HopkinsOne training staff.
"Clearly this work is vitally important to our future,
and I'm both pleased and overwhelmed by the work that's
required to deliver this system," said Brody, who noted
that the next four months will be very challenging to all
Johns Hopkins employees facing SAP training while
conducting regular duties.
"Our most valuable asset remains our talented staff,
and I know this will challenge them, but I'm confident
we'll be able to do this," he said.
Jayne Spence, HopkinsOne project manager for testing,
said that the goal of the user acceptance testing is "to
validate that the system meets Johns Hopkins business
requirements." Testers like King were chosen because of
their expertise in their functional areas.
The end-users, who will report to Mt. Washington one
to three days per week over a two-month period, will
execute prepared scripts that mimic expected SAP usage
after the Jan. 1 "go-live" date. The process involves 20
scenarios that include more than 4,000 individual steps.
Each end-user operates under the role that he or she has
been assigned for "go-live," so the testing will provide
early experience using SAP and "a leg-up on training,"
As they complete the scenarios, the testers will log
in the results after completing each individual step. The
goal is to know which steps pass and which fail so that any
problems can be addressed before "go-live."
This end-user process is the fourth phase in
integration testing, which determines how effectively the
parts of the SAP business suite work together for the Johns
Hopkins community. The first two phases gave HopkinsOne
staff an opportunity to see the system in an integrated
fashion with human resources, finance, purchasing and
sponsored projects. The third phase consisted of layering
security and workflow onto the system "to make sure that
people only saw what they were supposed to see," Spence
But the user acceptance testing is the biggest step,
she said. "This is what we've been working up to," she
said. "This is the big show. Everything else was a dress
And the end-users are just as excited.
"We've been working with the Hopkins-One team," said
Meghan Carter, administrator for the Krieger School's
Chemistry Department, as she waited to begin online
shopping using SAP, "and we're all eager to finally get our
hands on the system."
Most of the training for the new SAP system will be in
online, self-paced courses, and users will be able to begin
some of those courses next week, when the training schedule
is published on Sept. 18. E-mail notices will alert
employees to the courses they need to take, and when.
Formal classroom instruction for more complicated user
roles begins Oct. 23.
For information about training, see the HopkinsOne Web