January 30, 2012
Personalizations are one of the cornerstones of the Lawson Smart Office (LSO) feature set and they have a place in the toolbox of the clerk as well as the power user. It is true that there are many features in LSO that are rendered irrelevant for certain groups of users because of their lack of technical prowess but there are compelling features that could be leveraged by all users with a modicum of trust and a little on-line help.
The traditional approach to deploying software is to standardize. This ensures that everyone executes processes the same way and the organization reaps the benefits of having defined the “perfect process”. Hiding fields, making fields required, and editing the field labels are all ways of reducing keystrokes or reducing errors and can help drive process efficiency but that is not where this story ends.
End users, technical or not, can effectively leverage features in LSO to drive inefficiency out of the processes that they execute. Because of the ease of use of the personalization features, users should be allowed to experiment with form personalization as a way to make the forms more closely align with the way they would like to interact with them.
There are several features that have been added to personalizations to help justify this added level of trust. First of all, any of the personalization features can be turned on or off for a group of users via the LSO Roles. This feature was added in LSO 9.1.2.
Roles in LSO should be thought of as sets of capabilities as opposed to roles for an organization.
The other liberating feature is the ability to create many views of the same form. This helps in several ways. First, a power user or admin can create views that match the company defined processes. Second, users who are allowed to create views (based on their role settings) can create views and keep the ones that were delivered to them. Third, if there is ever a support issue, a user can create a new view that has no personalizaitons to test if it is the application or the personalization.
The decision to allow users to have more control over their software is not one that is commonly relevant. It is due to the nature of LSO and Lawson’s decision to give the user the ability to interact with their work and their processes in a different manner than is possible with other software applications that make this a relevant decision point in an implementation. Take a chance, give users freedom until they prove that they can’t handle the responsibility. Look to this blog for more definitive ways to deploy freedom from inefficiency in the execution of your duties.