From User Practice to ERP Customization: Reversing the Process

  • Daniela Fogli
  • Loredana Parasiliti Provenza
Conference paper


ERP systems are complex software packages, generally composed of a core part and a set of modules to be customized according to the company’s characteristics, needs and target market. However, ERP system customization is often a critical problem because it is usually carried out by “shaping” the company and its business processes according to a predefined ERP model, rather than vice versa. As a result, company’s managers and employees using an ERP system are often forced to reason about and work in some way different from what they are accustomed to. Such a situation frequently leads to ERP failures. This paper advocates the adoption of HCI methods to address these problems. Specifically, the paper presents an approach to ERP customization based on user-system dialogue specification and participatory design, in order to allow ERP users to participate in creating the interaction experience they would like to live with the system.


Business Process Domain Expert Participatory Design Enterprise Resource Planning Visual Language 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors wish to thank Piero Mussio for his contribution to the approach presented in this paper. This work capitalizes also on the collaboration with Maria Francesca Costabile and Antonio Piccinno, who are herewith acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    Topi H, Lucas W, Babain T (2005) Identifying usability issues with an ERP implementation. In Proceeding of the ICEIS 2005, Miami, pp 128–133Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Matthews D (2008) Usability as an ERP selection criteria, IFS white paper.
  3. 3.
    Singh A, Wesson J (2009) Improving the usability of ERP systems through the application of adaptive user interfaces. In Proceedings of the ICEIS 2009, Milan, Italy, pp 208–214Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Soh C, Kien SS, Tay-Yap J (2000) Cultural fits and misfits: is ERP a universal solution? Commun ACM 43(4):47–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Simosko N (2008) The IT transformation process – 5 tips on how to prepare and enable your users. SAP insider, Apr–May–Jun 2008.
  6. 6.
    Schuler D, Namioka A (1993) Participatory design – principles and practices. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, HillsdayGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bødker S, Iversen OS (2002) Staging a professional participatory design practice – moving PD beyond the initial fascination of user involvement. In Proceedings of the NordCHI 2002, Arhus, Denmark, pp 11–18Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Paula MG, Silva BS, Barbosa SDJ (2005) Using an interaction model as a resource for communication in design. In Proceedings of the ACM CHI 2005, Portland, Oregon, USAGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rittel H (1984) Second-generation design methods. In: Cross N (ed) Developments in design methodology. Wiley, New York, pp 317–327Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Costabile MF, Fogli D, Mussio P, Piccinno A (2007) Visual interactive systems for end-user development: a model-based design methodology. IEEE Trans SMC 37(6):1029–1046Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Fogli D, Marcante A, Mussio P, Parasiliti Provenza L, Piccinno A (2007) Multi-facet design of interactive systems through visual languages. In Ferri F (ed) Visual languages for interactive computing: definitions and formalizations. IGI Global, Hershey, pp 174–204Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Minami M (2000) Using ArcMap. Environmental Systems Research Institute, RedlandsGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Leach L (2006) AutoCAD 2006 Instructor. McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bottoni P, Costabile MF, Mussio P (1999) Specification and dialogue control of visual interaction through visual rewriting systems. ACM TOPLAS 21(6):1077–1136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Horrocks I (1998) Constructing the user interface with statecharts. Addison-Wesley, ReadingGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wagner EL, Piccoli G (2007) Moving beyond user participation to achieve successful IS design. Commun ACM 50(12):51–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pekkola S, Kaarilahti N, Pohjola P (2006) Towards formalised end-user participation in information systems development process: bridging the gap between participatory design and ISD methodologies. In Proceedings of the PDC 2006, Trento, Italy, pp 21–30Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’ InformazioneUniversità di BresciaBresciaItaly

Personalised recommendations