Super Users in practice – Latvia Shared Service Center study case

by Laila Stancioff, Published in BPTrends on January 2019

On the first article of this series, we have defined what is a Super User: “a process and knowledge specialist located in each department who works as the liaison between the BPM structure and people who work in it”. We have also defined his/her main responsibilities and the requirements to choose an effective Super Users. Before going into detail on the many aspects of the impact the Super User has on a company (which we will leave to the next articles), it may be interesting to look at a practical case and see how the presence of Super Users impact the organization.

A short presentation of the Shared Service Center

The Shared Service Center where this research was made belongs to a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company. When the company’s ERP system was implemented around 10 years ago, a network of Key Users was created. As this was project-oriented, it did not survive much longer after the project was closed. However, when its European Shared Service Center was transferred to Latvia, in 2014, the role was again implemented in some departments, and this time not related to a specific project.

In 2015 and 2016 I have made a study in the Shared Service Center recently opened in Latvia, comparing 6 of its departments. Together with other process experts, we have measured the Maturity in BPM using the BPM 6×5 Model. This model basically details 6 main Maturity factors into 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 is on this specific area. The result consists on the average of the areas of capacitation of each Maturity factor. The final number is again the average of the levels of the 6 Maturity Factors.

In the study, the six evaluated departments were very similar in many aspects: were transferred to Latvia 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 Latvian and approximately of the same age (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.


The Table below represents a summary of the results, which consists on the evaluation received by each department (A to F) in each of the Maturity Factors.


The following table shows the detailed results, unfolded into the areas of capacitation.

Departments E and F present lower maturity than Departments A to D not only in all 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 is natural, since all are using the same ERP system and the processes are managed by the Process office on Global level.

The higher contrasts are People and Culture, presenting a range of even 1,92 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 pull 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 this affects people’s behavior and reflects in their way of working. 

This analysis indicates that most likely Departments E and F are not in the same level of the other Departments because they are way behind in terms of People and Culture. This only confirms the hypothesis that the Super Users act exactly on these two Maturity factors: their impact is in changing people’s mindset and creating a process-based continuous improvement culture, and this takes the Maturity in BPM to a next level.

On next articles we will talk about some aspects of the Super User role that enable this impact on the organization’s culture.


[1] Rizoto-Vidala-Pesoa, L. M. The Super User Role: An Extended Concept, 2018, BPTrends,

[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.

[3] Rizoto-Vidala-Pesoa, L. M., Kuzņecova, 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. ©2017.

Laila Stancioff, Process-U Executive Director

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