Usability Evaluation of a Medium‑sized ERP System in Higher Education


  • Brenda Scholtz
  • André Calitz
  • Charmain Cilliers


Keywords: ERP usability, learning ERP, navigation of ERP systems, ERP education, ERP system evaluation


Abstract: The critical importance of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in modern business has created a demand for ERP consultants with the appropriate competencies to implement, maintain and support these systems. Education and training programmes have been implemented in order to provide ERP specialists and graduates with the required industry relevant ERP competencies. The majority of these education and training programmes utilise large ERP systems for instructional purposes, however users of these systems encounter usability issues whilst learning to use the systems. The use of medium‑sized ERP systems has been proposed for educational purposes as they are less complex and easier to learn than large ERP systems. Empirical studies on the usability of ERP systems, particularly for medium‑sized ERP systems are limited. This paper reports on empirical research on the usability evaluation of a medium‑sized ERP system. The study identified three categories of criteria and 10 criteria which can be used for usability evaluations of medium‑sized ERP systems. The criteria were used in a case study to evaluate the usability of a medium‑sized ERP system and to obtain qualitative feedback on the usability of the system. The most frequently reported positive usability features of the ERP system were the tree‑structure of the menus and the grouping of logically related items. Negative features which were reported included the clutter of the user interface and difficulties with finding information and controls. These results can provide valuable insight into the ERP learning process for university educators and researchers. The usability evaluation results can assist ERP designers with improving ERP usability, which can improve the quality of ERP training and education programmes and ultimately ERP project success. The usability evaluation results provide considerable insight into the usability problems encountered by students when learning to use ERP systems in their university courses and provide a valuable contribution to usability theory and in particular frustration theory.



1 Sep 2013