I am blessed with the opportunity to wake up every morning thinking about “Digital Transformation” and how SAP S/4HANA is going to adjust the future of business. I often wonder if I am living in current state or the vivid vision of what business is going to be in the future. I follow SAP roadmaps, read numerous blogs, and do everything in my power to try to stay ahead of the so called journey. Within my role of overseeing our S/4HANA conversion practice, I have had the opportunity of seeing the good and bad associated with achieving a meaningful transformation.
When asked my tips and tricks, I start with the significant six. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
1. A CULTURE that cultivates change
Digital transformation requires a culture willing to change and challenge the way that they may have done things in the past. This initiative needs to start at the top and transcend through all areas of the business. It is critical that leadership clearly communicate transformation initiatives, how they will support the overall business strategy, and that everyone in the organization is aligned.
2. Choose the RIGHT deployment option
There are multiple options for getting to S/4HANA. Do not assume that the approach of a conversion or greenfield is the right option. Spend time reviewing your current system/solution. Consider the customization, the changes to your business model, best practices, and master and transactional data. When doing so, think of the future and determine if it really has the foundation needed for the next 25 years.
3. Identify the correct SCOPE
Too often organizations try to bite off more than they can chew or their team can adequately support. Try to identify areas where the business is going to see value and find a return on investment; but know that this is not the end of the solution. This is a journey and one that will evolve over time. More often than not the KISS (Keep It Simple Strategy) will limit organizational disruption, drive value, ensure successful delivery, and minimize project risk.
4. ENABLE the organization to be successful
Regardless of the deployment option to S/4HANA, things will change. The experience that you have in-house is extremely valuable and should not be overlooked when planning and executing. Ensure you train and enable the organization to be just as self-sufficient post S/4HANA.
5. Create a roadmap for the future and be FLEXIBLE
Given the rapid nature at which technology adjusts, we can only assume that there will be something new tomorrow. Create a roadmap that gives the organization comfort that you plan to stay in front of the curve and competition. Many fail because they set that roadmap in stone and are not flexible enough to know when they should adjust. A plan is great, but be prepared to rethink strategy and direction as the technology changes in order to ensure that your organization stays ahead of the game.
6. It is ALWAYS all about the people
I love technology, I love automation, but machines do not have passion or compassion. A critical success criteria within any project has always been about the people. They are your experts; they are the ones that know your business better than anyone; they are the ones that see the joy and frustration in the eyes or voice of the customer. Leverage that knowledge to not only bring light to the opportunities that you may have never known existed, but also leverage them to validate and ensure that future state will execute as desired.
Keep in mind that the entire goal is to stay ahead of the game, drive value, lay a foundation for future innovation, and limit organizational disruption. There is not a one size fits all answer. It is about customizing and adapting the journey to best fit your organization. If you are interested in learning more, check out our webinar series! The first webinar is: SAP S/4HANA Generation Change – Be Prepared for the Future.