How to prepare key teams for SAP S/4HANA implementations


Before your organization makes the decision to move to SAP S/4HANA, you undoubtedly will perform extensive research to understand the value and ensure that your business is ready. Many companies have already made the move: SAP announced that 5,400 customers had implemented SAP S/4HANA by the end of 2016.

Here at Abreon, we’ve worked on numerous S/4HANA implementations and have a unique perspective on a few of the challenges that you will face. We view your implementation from the perspective of your people. Understanding what your people—from end users to top executives—need in order to comfortably transition to this new technology will make a tremendous difference in how quickly and successfully your project is executed.

The following are a selection of best practices from our Change Management Program for S/4HANA, developed to address the unique challenges that three key teams face with this new technology:

Your Project Team

Your project team is responsible for the overarching project plan, strategy and seeing it through to the final stages of implementation. It’s vital to equip this team with the tools for effective communication and an understanding of each member’s role. Abreon helps with delegated models of decision making to support the implementation. We conduct orientations and training to facilitate communication and education—providing the right materials to expedite knowledge transfer. Enabling this team is especially important in rapid deployments when timeframes are short. An experienced partner can help accelerate results: Abreon supports project teams with the optimized SAP Activate methodology.

Your Executive Team

It’s important to make sure that you have the support of your entire executive team. Creating a positive alignment around the project goals and expected outcomes prevents future resistance that could temporarily stall a project. Abreon has gained executive sponsorship by presenting clear change impact assessments and analysis along with custom change management plans based on learnings from past successes with S/4HANA implementations. Abreon delivers guidance on the ideal scenario of adopting industry best practices versus adapting the system to business needs with custom configurations. Our approach helps pinpoint gaps by measuring progress and providing accurate metrics that ensure your success.

Your Stakeholders and End Users

Your stakeholders and end users are the ones ultimately responsible for the ongoing success of the technology after implementation. What if they aren’t onboard with the changes? No amount of executive cheerleading will change the score mid-game if adequate coaching wasn’t given from the start. Abreon helps organizations to drive change organically. We prepare you to be proactive in determining the readiness of your stakeholders and end users through assessments—and through education and engagement programs, we are able to prevent resistance to new standardized S/4HANA processes by explaining the advantages that they will see in their roles.

With S/4HANA, extensive SAP customizations are abandoned for best-in-class standardized processes. But changing the system less to match your business means changing your business more to match the system. The advantages to this are simplicity, power, speed and agility. Your organization can ingest, connect and understand more data—and create real business advantages from the resulting insights.

Getting from here to there, however, is anything but simple to the people involved. The promise of this new technology may come with some serious growing pains for previous users. For companies acknowledging this, the answer has been change management programs including custom education and training prepared and delivered to the right people at the right times—before, during and post implementation.

We’re eager to help you as well. Schedule a consultation with Abreon today.

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