This question comes up in almost every transformation design stage. The IT side of the organisation may have a strategic imperative to move towards a certain IT landscape, deals may even have been done for licenses, yet you might not have defined your benefits yet. Does this matter?
The short answer is, potentially yes. The degree to which your ambitions leverage specific value levers (e.g. I want to reduce procurement costs, and will improve the value lever of sourcing to achieve this), may drive you down certain architectural decisions.
These may include the big picture decisions:
Do the cloud solutions have better capabilities for what we're trying to achieve than the larger on premise ERP systems?
To deliver the benefits, do you need to customise something to the degree where cloud isn't an option?
Is there functionality in the 'on-premise' version of applications which would meet your requirements as standard?
You get the idea - it's not a simple question of writing down your requirements at the same time as defining your benefits and going into design any more. Some pretty big, business driven aspirations around benefits need to be defined early on in your transformation which may fundamentally change your technology architecture.
To make these decisions, you need the right expertise from a team who understand how to take a high level boardroom aspiration and break that down into value levers and ultimately process and technology implications.
Very few companies are familiar with, let alone expert in large transformation programmes. It's not uncommon to feel in unfamiliar ground and with so many horror stories out there of programmes that spun out of control, you wouldn't be alone in trying to compartmentalise the risk for your organisation.
However, here's a cold hard fact worth knowing from the outset: your organisation cannot insulate itself from the risks of the programme failing to deliver, from programme over-spend or from a lack of benefits realisation. That's why the advice you get and the decisions you make need to be spot-on.
Too many consultancies will sell a fixed-price delivery and assure you that your organisation has now 'outsourced the risk'. But the reality is quite different - all you've achieved is being able to cap spend in laboratory type conditions. When the scope, risks, issues and dependencies change, so will your 'fixed' price.
Real business transformation requires an experienced, transparent and collaborative partner to help you navigate through these tricky, complex programmes. And it also requires strong sponsorship and 'skin in the game' from the business.
Having identified the need for a Transformation Programme, the good news is that you're creating a vehicle to deliver the required benefits and changes. The bad news is that it does introduce a degree of complexity and potentially constraint on your organisations ability to deliver tactical improvements in the mean time.
This is due to the need to ensure the process and system design for your future ways of working are not designing on 'shifting sands' as legacy ways processes and systems continually evolve. That said, the answer doesn't need to be a blanket 'change freeze'. There are a few tactics and tools you can use to help ease the pressure on pent up change requests:
Govern the demand: Install a Change Advisory Board which spans all relevant processes and systems across both BAU and Programme landscapes.
Assess the risk: Engage BAU IT, Process Owners and Programme functional / technical experts to triage, impact assess and approve / decline Change Requests.
Control the technical landscape: Ensure robust technical change management is in place across relevant legacy systems and environments.
Define Environments Strategy: Clearly define the requirements and timing for environments for the Programme and how these relate to BAU system tracks so that change synchronisation across BAU and Programme systems can be coordinated.
To ensure a smooth data migration during an SAP business transformation program, it's important to properly plan and prepare for the data migration, thoroughly test the data migration process, and have a rollback plan in case of any issues. It can also be helpful to work with an experienced SAP implementation partner and use specialised tools to facilitate the data migration.
To ensure that the new SAP system is compliant with regulatory requirements, it's important to thoroughly understand the relevant regulations and ensure that the system is configured to meet those requirements. It can also be helpful to work with an SAP implementation partner who has experience in regulatory compliance.
To ensure that the SAP system is properly integrated with other systems and applications, it's important to have a clear integration plan and to use appropriate integration tools and technologies. It can also be helpful to work with an SAP implementation partner who has experience in system integration and to test the integration thoroughly before go-live.
To ensure that the SAP system is properly secured, it's important to have a robust security plan in place and to regularly review and update the security measures as needed. It can also be helpful to work with an SAP implementation partner who has experience in SAP security and to use specialised tools to monitor and protect the system.
To ensure user adoption of the new SAP system, it's important to communicate the benefits of the system to users, provide thorough training, and support users as they begin to use the system. It can also be helpful to involve users in the planning and design process and to provide ongoing support and feedback.
To leverage the SAP system to drive business innovation, it's important to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how the SAP system can support that vision. It can also be helpful to involve subject matter experts and IT professionals in the planning and design process and to use the SAP system to analyse data and identify opportunities for improvement.
To maximise the return on investment of an SAP business transformation program, it's important to have a clear business case and to track the benefits of the program over time. It can also be helpful to involve stakeholders in the planning and design process and to have a plan in place to continuously optimise the system and drive ongoing value.
To minimise the risk of project scope creep during an SAP business transformation program, it's important to clearly define the project scope at the outset, establish clear goals and objectives, and involve stakeholders in the decision-making process. It can also be helpful to have a formal change management process in place to ensure that any changes to the project scope are properly evaluated and approved.
Effective engagement and communication with stakeholders is key to the success of any SAP program. To engage and communicate effectively with stakeholders, it's important to establish clear communication channels, provide regular updates on the progress of the program, and involve stakeholders in key decision-making processes. It's also important to be open and transparent about any issues that may arise and to work with stakeholders to find solutions.
Effective management of changes to business processes during an SAP program is critical to the success of the program. To manage changes effectively, it's important to involve key stakeholders in the planning process, establish clear communication channels, and provide training to ensure that users are comfortable with the new processes. It's also important to have a plan in place to manage any unexpected changes that may arise.
One way to ensure alignment between your SAP program and business strategy is to involve key stakeholders from different business units in the planning process. This can help ensure that the SAP system is designed to support the business's goals and objectives. It's also important to regularly review the progress of the program and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that it remains aligned with the overall business strategy.
To ensure that your SAP program is scalable and can support future growth, it's important to consider the long-term needs of the business during the planning process. This can include designing the SAP system to be flexible and adaptable, establishing processes for ongoing updates and improvements, and regularly reviewing the performance of the system to identify any areas for improvement.
To minimise the impact of an SAP program on daily operations, it's important to plan and execute the program in a way that minimises disruption. This can include establishing clear communication channels, providing training to ensure that users are comfortable with the new system, and having contingency plans in place in case any unexpected issues arise.
The benefits of an SAP business transformation program can include improved efficiency, data accuracy, decision-making capabilities, and financial performance. A successful program can also increase competitiveness and create a foundation for future growth.
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You want a partner that is business focused but IT savvy
You want strength and depth from your partner
You want a company who innovates on delivery models as well as technology
You want your programme to realise tangible benefits
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