I have decided to write this blog post because among me and my S/4HANA Cloud consultant peers we have been commenting and discussing among ourselves some aspects of delivering a project that could be improved and therefore having an impact for customer success. And despite having faced different experiences with different customers we all agreed in one point – we are underestimating the importance of preparation. Specially the preparation for the F2S workshop.
I have worked on my share of S/4HANA Cloud projects and the F2S workshops are usually key to the success of the implementation. By preparation mean all aspects of it, the What?, Who?, and How? and sometimes we don’t value this step in the Activate methodology which leads to a series of scenarios I have personally faced myself.
To give you an example, I have been in a F2S workshop where the people in the audience had no clue why they were there and what value they could add to the workshop. I have been in workshops with 50 people in the audience but no one had the power to make decisions as well as one F2S with just the CEO and of course a second F2S had to occur.
If you are going to run a marathon you should prepare yourself by having an adequate training program. Let’s not forget that the desired output of the Explore phase should be the adequate configuration values for a smooth Realize phase. Therefore, the more prepared you are, the higher the odds your goal is achieved.
Fortunately , I have also had the privilege to be part of highly efficient and well run workshops I wish the could all be like that.
Let’s start from the beginning, what is the objective of the F2S workshop (or F2S process)? It
is to match the customer’s business processes to the standard processes available in the cloud solution, and to capture optimization and solution configuration needed by the customer. This means that the F2S is not a demo of the system anymore it is rather a discussion about the standard processes and how we can fit the customer’s processes in.
This clearly demonstrates that we need the correct people involved from the beginning. By the time we commence the workshop, we must have the customer’s key process owners, business process experts, and business users as well as the configuration expert.
Once we have the correct people attending the workshop, let’s look at how they can prepare and utilize the tools we have.
Business Driven Questionnaires – you can find one BDQ per LoB and it is a great tool to prepare and structure the F2S workshop. It gives an early insight into the SSCUI configuration needed. Using the BDQ outcomes, your implementation partner can focus on what matters most during the workshops.
The BDQ are split into scope items and simple questions that will help the configuration expert identify the customer business processes and will also ensure better planning of the workshop.
In summary, it is a great tool to easily link the customer business processes and the solution configuration.
Starter System – as soon as the contract is signed, a starter system is provisioned. Access to the business process experts must be granted.
This system is used during the F2S workshop by the configuration expert to demo the Best Practices. This serves as a starting point to discuss how customer’s business and process outcomes can be achieved using SAP Best Practices. The starter system should also be used by the business process experts to familiarize themselves with the new processes. Using the pre-defined test scripts the customer team can execute the Best Practices, prior to the F2S workshops.
Learning Center – Provide the customer project team with plenty of tutorials! Make sure the user is present at the workshop at the correct time to review the tutorials related to the scope of the project. This scope is identified during the Discovery phase. In this way we guarantee that the user has a contact with the system prior to the workshop.
In case the customer owns a My Learning Hub license, it’s also possible to access its resources to update and leverage the user skills.
SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer – There is a task in the Activate methodology on customer self-enablement.
Monitor preparation progress – It’s a good idea to do a quick assessment of the F2S participants before the workshop. Ask some simple questions to the participants and get an idea how far each business expert is in their self-enablement journey. Some examples could be:
- How many have accessed the Starter System? The Starter System allows for users to execute the Best Practices test scripts with pre-delivered data.
- How many have accessed the implementation roadmap in Roadmap Viewer? Content in the implementation roadmaps in Roadmap Viewer provide guidance and assets to assist during the implementation project.
- How many have accessed SAP Best Practices Explorer? SAP Best Practices Explorer has the Best Practices test scripts and process flows.
- How many have accessed SAP Cloud ALM (if applicable)? Best Practices test scripts and process flows can be accessed in SAP Cloud ALM. In addition, SAP Cloud ALM allows for capturing of requirements for configuration during the Fit-to-Standard workshops.
In summary, and by quoting Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” so don’t underestimate this important phase of every Cloud implementation project.
Activate methodology provides a series of tools and accelerators to be used during Prepare phase to make sure we can achieve a smooth and effective Explore phase.
What does your experience tells you about the importance of preparation?