The first 5 steps to sustained customer success with SAP S/4HANA Cloud
When things get tough in implementation projects, the Solution Adoption workstream of SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud might get thrown under the bus. Cloud projects that do not take solution adoption, organizational change needs or end user training seriously, might set themselves up for failure. Set your project up for sustained customer success with these 5 steps.
- Before beginning to execute along the tasks of it, study the entire SAP Activate Roadmap workstream for Solution Adoption beginning to end thoroughly.
The purpose of this workstream stretches far beyond the realm of the otherwise implementation focused Activate methodology. It is defined from the perspective of customers’ aim for quick yet sustained and increasing business value creation along the entire subscription lifecycle. One main prerequisite for that value creation is quick and sustained adoption by the users of S/4HANA Cloud. One of your leading questions might be, what will have to be true for employees to embrace S/4HANA Cloud with enthusiasm?
- Work backwards through the Activate phases, Run, Deploy, Realize, Explore, Prepare, Discover. Ask yourself, what will have to be accomplished in which of the previous phases for the last phase, Run, to be declared a sustainable customer success.
With purpose, goals, and indicators of success in mind you can more easily determine the steps leading up to them and their pace.
- Use quality gates of Activate to list and check for those accomplishments. Negotiate with your project management to allow for Solution Adoption Q-gates to be marked off early to initiate the next phase.
As you work backwards you might notice that organizational change management and the associated learning take longer times than the Activate phases for system related tasks might call for. You probably need to start out some tasks as early as possible. Example: Learning by end users could start as early as the Discover phase. There may be some user groups you know from the beginning will most likely be affected by the introduction of cloud ERP. They can start learning right away. Trial systems are available for free. Product documentation like SAP Help and SAP Best Practices are available at any time.
- Now that you know what the expected outcomes are, determine your preferred role(s) and define how you would like to contribute specific value in the solution adoption workstream, along the model roles SAP Activate calls for during Organizational Change Management team setup (below). Those OCM roles are OCM Team Lead, OCM Expert, OCM Team Member, OCM Team Resource from Departments, Change Agent, or Training Lead.
With skill profiles, responsibilities, required activities well described in advance, clarity on your preferred role and defined value contribution indicate transparency and competence to the other OCM team members. It helps in finding out about roles yet to be assigned, in simplifying collaboration down the line, and may help prevent finger pointing later.
As a customer, with the implementation project progressing, you may want to take on ever more responsibility for organizational change management. By the time you go live, you should have all organizational measures in place to sustain and perpetuate your adoption momentum. As you adopt new features, functions and technology with frequent updates of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you may want to focus your own employees on conceiving of ways to run your business ever better, and consider relegating routine activities to business process outplacement specialists, or to bots. Learning how to automate routine activities and monitor them efficiently should become some of the foremost skills to acquire for your process experts.
- During the Discovery phase, share and discuss the SAP Customer Organizational Cloud Readiness whitepaper, assess the cloud ERP adoption risk, and familiarize yourself with the Activate workstream at depth (see #1). Learn about the specific corporate strategy, the objectives of the organization’s digital transformation. Connect strategy and DX objectives to the implementation project. Assume and embrace your project role. In any OCM project role, carry the banner of sustained customer success.
The whitepaper and the Activate workstream assets indicate typical expectations for project outcomes and continuous transformation requirements. The cloud readiness assessment provides for insights into the specific status quo of the organizational mindset towards cloud adoption, reveals explicit adoption obstacles, and determines respective aggregate risk. It then offers counter measures commensurate to the identified risk levels guiding towards successful and sustainable cloud ERP adoption.
If you have further questions about solution adoption, go to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Customer Community homepage, and speak with Edmin, ask the community, talk to your Customer Success Manager (CSM), Customer Engagement Executive (CEE), or your implementation partner.