What are key focus areas in SAP Organizational Change Management?
In my opinion, change management and training absolutely belong together – after all, it’s always about the human factor and “soft” topics around culture, values and emotions. In the last few months, I have been increasingly involved with change management in SAP projects. Therefore, I would like to list the most important areas here. By the way, I find it helpful that the “O” in OCM (Organizational Change Management) stands for “organizational” to distinguish it from “technical change”.
The SAP Framework for Organizational Change Management
Six core areas for OCM
The change strategy sets the direction of change activities for a digital transformation project. It provides the blueprint for managing complex change across multiple units, multiple sites and/or countries.
The Change leadership area aims to identify and implement appropriate mechanisms for managing and facilitating affected individuals, personas and groups. Affected persons means those who are really affected by a digital transformation project or can influence its success. In the case of SAP projects, this can be many people, which is why we also speak of large-scale change. Appropriate activities help to promote a common positive attitude toward change. Alignment with top management and other key stakeholder is critical to success, as is the development of a network of change agents.
Here we aim at delivering the right message to the right people at the right time. It is the systematic planning, execution, monitoring and review of all communication activities within a digital transformation project towards the project stakeholders.
In doing so, I always remember the tip: You can never communicate enough. And remind: Information (e.g. e-mails) does not equal communication (e.g. a dialog).
This involves identifying and managing the changes associated with a digital transformation among the relevant stakeholder groups (e.g., in terms of competencies, skills, business processes, technology, organization or mindset). This promotes a transition from the current to the future status-quo. Iterations and adaptations depending on the progress are to be addressed according to agile mindset and methodology.
The Enablement provides comprehensive training and learning opportunities for experts as well as users during the transformation process. Usually, the project team and management are trained first, and the users later. Usually, role-based user training is provided. It is particularly effective and efficient to use standard content as a starting point and adapt it where necessary. The goal is to meet the needs of the users during the implementation of the system. In addition to formal learning approaches, we increasingly see methods that are experience-based, collaborative and embedded in the work process. Especially for user training, we recommend using learning in the SAP application with the help of SAP Companion. There is a lot of embedded learning content free available. For better transfer it also can be enhanced or tailored with SAP Enable Now.
This covers the activities that can be used to measure the effectiveness of OCM activities in support of digital transformation. It focuses on criteria such as organizational readiness, user acceptance and satisfaction, and user behavior after go-live. Awareness, commitment, empowerment, enablement and acceptance are factors that are usually measured, whether with system data or surveys. Further reference can be found in this whitepaper on the Deep Transformation Service – a new, scalable, and data-driven approach which takes transformation and change management to the next level.
Many of you are familiar with SAP Activate, the framework for implementing SAP solutions (and the successor to ASAP). Therefore, for better understanding, we have aligned the six core OCM areas and the corresponding work packages along SAP Activate in the following graphic.
Work packages of Organizational Change Management along SAP Activate
The graphic implies a sequential approach. However, we know, not only since the popularity of agile approaches, that feedback loops and iterations of course make sense. Or sometimes phases are fast forwarded or done in parallel, all depending on the context.
I think this is a helpful checklist, especially since it combines SAP Activate and OCM. By the way, over the next months, we are organizing AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions on topics like change management along SAP Activate as part of our community activities. We call it SAP Change & Training Coffee Corner 😊. Currently it is german only.
How do I get started with SAP Change Management?
A change assessment is always an important first step in the discovery phase. It analyses the readiness level and change management competencies of a company for transformation projects. The assessment covers topics such as OCM capabilities, customer experience and resources, and change or culture-specific risks and success factors. After workshops and interviews, change measures are derived and a change management concept for the transformation is created.
To support the different change projects around the world we created a free Change readiness self-assessment. You can conduct here the online SAP Change Assessment and with an optional follow up with a Change expert.
Of course every phase is important. Please remind the tasks of the first phases during preparation or exploration are important prerequisites for later success. (I will probably write another blog on the phases soon).
Links and resources for SAP Organizational Change Management
I am looking forward to your feedback and opinions here in the comments.