Now this blog series has established the importance of migrating to S/4HANA, it’s time to look at what to consider before transitioning.
Although it’s great to start your journey as soon as possible, the old adage ‘slow and steady wins the race’ holds true. This is a significant project that’ll require significant effort to complete. You’ll inevitably learn as you go, but by taking some time to prepare beforehand, you can anticipate problems and (hopefully) nip them in the bud.
So, from ensuring you’ve established what to measure, to assembling a technical dream team for the job, here are some key considerations that can help your business drive successful S/4HANA implementation.
1. Create the right team
First things first, organizations need the right people for the job. ERP is an area that involves all corners of a business, so it’s important to hear from a number of different voices. Build a diverse, multi-disciplinary team that brings in differing skillsets and opinions. This will enable you to build a robust roadmap, and help you innovate on your migration journey.
2. Find the right balance
Standardization versus flexibility is a difficult balance. Standardized architecture saves time; however, many aspects of your business will need a more tailored approach in order to continue delivering value to customers. From the beginning of your journey, identify which areas are the building blocks of your business, and prioritize flexibility on a case-by-case basis.
3. Get into the right mindset
Technologies, projects and resources are the usual business priorities. But iERP migration needs a different mindset. Instead, you should prioritise outcomes, products and talent. It’s a completely different focus to what many are used to, and requires an organization to think ahead to their end goal, and the skills that will enable them to get there. To this end, a ‘use-case’ mentality must be adopted – ensuring all stakeholders are aligned in terms of language and approach.
4. Establish your KPIs
Simply put, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. In order to prove the success of S/4HANA to the wider business (and yourself), you to need to understand what you need it to achieve, and work out what numbers will enable you to accurately monitor your progress. Establish these early on, keep a close eye on them as you continue on your journey, and don’t forget to let people know about your successes.
5. Use your roadmap to ensure everyone is aligned
The importance of collaboration can’t be overstated. The migration team will be reaching across the entire business, orchestrating stakeholders, budgets, and complex technology architecture. It’s a tough juggling act – and one that requires complete alignment. You should therefore establish a rock-solid roadmap at the beginning of your migration journey, and ensure everyone sticks to it at all times.
Remember, migration to S/4HANA is a marathon, not a sprint. While there’s the temptation to start as soon as possible, a slower, methodological approach will save you time and frustration in the long run.
It’s about selecting the right approach for the right business. No two use cases are the same. Apply the above considerations to your business, and ask yourself:
- What skills could really bolster our migration team?
- What business functions do I really want to drive improvement in?
- Realistically, what numbers are our real key indicators of success?
You may not get it right first time – and that’s fine. Take it slow. Learn along the way. And more than anything, stay motivated to drive real change.