In the current turbulent market environment conducting successful organization change management has never been more important. In our new five-part series, we’ll deep dive into proven and effective adoption techniques. In Part 1, experts Michael Hendrix, Roger Osweiler, and Ben Shashank outline the four steps to an effective SAP S/4HANA OCM strategy.
For any company undertaking a SAP S/4HANA business transformation, the importance of organizational change management (OCM) cannot be overstated. OCM is critical to ensure that the journey to SAP S/4HANA is successful and that the company can fully reap the benefits of its business transformation.
One of the primary reasons is that users don’t always easily adapt to new software and related process changes. The transformational journey to SAP S/4HANA is a significant change that will impact the entire organization – from business processes to roles and responsibilities.
In our experience, it’s essential to have a structured approach to manage this change and ensure that everyone, from leadership to users, are onboard with the new ways of working.
Four steps to an effective OCM strategy for SAP S/4HANA
- Assess the impact of the change on the organization
This includes identifying the key stakeholders who will be impacted by the change, including employees, customers, and suppliers. It’s important to understand how the change will affect each group and to develop a plan to address any concerns or resistance they may have moving to these new ways of working
- Communicate the change effectively to all stakeholders
Communication cannot be limited to simply informing people about the upcoming transformation. Explaining the benefits of the new system and how it will impact their daily work is imperative to engaging stakeholders. Communication must be clear, concise, and fully integrated into a seamless adoption campaign throughout the transformational journey.
Employees will need to be trained on the new system and all related processes to ensure that they can perform their jobs effectively from day one.
Tailored training, down to the role and module level, must be delivered in a way that is easily understood, informative, engaging, and interactive. It also needs to be adaptive, self-paced, and in the flow of work to support new users as they are onboarded to new roles through growth, job advancement, and attrition.
- Establish change management governance structure
This structure should oversee the change journey. It includes a change management team that is responsible for implementing the OCM strategy and addressing all issues that arise.
Regular communication and feedback channels with business stakeholders, super-users/trainers, and users must be established to ensure that everyone has a voice in the process and that issues are addressed promptly.
An effective OCM strategy that leads stakeholders on a journey from awareness to adoption is critical to the success of a SAP S/4HANA business transformation.
By understanding the impact of the change, communicating effectively, providing quality training, and establishing a governance structure, companies can ensure that the business transformation will be as smooth as possible and that the benefits of the new system are fully realized.
Managing stakeholders through the awareness to adoption journey during SAP S/4HANA transformation requires a pragmatic and tactical approach. This is something we explore in more depth in Part 2.
For more information on how to conduct a successful SAP S/4HANA transformation, reach out to our experts.
Michael is a +25-year veteran of IT, Consulting, and Outsourcing. His primary area of domain expertise is in organizational change, learning and knowledge management, as well as HR services. Michael prides himself on helping his clients to align people, processes, and technologies to drive individual and organizational performance.
Roger is a driven change and talent management professional, with over 15 years experience transforming client systems to adapt to the modern world (Oracle/ERP). He’s skilled at creating and scaling operational procedures from scratch helping clients grow and has been recognized as a three-time Presidents Club winner, consistently rated as HIPO | Top Talent within the 9-Box Matrix.
Ben has over 7 years’ experience, delivering change management and training work streams at ERP and Oracle implementations. He’s helped clients across industries achieve excellence in organizational change management and worked with key stakeholders to mitigate future risks. Ben is passionate about mentoring. He’s developed and leads onboarding activities for new hires, and guides colleagues through their development.