SAP Activate Community Call Recap – Frequently Overlooked Concepts during an SAP S/4HANA Implementation

On Wednesday, May 25th, the SAP Activate team held their third Community Call via a live YouTube session. The main topic of this SAP Activate Community Call was “Frequently Overlooked Concepts during an SAP S/4HANA Implementation.”

During our third Community Call (see the replay from our first call here as well as our second call here), we were joined by Nishat Fatima (SAP Activate Community Lead), Andreas Muno (Expert, SAP S/4HANA Cloud Expertise Services Team), Christina Galbreath (Product Manager, SAP Activate), Irene Dennehy (Business Operations and OCM Expert), and Ying Huang (Development Expert, SAP Activate).

Agenda:

  • Organization Change Management (OCM) – by Irene Dennehy 3:00 – 16:25
    • Fundamental Concepts:
      • Project Delivery – Implementation Methodology, and System Configuration
      • Digital Transformation – Journey, People Change
      • The relationship between people and product change
  • Customer Center of Excellence (COE) – by Andres Muno 16:30 – 28:55
    • Organizational Change Management
    • SAP Activate
      • Solution Adoption Workstream Embedded in Implementation Roadmaps (SAP Activate)
        • Dimensions of OCM
          • Accelerators and tools, concepts and services for Solution Adoption
          • Set-up OCM Team & Concept
          • OCM Analysis & Planning
          • OCM Delivery & Monitoring
          • Continuous Adoption
        • Customer COE Capability Framework
        • Collaborate Across Teams
  • Experience Management (XM) Transformation – by Ying Huang 29:00 – 33:55
    • Projects & Transformations – Challenge and Solution
    • SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer – RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition XM Transformation content
    • Sample Survey Questions
  • SAP Activate Book – by Christina Galbreath 33:57 – 34:56
    • OCM Updated Content is available in new book version (eBook or hardback)
    • Discount Code (limited time only – SAPACT15 for 15% off)
  • Q&A – by all 35:00 – 1:01:50
    • Community member questions and answers

Here is a recap of all of the questions asked during the call and we hope you enjoy:

  1. Question: You have shared the XM Transformation in SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer. How does one go about accessing it and filter just on the XM content within the implementation roadmap?
    • Answer: You can find and filter on the XM Transformation content within the SAP Activate Methodology for RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition within the Roadmap Viewer. There is a filter on the left-hand navigation where the filter option can be found. Scroll down to the “More” section and filter on “XM Transformation” to view the applicable content – including downloadable sample question accelerators.
  2. Question: Do I need a Qualtrics license to use the XM Transformation surveys?
    • Answer: The customer will need to get access but the sample questions are in a simple format in an Excel file where you can filter by the respective types of surveys that we mentioned earlier for downloading. From there, you are able to use whatever (survey) tool you choose to but the concept which is important that we wanted to introduce Experience Management starting earlier when we have implementation projects for SAP S/4HANA Cloud products.
  3. Question: What type of skillset would be needed for someone wanting to use the Roadmap Viewer and the Qualtrics survey?
    • Answer: It is not very difficult and those using the surveys can make good use of them. What we have been sharing on the call today, is that as long as you understand the process, what is needed, and have the people side of things with people management while understanding the process, any accelerators which are provided across the SAP Activate concepts, should be able to implement within our project time frame.
  4. Question: How much would you stress OCM for a project if I am involved in it and some of the members of the team do not feel OCM is an important concept – how would you address that?
    • Answer: It is so important! You can never ever say that it isn’t because basically as we were pointing to it earlier, if OCM looks after people, looks after that tension of the change that happens with any new implementation and the importance is not given with time and budgeting, the project is deemed to fail unfortunately. We have seen several examples of it unfortunately. So, whether it is the customer that takes care of OCM, the partner implementing that can take care of OCM, but it really is needed to give the importance where it is due.
  5. Question: Talking about the implementation and the processes, whether it is OCM, COE or XM Transformation, is it a one time implementation that we’re doing in the beginning of the process and then you’re forgetting about it or is it an ongoing continuous evolution?
    • Answer: There needs to be continuous adoption. You’re not going to get rid of OCM when the product is changing underneath. So, the idea is really to put in place, structures, capabilities in the organization that will help the organization to keep adoption the change in the product. Especially when you have a subscription-based service like SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you would want to do that because you want the innovation that comes with it. That innovation comes in what half annual increments and you can actually do it faster than that but you have to be able to adopt that innovation into your business processes into the way you operate. This capability is something that will have to stay with the organization if you want to be successful as an organization.
  6. Question: Could you talk a bit more on PCOe on a RISE context?
    • Answer: To the member who submitted this question, could you please clarify in the chat? Maybe this is related to the COE on a RISE content Andreas had shared within the RISE framework? Maybe you can explain more on that Andres.Andreas – The concept of a partner center of excellence that they would provide for multiple customers right where they have the expertise and they organize the expertise in such a way that they can cater to multiple customers and they could be very relevant to especially the mid-sized organizations that are the strongest in cloud application adoption. That would offer customers an opportunity to tap into basically a completely virtualized COE that their partners would offer to them and they can subscribe to. So, that would be what I would understand as a PCOe partner center of excellence that in a way emulates the concept of customer theory but provides it as a service to customers.
  7. Question: To continue our conversation, we talked about Change Management, COE, XM Transformation. What are similarities between these three and how important is it to align the three different concepts? What’s important when it comes to an implementation? What are some of the learnings we can get from it? 
    • Answer: They are interdependent and interconnected a hundred percent. They are one workstream really, because one can’t live without the other. OCM is the workstream that looks after the transition. Whereas, Experience Management is basically what sustains and helps that transition, ensures that it’s happening, and ensures that it’s in touch with the people. Experience Management it’s always like the thermometer leveling and then COE ensures that innovation is taking place that the knowledge is there and new entrants are in the game. People are complex, and there’s no magic bullet to hit it right. You really have to understand the Experience Management principle, listen, understand, and act. What we try to provide is the tools and the framework to bring the awareness so that you have to adjust and listen to your own customers, your own people within the organization, and really to find out which element you are going to pick as the tool from the OCM workstream in general in order to implement in your organization to make the most impact.
  8. Question: You mentioned a survey earlier Ying. Are some of those survey questions throughout the process dealing with the people side of things (i.e. people, process, change)? Are we keeping that in mind when we are learning about the different touchpoints throughout the implementation?
    • Answer: Yes, I think that is exactly the idea of the sample questions. As the slide also shows, these survey questions are planted throughout the journey. Not only from the implementation journey, but also the post go-live journey as well. When people started utilizing them, you have to continuously check back with them and assess the feeling as well such as whether they like them. It’s also a great source of input to collect new additional requirements to continuously improve and leverage new solutions which are coming up from SAP because we do try to continuously provide these kind of enhancements.
  9. Question: Within the roadmap, you shared that it is in the private cloud edition implementation roadmap for now. Can we expect it to be embedded into the other implementation roadmaps, or what is the future for this?
    • Answer: There is definitely the use of it as it such important topic. We to first introduce in the private cloud edition because that is where we feel like we have all of the different elements and pieces from an OCM perspective. We want to collect some feedback first before we start moving into the public cloud space.
  10. Question: We talked about the cloud mindset a little bit. What role does the cloud mindset play with all of these three different concepts and how can our customers and partners start thinking more cloud? How do these concepts actually help enable our customers to shift their mindset to the new buzzword that’s “cloud?” Can you talk a little about that?
    • Answer: What I would say, here very clearly, is that cloud is fundamentally a different way of working. It instills fundamental different ways of working together with all of these tools that we show. Why would you need this mindset? – because you have to be ready and willing to change and that’s why we keep saying it’s that growth mindset. The cloud mindset can sound a little bit artificial somehow, but if you are willing to say “growth” and you’re willing to engage in a different way of working, then things change right. The speed of business is accelerating. You can read the forward of the SAP Activate book, Jan Gilg writes so nicely. Christin Klein our CEO, said at every opportunity just at SAPPHIRE recently, the speed of business is accelerating. IF you want to be able to keep up or get in front of what’s happening in the world, you have to be super fast. One of the ways to be fast is to standardize your business processes as much as you possibly can. Standardization then, in turn, is an enabler of automation which helps you with that speed that you need to have and keep having. It also is an enabler of enabling. Enabling more people in the organization so if you want to be able to grow, you need to be able to educate and enable your people to actually understand have these business processes all work. Standardization is one of those main ways on how to do that, because once your standardize, it is really easy for everyone to understand. You just comply with the standard and then you know how it’s done. You can tap in the learning content that is standardized and available. You don’t have to develop it. Standardization is one of those main, key enablers, of that speed and of the growth that most of our customers are after right now. Then the other aspect is the capability to innovate. With cloud-based products and subscription-based products like SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you get that innovation as part of the subscription. All you have to do is adopt but you have to have that mindset and capability to actually do it that way instead of reinventing the wheel yourself. You just use the innovation that comes with the product. That’s why the cloud mindset is such an important thing – standardize, innovate, adopt.
  11. Question: What are some of the challenges that customers and partners can face when they’re thinking about with Change Management, CEO, and/or XM Transformation? Do we have examples of that?
    • Answer: Plenty. The biggest challenge is to do it early enough. Get your head around these concepts early enough. It is important to get this early. To understand what’s at stake and how to actually work towards achieving those intended results. Early is important. The earlier you are, the sooner you get your head around these concepts and you allocate your resources, the more likely it is going to be that you have everything in place when you need it. In Irene’s train journey example (in the beginning of the call), you want your people to be on a platform before the train gets there – just before the train gets there, but they need to be ready to board. You have to get your people around to that point, you have to do the enablement beforehand because otherwise they are going to miss the train. That’s the issue. You might miss the train in terms of business and that means you are missing out on business value that you’re after. You want to be well prepared early on and that’s like a theme throughout for OCM, XM, any enablement, and COE. If you establish those things early in the SAP Activate implementation roadmap, and prepared early on, you can take care of things like progress throughout the project. You’ll be able to do it well and in time. Just don’t forget any steps – don’t think you can skip over it. That’s why these little yellow boxes are so important that I pointed out in the quality gates. You have to actually be on time to meet the quality gates with the activities. That’s why SAP Activate is such a great concept because it actually brings you to the right platform at the right time and the right point in time with the activities that prepare for success. To have these structures in place in the companies and organizations – to have people responsible for transformation and to identify the change agents, the people that will help this change to happen and they adopt early (called the early adopters). This is so important. Remember that time and plans has to be given to for it to happen. Otherwise, I have had several customers telling me in their experience, there was no vision that was communicated, they didn’t have any preparation, they didn’t know about the system before it went live, no training. Let’s do it properly and then it will be successful.
  12. Question: Since we talked about the SAP Activate book, are these concepts included in the book and what are some of the changes from the first edition, to the second?
    • Answer: You can find the changes in Jan’s blog that he wrote which is linked here. Obviously some of the new implementation capabilities have been introduced like with SAP S/4HANA Cloud. For example, we have the central business configuration available which is being addressed in the second edition. On the topic of two-tier deployments, like hybrid landscapes, there’s a lot more content available nowadays so the book takes care of that. SAP S/4HANA 3SL is one of those topics which is upcoming for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Also, see Chapter 10 on OCM is completely reviewed and it contains a customer center of excellence (COE). It doesn’t contain XM yet. Ying introduced that new concept today so now you are ahead of the book. Things are moving so fast! That’s the thing about being adaptable and agile – change is constant.

Resources and links mentioned on the call:

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