SAP Activate implementation and deployment methodology with a highlight on Organizational Change Management

As organizations and many of our customers move toward cloud-based products throughout their entire eco-system, they will have to adopt new processes and standards with cloud software to ensure the smooth transition of businesses and the adoption of these products. OCM, Organizational Change Management, becomes the bridge between success and failure.

SAP Activate methodology has spent years evolving our OCM deliverables and tasks within our SAP Activate methodology roadmaps. We have kept change management at the heart of our methodology; as we all know, the only variable that remains a ‘constant’ is change. With OCM at the center of the SAP Activate methodology, we have provided many best practices and tools that will help drive the change management practices within your SAP project.

In our current business climate and having just come out of a two-year global pandemic and now a war in Europe, businesses will need to shift strategy, to change their guidance, and to provide better tools and communication channels to support their employees, who are now scattered all over the world with the flex and hybrid working model adopted over the past two years. Change management becomes an imperative to help the business grow and remain competitive in the ever-changing business climate. By adopting some of the OCM practices and activities to help foster the change, organizations will experience the following immediate value adds:

  • Less resistance to change from employees, better transition to the Run Phase
  • End-user ‘buy in’ that will result in faster adoption of the new solutions and processes resulting in faster ROI and immediate impact for time to value with the new solutions
  • Smooth onboarding process and a tighter handover to the support organization

Organizational Change Management activities can be mapped in SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here:

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OCM becomes first apparent in the Discover Phase with the introduction of the Cloud Mindset Assessment. Establishing the cloud mindset is at the core of OCM. This new assessment identifies risk levels and dependencies, and different actions may be taken depending on project scope complexity and organizational readiness to embrace the level of expected change. In order to mitigate higher risks, higher investments into OCM services, packaged content, or team and self-learning material are suggested. Organizations that want to set themselves up for sustained adoption success recognize the need for this investment of their employees’ time and energy. The results of the assessment should be promoted among internal stakeholders to create broad awareness of the organization’s need for a dedicated OCM program and all its associated topics. The more eagerly an organization intends to adopt cloud-based ERP, the more intensely it might need to shift its mindset.

SAP lists six components to a cloud mindset:

  • Embracing ready-made business processes
  • Agility in deploying processes
  • Readiness to adopt frequent innovations coming with periodic cloud product updates
  • Integrating and extending based on stable public interfaces
  • Digital transformation vision supported by the employees
  • Users engaging in new ways of working: this new growth mindset includes higher levels of collaboration, self-organization, self-learning, and openness to experimentation and automation wherever deemed sensible.

OCM becomes more involved in the Explore Phase of SAP Activate when the SAP Fit-to-Standard Workshops take place in the project. OCM representatives from the customer, implementation partner, and SAP should be present at these workshops to help capture and analyze the impact of the change on the organization, business roles, and business processes. This will create a faster impact for time to value for the customer as these representatives will be able to help design and launch the training and enablement plan needed to help the smooth transition and rollout of the new solution in the Run Phase. Some organizations may require more training and enablement than others that may be farther along in their digital transformation and journey to the cloud. The Cloud mindset Assessment offered in the Discover Phase will identify the cloud maturity of the organization from the beginning of the project. Either way, self-enablement, and team enablement deliverables and tasks are always included in the SAP Activate Solution Adoption Workstream.

OCM activities are available in all six phases of SAP Activate. OCM should be completely embedded in the project and should also be sustainable across the organization for reuse and adoption in another LoB. Any activity that involves this amount of attention and change should be monitored and measured for maximum output and performance. Therefore, all OCM activities throughout each phase of SAP Activate are monitored and measured at the Q-gates that take place at the end of each phase of the project. This is to ensure project success across all areas of the implementation and continued adoption past the Run Phase.

In addition to OCM, the company team enablement and self-enablement deliverables and tasks offer different training offerings from SAP to ensure the success of your SAP project. Team training material, self-learning, and SAP learning journeys are mission-critical for every member of the project team. For more information around OCM in SAP Activate check out the new second edition of the SAP Activate book and open to Chapter 10.

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For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links: 

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud: New Product Releases here
  • Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release blog posts here
  • SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation Content here
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