Changes to the market environment require companies to continually adapt their management mechanisms. Significant changes in the system landscape can also trigger the opportunity for a critical review of existing processes and to align them for the future.
The SAP Roadmap currently contains the replacement of SAP R/3 and ERP 6.0 with S/4 HANA, with the phasing out of maintenance by the end of 2030 at the latest. This goes hand in hand with a fundamental transformation of the system landscape to unlock new potential. A transformation of this type presents decision-makers with a special task that encompasses content-related, organisational and financial challenges. The size of such projects often means that objectives such as realignment to future requirements, reorganisation, adjustment of IT architecture and system landscape are connected with the harmonisation of processes and data structures.
Our project experience shows that a common, coordinated understanding of the project-specific change objectives is an essential prerequisite for a successful transformation. Changing markets, in conjunction with adjustments to the business strategy, such as digitalisation, lead to new challenges in the design of the ERP/IT system, which must be taken into account when setting the goals for a S/4 HANA transformation. In addition to the strategic project goals, optimisation goals at the process level can often result from the current project backlog or from the new functionalities of the S/4 system or its satellites. A large-scale project of this type can also make a contribution to further development at IT strategy level. Target areas are often customer orientation, culture, values and work processes, e.g. agility, flexibility, New Work, as well as flexibility and digitalisation for intra-company and cross-company processes or the renewal/optimisation of systems and system structures. Attention must also be paid to other topics, such as existing governance structures or the S/4 technical resources that are available.
Specific objectives for the transformation project can be derived from the questions posed above. These then form the basis required to allow subsequent control of the transformation to secure efficient use of resources.
SAP transformation projects represent a major challenge for any company. The procedure and the time for the transformation must be chosen to match previously defined objectives and the performance capacity of the organisation. The range of procedures encompasses a “Big Bang” transformation for all business entities as well as sequential approaches that enable systematic knowledge transfer.
With such a significant project, consistent project management has an enormous impact on sustainable project success. Project phases often occur repeatedly and are successfully managed with a combination of waterfall and agile approaches. Unfortunately, the importance of professionally executed change management is often underestimated.
CTcon is a consultancy company focused on corporate management and performance management. Support for SAP transformations is a core component of our range of services. We assist you with your SAP S/4 transformation, from the development of project objectives to the set-up of the project roadmap and the successful go-live.