June 2020 – Companies around the world are currently concerned with the decision when and, above all, how they want to switch to SAP S/4HANA. By 2027, SAP’s new Business Suite is expected to replace existing ERP systems and provide companies with new functionalities to address and overcome the challenges of digital transformation.
Although all companies must follow the same path with the introduction of S/4HANA, the challenges of transformation are as individual as the companies themselves. Together, management and business units face difficult and long-term decisions – Greenfield, Brownfield or Bluefield? Cloud or on-premise? SAP standards or Z-transactions? Step-by-step approach or Big Bang?
In practice, SAP customers often lack the overview of concrete activities, measures, processes, and approaches to initiate an effective and efficient implementation. Especially when it comes to change management, many companies are still in the early stages, and there is also hardly any support – apart from the IT side – in the market that focuses on changes for the organization and its people.
In order to shed some light on the subject and give its own customers a better overview, SAP has developed SAP Activate, a modular framework that companies can use as a guide when implementing S/4HANA and that can be used in both agile and waterfall projects.
Starting with Discover, through Prepare, Explore, Realize, Deploy, and Run, SAP Activate describes tasks and quality gates for implementation along these six phases. The framework provides ready-to-use reference solutions for optimized business processes and general best practices for migration, integration, and configuration, regardless of the transformation approach chosen (greenfield, brownfield, or other selective approaches).
We know that there are many other transformation approaches besides Activate, but they all essentially share the same core elements. Therefore, it is certainly not wrong to look at the SAP standard procedure model for S/4HANA implementations.
In our CH/4NGE series, we will therefore be using the SAP Activate framework as a reference model to present in more detail the effects and challenges that arise from the S/4HANA implementation for companies and their employees and which change tasks are critical to success.
Together we will look at the most relevant work packages from a change management perspective and show along the Activate project phases, at which points change measures should be taken for a sustainable implementation.