SAP S/4HANA is one of the largest and most up to date ERP systems in the world. It can revolutionize the way your company works and has the potential to transform your organization. The opportunities to leverage centralized real-time data insights across all businesses and client engagements, enable you to operate more efficiently and respond to market changes rapidly. If you focus on the people working with the new system and bring them along in the transformation journey, you can unlock the full potential of S/4HANA and realize true organizational transformation. Marjolijn Voesten and Geert Bakens, Senior Managers Talent & Organization at Accenture, share their vision on the human side of system change.
Technology + people = result
Moving to S/4HANA is often considered as a technical move where user adoption is discussed just before go-live. Routine, administrative tasks that were previously carried out by people, may become partially or even fully automated. These results are impacting your workforce tasks and skills. For example, the focus shifts to analyzing and utilizing the data output. However, we find that by combining the technical and people elements in a human centered change approach, the real ‘pot of gold’ comes within reach.
In addition, S/4HANA as a standardized, cloud-based system will push upgrades on a regular basis, allowing your organization to benefit from SAP best-practices. This means it is your people that need to adjust to the system and not the other way around. This brings the need to reskill or upskill your employees to accommodate and adapt to constant change.
Getting the human side right
Human Centered Change leverages the latest insights from methodologies such as neuroscience and Design Thinking. Key moments that will impact the behavior of employees are defined and enable the identity of change interventions required for facilitating the right experience for an employee. A data driven approach for measuring adoption and sustaining the change experience is crucial, and survey-based tools such as the Transformation GPS, can support and help navigate major S/4HANA transformations.
Rethink your operating model
Amid the rapid and consistent change that S/4HANA and other intelligent technologies can bring, an innovative and flexible operating model is critical for your company to adapt, compete, and grow at pace. Seventy-five percent of executives acknowledge that operating models must be ‘flexible, dynamic and human centric’, integrating technology, business and operations into autonomous domains. Domains boost agility so your company can be disruptive in new areas while also supporting traditional lines of business. To leverage the full potential of this fluid, living model that is essential for the digital age, and to help realize the full S/4HANA benefits, one must act in three areas:
- Define domains with precision. Smartly bring together capabilities, assets and authority from across a disconnected enterprise.
- Be deliberate about leadership. Appoint a domain owner who is responsible for the end-to-end functioning of the domain.
- Diffuse culture shock. Support difficult conversations, new collaboration and agile ways of working.
A different view on work and workforce
Not only should we consider how we build the skills for the here and now, there is also a need to look at the future in which S/4HANA automation and real-time data capabilities could impact jobs and require skills that do not exist yet. For instance, new technologies for automation and personalization that bring new workforce requirements, such as increased creativity, complex reasoning skills and social-emotional intelligence. That is why reimagining the work activities, by assessing tasks within roles, reconfiguring jobs and mapping skills to jobs, is critical to defining the future of work.
In addition, your workforce should also be reimagined. With the rise in use of S/4HANA and other intelligent technologies, your workforce will look very different in the future. Changes in required skills and workforce mix enable organizations to reinvest freed workforce capacity into building new skills. Organizations can prioritize skills for development, target new skilling and can finally go digital, for instance by using VR and AR to accelerate the speed and scale of effective training and adoption.
Human digital transformation
Realizing the benefit of innovative technologies requires more than just the most up to date system. The combined power of a human centered change approach and unique tools like our Transformation GPS, results in a fit for purpose change journey. Once the change journey is underway, we enable organizations to take ownership of the change: connecting the organization to come together across department lines and utilize their knowledge and skills in a new way. It is a digital transformation, driven by human centered change.
At Connect to Innovate, my colleague Paul Koolen and Siert-Jan Bolt (ProRail) will tell you more about the human side of system change. Follow this session S/4HANA Finance & Procurement on 1 October at 3:30 p.m. in room 22.