Skip to Content

Let’s not make S4 a leap of faith

David Lowson
April 8, 2022

I hear in the market about some SAP S/4HANA projects that have halted, stalled, or, changed directions, because between taking the leap to start an S/4 transformation to losing confidence after the first difficult meeting or hiccup has consequences.

I have seen clients spending more time and money thinking about S/4, as compared to others who made the move, implemented their flavour of the intelligent enterprise and are sitting on a fast flexible platform that adapts quickly to surprises like the pandemic. But why does that happen?

Between the lack of know-how knowledge and confidence, the leadership/stakeholders involved are ready to kick the bucket as soon as those fears look that they might manifest. So, I take this personally as a strong proponent of the SAP ecosystem. We owe it to our clients to confidently say we can deliver the benefits they want with a clear vision derived through a business case development, architecture and plan for foundation, build and run, based on their strategy / idea / business hypothesis.

Transitioning to SAP S/4HANA does not deliver benefits. Changing the business, giving yourself new capabilities does, and too many people forget that. It’s no wonder leadership lose confidence in S/4 transformation programmes.

So, what is the answer?

  1. Align your move to S/4 with a strategic agenda everyone can buy into in less than 4 weeks
  2. Build the business case and work out changes on capability / delivery in less than 6 weeks
  3. Work out value driven road maps (people, process and technology) for the move using an 80/20 certainty rule on time and budget! Run this exercise over 4 to 6 weeks
  4. Build the back log you need to deliver
  5. Build your foundation (technology, people, skills, contracts etc.)
  6. Start the project and programme moving to an agile and DevOps way of work
  7. Iterative loops for benefits achieved linked to the strategic & cost drivers
  8. Iterate to adapt to changes but using the platform you have built

This is not very hard, I promise you. There are clearly a whole range of tools, templates, and accelerators to build into this approach, but I have banged my gavel with the judgement. These thoughts are my own and do not reflect my employer’s position. So, if you think I’m right, or really rubbish, let me know!

Meet our expert

David Lowson

Expert in ERP Implementation, Package Solutions