SAP S/4HANA migration impacts end users in a big way. There are new interfaces, new features and functionalities, and new business processes and workflows. It is important to support end user adoption through this big change to realize the benefits of S/4HANA and the return on your investment in it. Here are 5 tips to help make organization-wide digital adoption of S/4HANA possible for your organization as you make the transition.
1. Don’t shortchange end user training – no matter your migration approach
Whatever your implementation process, whether it’s bluefield, greenfield, or brownfield, you will need to make room for end user training. This may seem like an obvious statement, but a 2019 ASUG survey found that planning for end-user training is not always a forgone conclusion. Only 56% of organizations two or more years out from migration saw end user training as necessary. As implementations progress, though, that number grows to 71% as organizations go live with S/4HANA and realize the magnitude of the changes that impact end users.
Greenfield or brownfield migration strategy
Often these approaches to S/4HANA migration are appealing because they offer the potential for a shorter implementation duration. But, though starting from scratch or strategically making over your old system eases many aspects of system integration, your end users will have all new processes and features in which they will need training. Indeed, ensuring that end users reach the necessary level of proficiency in S/4HANA and the new ways of doing things will require more training and support. This element of the overall implementation duration should be planned for and receive the necessary allocation of resources.
Bluefield migration strategy
On the other hand, organizations taking a bluefield approach to migration have likely anticipated a longer, costlier implementation. And as they take the time to extract and transfer much of their old system’s customizations and processes to their S/4HANA system, some organizations might think there’s no need for end users to have formalized training post-implementation. But there is still new functionality and interfaces that end users will need support in. Furthermore, as these bluefield projects unfold, there is the risk of end-user training falling by the wayside. Many organizations struggle to properly account for the time and cost of an SAP implementation, which for a large company can take 31-34 Months and cost 2-3% of annual revenue. If the migration wasn’t initially scoped correctly, and the organization is taken by surprise as the implementation runs down the clock and eats through the budget, often the part that gets short-changed is the post-go live training and support end users need.
2. Engage and leverage your subject matter experts before and after the migration
Your internal subject matter experts – those super users who are experts in specific domains of your organization’s products, processes, and the corresponding SAP knowledge – can be a critical part of your change management team and strategy. With the help of your subject matter experts, your S/4HANA migration can be both more comprehensive and more efficient.
In this stage, subject matter experts can map the business processes in their domain within your current system, as well as any alterations to those processes in S/4HANA and each new business process. This will not only allow you to thoroughly test your new system with an end user’s perspective but also it can help identify the key areas in which end users will need to be trained or retrained. This process knowledge can inform the training program, helping the training staff to pick the right approach for your SAP end user training needs. For instance, they may report that some system changes call for more in-depth training, while others might not require “training” exactly. Instead, they may simply need end user process execution support, like that provided by digital adoption platforms.
After S/4HANA is live, you can continue to leverage your subject matter experts for ongoing business process documentation and maintenance. By coordinating your community of SAP super users and subject matter experts, organization-wide end user training and support doesn’t have to get stuck in L&D departments. Instead, the large task of documenting and keeping up-to-date each new business process can be dispersed, providing faster access to and distribution of new business process knowledge. This decentralization of SAP end user training responsibilities can mitigate information bottlenecks and, in the end, speed end user adoption and the time to employee productivity.
3. Get ready to train on SAP Fiori
It may seem counterintuitive, but the new more intuitive Fiori user interface will still need SAP end user training. SAP Fiori was designed with user experience in mind, finally updating the UI to reflect what most people have long enjoyed in their consumer technology products. One of the big shifts is the move from the transactional SAP GUI to the role-based SAP Fiori, which has reduced the number of screens in the application, the need to switch between them, and the number of fields necessary for each role and process.
While this is all meant to make it easier for end users, shifting the way end users did their work in the old system can be a hard habit to break. No matter the UI, learning new ways of doing things will require hands-on training at first, until the new workflows become as intuitive as they were designed to be. And beyond that, a more intuitive user interface doesn’t simplify the inherently complex processes many organizations need their end users to execute. To get your end users working in SAP Fiori with confidence, plan on providing experiential, on-the-job training opportunities.
4. Maximize those new features for the long haul
Part of the appeal of S/4HANA migration is that new functionality. Whether you are looking forward to predictive material and resource planning that allows you to forecast component demand, workflow enablement for sales documents that increases sales efficiency, or the new finance capabilities of group reporting and advanced financial closing – the key to realizing these benefits is successful, sustained digital adoption.
Digital adoption is the process of reaching a level of proficiency on a given technology that enables users to understand and effectively utilize it in their role so organizations realize its full capabilities and value. As you migrate to S/4HANA, end users will need a training strategy that includes repeated training opportunities and ongoing learning support so you can achieve digital adoption.
Front-loading training with all the new functionality is going to have diminishing returns unless end users apply that information right away and consistently. For example, some of the valuable features of S/4HANA will not be used in an on-the-job scenario for weeks or months after your end users have been trained on it. This puts your SAP end user training at odds with the forgetting curve, in which 70% of new information is forgotten within 24 hours.
To maximize the value and benefits of your S/4HANA migration, it is important to provide long term and dynamic training and support tools and artifacts. This means providing accessible and digestible resources for S/4HANA’s new features and capabilities that end users can leverage at their point of need. Because even if the information was committed to memory in initial training, SAP promises faster feature releases for S/4HANA. Ongoing, up-to-date support is essential for your overall migration strategy.
5. Incorporate a Digital Adoption Platform into your S/4 HANA migration
A digital adoption platform is software that runs on top of the enterprise application or system in which end users need training and support, providing on-demand process instructions. OnScreen is the digital adoption platform that specializes in SAP systems, and it can be integrated into your migration as early as possible to ease the transition, as well as offering the ongoing user adoption support a major implementation needs:
- The walkthrough guides that are central to the platform break down SAP business processes into each step. This means that as your subject matter experts create guides they effectively map, test, and document new or changed business processes.
- Guide assistance is available in the application, embedded in the workflow so users don’t have to navigate a learning resource while trying to learn to navigate new interfaces.
- A digital adoption platform provides hands-on training with role-based guide access and self-service support. In some scenarios, it can supplement or replace other more time-constrained or resource-heavy training approaches.
- Guides are easily updated and searchable by transaction, supporting end users for the long haul to realize the full extent of S/4 HANA benefits.
OnScreen is the agile digital adoption platform for SAP and web-based enterprise applications that boosts process efficiency and employee productivity by empowering any user to become a super user. Book a Demo to learn the other ways DAPs can save your enterprise money through successful digital adoption.