When it comes to SAP SuccessFactors implementations, the technical side of the project only represents a minority of the work that needs to be done. Designing the functional processes, configuring the system, executing the data migration strategy and setting up the integrations typically only comprises about 30% of the work that we do. And yes, some might say the actual figure is lower than this. The question I often receive from (potential) clients is: “Why would we bother documenting the current HR processes if we’re going to do it differently anyway?” The answer to this question can be found in the remaining 70-80% of project activities that will ultimately determine whether or not your implementation is a success.
Some of the common problems that we see occurring after project Go-Lives in purely technical driven implementations include:
- Tickets are raised but remain unsolved. Quite often, support tickets pile up and the service center can’t respond to the volume of requests.
- Because the system is perceived as intuitive, the impact of training is too often underappreciated. As a result, train-the-trainer sessions during the implementation are not always sufficient.
- People have not been involved in the process throughout the project and as a result, they simply do not accept a new system going forward.
All of these points are strongly related to business consulting and change management during an implementation. Without it, complex implementations are doomed. So, returning to the question posed by my clients: Why would you focus on the As-Is processes when you’re preparing a SuccessFactors implementation?
The question I often receive from (potential) clients is: “Why would we bother documenting the current HR processes if we’re going to do it differently anyway?”
The answer is simple. It is necessary to fully understand the impact that the implementation will have on all levels of your organization. A workshop should not solely focus on your new system processes. It should also include the heatmapping of your current processes and how they will be impacted by your new system processes. Preparation is key to success in any project. Fully documenting the As-Is processes gives you an understanding of the differences across the different countries, plants or sites. It encourages the early involvement of relevant stakeholders to the project. A lot of organizations want to use best practice processes. It’s very likely that these processes will differentiate from your current processes. Bridging that gap prevents problems that might occur later in the process or after Go-Live.Assessing and documenting As-Is processes gives people the opportunity to have their voices heard and to share what they are doing and what their concerns are. It’s also critical to understanding how the system will be accepted in the organization and to planning how you want to work with and around it. Therefore, a crucial role in the business consulting team next to the technical team is the role of end-to-end business process manager. You need somebody who is connecting the dots from the business to the system and the other way around.
When it comes to preparation, the following items are critical to project success and deserve time and focus in your project:
- Business consulting
- Change Management
- As-Is analysis
- Stakeholder Management
- Early engagement of relevant people
- End-to-end business process design
If you have comments or stories about the importance of understanding the As-Is environment in a SuccessFactors project, please comment below. We would love to hear your experiences.