Time is running out, there are just over 3 years left until the end of 2027. Existing SAP ERP customers will need to rush to migrate to S/4HANA, but this rush should not result into an idle system that will not eventually be used or deliver the unexpected benefits / results.
So to deploy S/4HANA solutions faster and more securely, SAP is announcing more accelerators. However, I am not sure these new tools are much used in projects as expected.
I would like to give an example from my own region, Turkey. For about last 5 years, all S/4HANA projects have started with great enthusiasm by saying that they will be implemented using the Activate Methodology, but unfortunately, after a few months, the Activate definition remains only in document templates. Exceptions do not break the rule, of course, a few projects have been carried out where the methodology was used correctly.
Below you can access SAP's accelerators on SAP Activate Methodology for Transition to SAP S/4HANA:
The most important thing to consider when using accelerators is to apply them without deviating from the main idea: Success.
Another issue that should be considered carefully is that each project has its own dynamics and goals. This is an acceptance of the fact that each project is managed within its own micro ecosystem. Unfortunately, there is no standard template that will fit every project 100%. But fortunately, there is a roadmap and approach that can be followed and inherited in every project.
I would like to share with you my own experiences with Fit-to-Standard, which is the approach I used most in my last two large-scale projects.
I've copied SAP's standard recommendations below; I highlighted the most important sections by using bold attribute; I also added my own experiences in bold italics.
Download and review SAP Best Practices and SAP Model Company documentation relevant for the project (based on known scope)
Consultants to review SAP Best Practices functionality in Sandbox and configure system for workshops (quick wins, customer specific organization units and master data)
Before planning and executing the above steps, print the 3 measurable goals of the project in a large poster and hang it where the whole team can see it while working.
Set expectations with the business users; tie all discussion to business value and benefits
Demonstrate the standard processes and guide customer towards adopting standard
Identify and document delta requirements
Prioritize all delta requirements
I recommend that you do this work with someone from each business unit who has been using SAP ERP for many years. I know that new generation employees are very important, but we cannot ignore the experience of the old generation.
Prepare solution design for the identified delta requirements
Visualize application for areas that require changes
Almost all SAP users will stay away from FIORI applications because they are used to using GUI. They will say that they like it very much, but when it comes to daily use, they will say that it does not work for us. Be sure that an expert who is familiar with FIORI applications and knows how to make changes to FIORI screens manages the workshops.
Prepare Release and Sprint plan for Realize phase
Prioritize Backlog of delta requirements
Estimate relative effort of all changes
Prepare release and sprint plan for Realize phase
It is important that delta needs are prioritized according to the project goals determined at the beginning, or better yet, replaced with standard SAP processes (by convincing the business units). Otherwise, moving away from the standard will be inevitable.
In the diagram above, I have reinterpreted the Fit-to-Standard: New Implementation approach recommended by SAP, with my own experiences. It may bring some help to S/4HANA project teams that are just starting out.