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At the SAP Sapphire conference, on the 10th of May, we unveiled One Process Acceleration Layer for SAP, a self-service collection of business process accelerators, metrics and thought leadership, that help companies jump start their projects and speed up time to value.   

In simple terms, with One Process Acceleration Layer, organizations can avoid the complexity of starting from a blank sheet but rather, find all the guidance they need to scope and drive their projects. Also, they can access and consume a vast quantity of ready-to-use solution content that helps reduce implementation costs and time.   

But why accelerate, and why now? In this blog post, I’d like to discuss why it’s a smart time to accelerate and how business process accelerators packages such as One Process Acceleration Layer can help organizations maximize the returns of their innovation programs.  

Disruption is here to stay 

“The new normal is disruption”, Gartner says it clearly in its 2022 CIO Agenda. Since the pandemic hit, companies of all sizes and industries have been facing unprecedented challenges, and in response, they have been reinventing the way they think, work, interact with customers, sell and deliver their products. Organizations have been pushing the fast-forward button of transformation, condensing decades of innovation into two or three years.  

Ever frequent demand and supply shocks, the fast race to digitalization, as well as the need to embrace more sustainable and socially responsible business models, not only represent the call for companies to transform, but to transform well and fast. If organizations want to stay ahead of competition and on top of ever evolving customer preferences and buying habits, transforming fast is nowadays just as important as transforming itself.   

Still, while companies have been bold at undertaking - massive and multiple – innovation initiatives, research shows that transformational efforts typically struggle to reach the finish line on time. Often, they cost more than planned and exceed time estimates. Many transformations (digital, business, automation projects…) stay in pilot for too long, struggle to accomplish or go off the rails, ultimately, losing momentum and commitment from stakeholders.    

The typical pitfalls in transformational programs 

Of course, the variables that mark the success or the failure of a transformational program can be several and diverse; in general, we could say that the typical pitfalls causing projects’ time and costs overruns include:  

  • Unclear goals and innovation paths: organizations are often uncertain on where to start and where to go next. Confusion around transformation objectives often results into wrong and delayed decisions.  

  • Inability to correlate the technical and business perspective: organizations frequently struggle to map innovation to their business needs and to understand which processes and initiatives can generate real value to the business.  

  • Lack of buy-in from stakeholders: transformation programs are normally very resource-intensive, can experience resistance and get stuck. Sharing context and knowledge about the project is fundamental to bring people on board at speed.  

  • Lack of performance measurement: to validate choices and react fast if appropriate. Measuring outcomes is key to understand whether the project direction is right, as well as to keep commitment around the initiative.   

Obviously, when projects exceed time estimates, ROI from transformation is harmed since costs increase faster than the benefits being achieved. On the other hand, programs that are well defined, are timely and stay on track, drain less resources and maximize the benefits of transformation.  

What the right accelerators and content strategy can do 

To overcome these common pitfalls and be successful, transformation programs need the right solutions and methodology, but also – and more than in the past – content and acceleration assets that can help them start easily, identify the innovation paths that are open to them, spread knowledge, measure where they stand, and ultimately, accelerate time to value.   

With so many programs in place and the pace of transformation companies are confronted with, more than ever is key for organizations to find inspiration and draw on the experience of others, not having to reinvent the wheel every time they start a new project. By leveraging business process accelerators and thought leadership content such as the ones that One Process Acceleration Layer provides, organizations can find answers more quickly, direction on which are the best practices, as well as solutions designed to their specific needs, that can be applied fast.  

When well designed, accelerator assets (no matter if process models, papers, solutions…) leverage both IT and process expertise and can serve as the lingua franca across the organization, facilitating knowledge sharing and alignment among departments. Also, they typically address the most high-value use cases, helping companies focus on the processes and actions that really matter to the business. Finally, the concept of accelerators is tightly related to the concept of community: to be elevated to the dimension of “accelerator”, any asset is tested, proven and enriched by many, meaning that organizations that adopt them can act confidently, and are always exposed to the latest and greatest practices.     

The 5 takeaways from the blog post 

  1. Now more than ever, companies are required to transform well and fast 

  2. Still, many transformational projects struggle to reach the finish line on time, get stuck or go off the rails 

  3. Typical pitfalls include unclear goals, inability to blend the business and IT perspective, lack of buy-in from stakeholders and lack of measurement   

  4. By leveraging business process accelerators, thought leadership content and metrics such as the ones that One Process Acceleration Layer provides, organizations can find the inspiration they need to jump start their transformation programs, keep their projects on track and measure effectiveness over time 

  5. When well designed, accelerators assets combine IT and business expertise serving as the common language across the organization, facilitating knowledge sharing and the buy-in of different teams. 

Should you want to learn more about One Process Acceleration Layer, visit the dedicated page on the SAP Signavio website.

Notably, the One Process Acceleration Layer beta program has also just started, register here to be among the first to navigate the contents and let us know your feedback.