How To Prepare for An SAP S/4HANA Implementation: The Five Pillars of SAP S/4HANA Readiness

Published On
January 29, 2020

An SAP S/4HANA implementation is a large transformation project. The sheer size of the project can be overwhelming. This typically is the case when thorough planning and preparation hasn’t been put in place. The big question then is: how does an organization prepare for a successful SAP S/4HANA implementation?

A good place to start is an SAP S/4HANA readiness assessment. The objective of a readiness assessment is to lay out the roadmap for your SAP S/4HANA journey. It presents an opportunity for you to assess your:

  • As-is scenario: how you currently run your business and manage your infrastructure
  • To-be scenario: how things will change as you move to SAP S/4HANA
  • Requirements: the planning of your transition, developing estimation models, and monitoring progress

Why is SAP S/4HANA Implementation Readiness Important?

A popular saying is that “People don’t plan to fail. They fail to plan”. This statement holds true for many project failures. More often than not project failure can be traced back to missteps and decisions that weren’t made in the implementation readiness stage.

When you successfully execute the implementation readiness component of your project, you realize the following benefits:

  • Resource Optimization: The more time and resources you spend upfront during the implementation readiness stage, the more smoothly executed your SAP S/4HANA project will be. You won’t waste time and resources on things you could have addressed during implementation readiness.
  • Risk Mitigation: In an implementation readiness assessment, you get a bird’s eye view of the entire SAP S/4HANA implementation project. This elevated perspective, gives you an opportunity to spot potential pitfalls and address them. If you can’t address some of these pitfalls during the readiness assessment, you can develop contingency plans.
  • Ensured Alignment: Having alignment from the executive team on project execution and detailed technological decisions is critical for success. The best time to ensure organizational alignment is during your SAP S/4HANA implementation readiness assessment.

The 5 Pillars of SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessement for Implementation

Since all transformations are inherently personal, your SAP S/4HANA readiness assessment will be tailored to your business needs and organizational vision. That being said, all SAP transformation projects have a similar framework. In an SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessment there is a framework that consists 5 pillars. Each one of these pillars must be assessed and established in implementation readiness to mitigate risk and insure a successful SAP S/4HANA transformation.

Here are the 5 pillars of an SAP S/4HANA implementation readiness assessment:

1. Strategic and Executive Alignment: Before you undertake an SAP S/4HANA transformation, you need answers to big picture questions. Why are you undergoing this transformation? What do you plan to accomplish? Getting the answers to these kinds of questions is a critical component of establishing strategic and executive alignment because it brings clarity to the project and translates the executive vision into specific project goals and objectives.

2. Operational Readiness: As a transformative project, an SAP S/4HANA implementation will bring changes to how you run your business. This means you must make some strategic operational decisions. The best practice is to make these operational decisions prior to implementation.

3. People Readiness: Your entire organization and the internal staff are essential transformation enablers. The object of establishing people readiness is to assess the skills and competences you have as an organization and what you will need going forward. Once your skills and competences are defined, a change plan and change timeline will be created to ensure your staff begins to prepare for upcoming changes.

4. Technical Readiness: This is where your infrastructure is assessed, and a plan is put together on how you are going to decommission your legacy systems or migrate them over to SAP S/4HANA. The objective of technical readiness is to define the go live architecture and establish a data migration plan as well as data readiness.

5. Project Governance and Planning: The overall project implementation plan will be developed in this phase of SAP S/4HANA implementation readiness. The key objectives here is to establish the project working structure, define project organization, complete the project and resource plan, and define the approach for managing risk.

SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessement for Implementation with Wharfedale Technologies

How you prepare and with whom you prepare for your SAP S/4HANA implementation is critical to your success. You need a partner that understands business processes, the SAP user experience, technical architecture and cloud offerings. Having executed a number of successful SAP implementations and cloud migrations for various clients over years, Wharfedale Technologies brings a depth of expertise that is unmatched.

To learn more about our SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessment and how we can help your organization prepare for an SAP S/4HANA implementation, contact us.