It was Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, who said that “change is the only constant in life.”
Could he possibly have been referring to the widespread use of cloud computing and mobile devices, or the need to embrace change as an inherent part of digital transformation?
Not likely, since cloud computing hadn’t been established at the time of his death in 475 B.C. Instead, he was talking about the persistent presence of change in everyday walks of life. But his words leave us with a lesson for modern change management in the world of Agile computing.
Adapting Is the Only Option
The connection from Greek philosophy to SAP HANA and SAP Leonardo might seem like a leap, but it is real. Organizations are undertaking extensive re-engineering programs to benefit from new cloud and data services platforms.
According to AIM Consulting “Companies are becoming more aware of the need to focus on the critical role that their people play in implementing their digital vision…[and] to complicate matters, rapid technological advances are forcing large companies to adapt quickly.” Chief Digital Officer for SAP, Bertram Schulte, agreed, citing this as one of his 2019 Top 5 Digital Predictions.
Schulte latches onto the word “adapt” and reminds us that although digital transformation is a question of technology, it is also very much a people play.
“To drive true change, companies need great ideas, but they also need great people. Digital transformation requires buy-in from the top down with executives and from the bottom up,” Schulte wrote.
Change Management in the SAP World
ASUG Members will want to know, “What does change management look like inside the SAP world?”
It’s surprisingly hard to answer that question, in part because of the large number of consultancy firms and analysts that have made advising on changing and migrating to SAP technologies their bread and butter. It’s also because SAP doesn’t sell a change management tool.
For the record, SAP Management of Change isn’t quite as relevant to this topic as it might first appear. It’s software designed to make operational changes to equipment, materials, chemicals, operating conditions, procedures, and organizational structure.
Where There’s Change, There’s a Solution
More relevant for actual change management is SAP’s Portfolio and Project Management Software. It’s designed to manage the full project life cycle from a centralized source, while also keeping an organization’s portfolio on track, from forecasting and planning to accounting and closure.
SAP’s Change Request Management (ChaRM) software helps customers manage SAP Solution Manager projects (maintenance, implementation, template, and upgrade) end-to-end. It works with other SAP tools so users will be able to use the implementation services to implement ChaRM with SAP Solution Manager 7.2 as a key product.
SAP solution adoption specialist Faisal Iqbal wrote about his experiences in SAP change management and explained how much the approach should vary by project and circumstances.
“At an (SAP) implementation project, for instance, the change manager has to work in parallel with the project manager and the project team to align the change management activities with overall delivery. However, when it comes to SAP support, where the flow of change requests and projects is different and ongoing, the change manager is working with different teams and on varied functions,” Iqbal wrote.
He focuses on getting feedback on how changed processes or systems have helped end users improve their work. This has been crucial to “reinforcing change” inside the teams he has worked within.
Scalability and Sustainability
SAP’s Schulte brought this subject up in the first place because he wanted to call for a renewed focus on change management to endure scalability and sustainability, two terms that are key factors on the road to any kind of digital transformation.
ASUG Members will already know that change is an inherent part of any SAP deployment, from initial inception to ongoing upgrades, enhancements, and SAP platform extensions. Accepting dynamic change from the start is the best mindset to adopt. That’s the only constant we can offer you on the road to progress.
Learn more about how SAP Solution Manager connects to the SAP Support Backbone, and why you need to upgrade the 7.2 SP7/8 version by 2020.