Last week we hosted our first SAP S/4HANA Boot Camp training. This small, hands-on workshop featured a number of digital transformation team members attending in person, along with teams attending remotely via web conference.

Though I was one of the facilitators of the training, I learn something new every time I conduct workshops like these. Every attendee has a unique situation and set of problems to solve, so we are always learning as we apply our core consulting frameworks to different situations.

Here are some of the key lessons from our SAP S/4HANA Boot Camp training workshops:

S/4HANA transformations bring a number of concerns to the surface

We opened the workshop with a discussion of each attendee’s top concern related to their S/4HANA implementation. This discussion is a good way to stage the foundation for the rest of the training – and it is always interesting to hear what is on people’s minds. Below is one of the flipchart excerpts from the training workshop.

S/4HANA resources are in very short supply

Although one of our team members was one of the first to be certified in S/4HANA – and a handful of others have deep expertise in the SAP space – true SAP S/4HANA consultants are hard to come by. Resources are not being trained and gaining relevant implementation experience fast enough to keep up with demand, which is creating staffing problems on S/4HANA transformations around the world. This makes it important to carefully vet your SAP team to ensure that they are not learning on your dime.

SAP’s Activate methodology is just one piece of the puzzle for a successful S/4HANA deployment

SAP has developed a solid Activate methodology for deploying S/4HANA, but it only covers the functional and technical workstream of the overall transformation. Missing are critical pieces of strategic organizational change beyond basic S/4HANA training, organizational design, strategic alignment, S/4HANA quality assurance, and a number of other critical success factors. The slide below is an excerpt from one of the training sessions on this topic.

Implementation readiness is arguably the most important stage of an SAP S/4HANA transformation

The most engaging session of the 2-day workshop was related to implementation readiness. Most attendees had a number of concerns related to their level of readiness to begin their S/4HANA transformations. They are all aiming for a successful S/4HANA implementation, so we provided a framework to help them create a foundational business blueprint – but in a much broader way than SAP’s Activate methodology defines it.

Below is an example of the type of content we covered in this SAP training.

Your SAP S/4HANA system integrator doesn’t have all the answers

There was quite a bit of discussion surrounding the competencies of S/4HANA systems integrators. More importantly, there was discussion surrounding the deficiencies of the systems integrators. Not only are the big SAP systems integrators being exposed in their major failures and shortcomings in recent years, but organizations are beginning to realize that SAP systems integrators are not a silver bullet for successful implementations. They need to be carefully managed and kept in their “lane” of functional and technical consulting rather than taking over the entire project.

Conclusion: No SAP S/4HANA training is too much training for your transformation

As much as people learned during the two days, we just scratched the surface of the training required to make an S/4HANA project successful. It is important to educate your project team, executive stakeholders, and subject matter experts on a number of topics to ensure that you can build internal competencies and take ownership of the project.

If you are looking for some good SAP training, watch our SAP S/4HANA Boot Camp training page for more information and upcoming dates. Or, feel free to contact me to discuss how to customize some S/4HANA training to fit your organization’s need. I am happy to help!

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