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Declutter your SAP Programme: 5 ways to get more value from your investment

Declutter your SAP ECC system

If you’ve looked at a straw donkey from a 1997 trip to Malaga and pondered “but does it spark my joy”, it’s safe to say you’re more than familiar with the concept of decluttering.

For those of you who aren’t, let me give you the sparknotes.

Decluttering is the latest household trend towards minimalism and space optimisation. It’s all about getting your possessions down to the bare minimum, and using clever storage solutions to make sure everything you need is to hand, in the right place at the right time.

It’s recent surge in popularity comes off the back of the Netflix series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo” in which Marie helps people get on top of the household mess.

She does this by asking - via her translator - if individual items “spark your joy”. If joy isn’t sparked, in the bin it goes. And thus your house is one step closer to it’s clutter free future.

You could say it’s the logical conclusion of the scandi-design trend we all bought into when those big blue warehouses full of flat-packed furniture popped up all over the country 33 years ago. 

But the thing about this decluttering trend is - it’s actually pretty useful. After all, who wouldn’t want to get rid of all their rubbish to have the things they need perfectly stored and ready to go. 

And it got me thinking, can the principles of decluttering be applied to the workplace…

  • Does your desk look like a bomb has hit it?
  • Is it cluttered with mugs of pens and paperwork?
  • Does your laptop need decluttering of all your old emails and files?

If you’re anything like me - the answers to those questions were probably yes. But they shouldn’t be!

So what if we took the concept of decluttering a step further… Decluttering your workload.

You could work smarter by decluttering your working week, just by doing these four things:

Reduce the number of meetings you attend

Aim to reduce the meetings you currently attend by 20% to give you space to focus on the more important work items that matter.

Delegate

Don’t do tasks if someone else is better placed to do them - delegating tasks actually drives efficiency throughout your team.

Stop multitasking

Write a checklist, prioritise and work remotely if you need complete focus. Create the space you need to do your best work. Our friend and Agile expert at Solutioneers Ian Carroll can tell you all about the problems with multitasking and context switching. If you want to learn more about it check this out…

SAP Kanban Training

Plan your time effectively and include timeout

Ensure you make time for whatever else you love doing. This gives you the space to breathe away from work.

How much better would your work life be if you could manage those 4 things?

But what if we could take the decluttering principle beyond just our workspace, or our own workloads, and we thought about how we could declutter our entire business from the ground up…

It’s time to spring clean your SAP system.

You’re probably sick of hearing people talking about it - but when it comes to SAP, migrating to S/4HANA is the hot topic on everyone's mind. 

But what if you didn’t need to move to S/4HANA - what if you already had everything you needed in your existing SAP system?

Recently, we’ve had a lot of interesting discussions about how people can get more value out of their existing ECC systems to delay moving to S/4HANA, or perhaps instead of moving to S/4HANA altogether.

Think about it like this.

Imagine you want to move house. Your house is just getting too small - there’s no where to put anything, you wish there was more room in the garden to start a veg plot, and it’s just not to your liking anymore. It’s not the house you fell in love with when you bought it.

You should move to something better right?

Wrong.

What if you just invested a little time and money (less time and money that it would take to move) into decluttering and fixing up your current home to bring back some of the luster it had when you bought it. This is what decluttering does for your home, and the same principle can be applied to your ECC system.

So, instead of jumping in with both feet to an S/4 migration - why not think about some ways you can declutter your current SAP programme to squeeze more value out of what you already have.

Here are 5 ways you can declutter your ECC programme to get more value from your SAP investment.

1. Review your Business Processes

  • Are there processes that are candidates for streamlining?
  • Are there steps in the process that could be automated or even removed? 
  • When was the last time your business process master list (BPML) was reviewed?
  • What has changed, stopped or started since then?
  • Is your BPML aligned to best practice? 
  • If you are using SAP you may be using the BPML in Solman. Are your business processes actually inefficient due to SAP?

Your business processes define what your business and your SAP system does. If you haven’t mapped these out fully, you don’t understand your business and your business requirements - so how can you honestly say your ECC system isn’t good enough and you need S/4HANA instead.

By getting a thorough understanding of your business processes you can assess if your current ECC system is being fully leveraged to automate as many processes as possible.

At Resulting we’re equipped with SAP experts who have both technical and business knowledge to assist you in reviewing your business processes in line with SAP’s BPML.

If you are not using SAP’s BPML, then consider using a worldwide benchmark reference.

At Resulting, we actively use best practice models and research – we consider using unbiased alternatives to SAP’s BPML such as the APQC Process Classification Framework when we are reviewing business processes.

You can find out more at APQC.org.

2. Review the your KPIs, Metrics and Measures

When was the last time that you checked the KPIs, Metrics and Measures that you put in place at go-live?

  • Are they all still relevant?
  • How many do you actually need and use on a weekly or monthly basis?
  • Does anyone still read those reports that you have been generating since go-live?

All too often you see organisations waste time manually tracking KPIs that could be automated, or just tracking the wrong things that don’t actually provide any useful or relevant data.

If your KPIs aren’t providing you with valuable information why are you spending time and resources tracking them?

If you can’t explain exactly why you’re tracking each and every KPI you have it’s probably time to declutter and retain only the ones you need.

Consider streamlining your metrics and measures in line with best practice. This is something we can help with.

3. Review your Business Procedures

After completing a review of your business processes, delve deeper to a procedural level – are there any candidates for decluttering or optimisation?

If you haven’t reviewed procedures for some time then it’s most likely there are opportunities for improvement.

Consider using Kanban planning software (Favro or MS Planner are examples of Project Management tools based on the Kanban concept).

Implementing Kanban can be helpful if you want to work in a more Agile way - but even if you’re not interested in Agile it’s a great way to visualise a department's workload and get it all up on a wall for everyone to see.

Sometimes this shows you the sheer volume of work you’re dealing with and it can be the incentive you need to declutter your workload to focus on the essential tasks that deliver the most value.

If you’re interested in implementing Kanban, or just want to review your business procedures we can support you on this.

4. Implement or resurrect Continuous Improvement

Have you been operating the same processes for a while and are starting to notice areas where there could be improvements?

Has this been logged and actioned as part of Continuous Improvement?

We all know that the best intentions for implementing continuous service improvements are often overtaken by the day to day running of the business.

Think about Hoshin Kanri and how Toyota proved that this methodology works (the strategic approach to continuous improvement).

Ask yourself - could it work for your organisation?

Without processes in place to drive continuous improvement it is unlikely your SAP programme will continue to deliver benefits to the business.

So if you’re feeling like your programme needs replacing - it could simply be that it hasn’t been updated to reflect the needs of the business in a long time.

If you want to track business requirements and continuous improvement, a strong CoE will help.

5. Review your SAP Centre of Excellence

Whether you're just implementing S/4 or have an existing SAP system in place, a mature Centre of Excellence is crucial to your business performance.

When it’s set up, running properly, and empowered to make decisions and drive change - the CoE should be the Marie Kondo of your SAP programme - helping you keep everything decluttered,running efficiently, and sparking joy for your business.

Is your Centre of Excellence lean and equipped to cater to the needs of the business today - not just the business as it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago when you implemented ECC.

Chances are - it’s probably not.

Resulting run a 1 day SAP Centre of Excellence Workshop, benchmarking your existing organisation against the Resulting CoE best practice model to produce a simple, practical CoE Roadmap for your future SAP success.

If you’re interested in seeing how you can get more value out of your existing ERP system then get in touch.

Get in touch


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Sherpa Guidebook for SAP S/4HANA Leaders

 

If you or a member of your leadership team is involved in running a complex ERP programme, you're exposed to significant risk.  In addition to the obvious risk to your business, you career prospects within and beyond your firm could be harmed (or improved) by the experience.

Find out how you can reduce your risk with the benefit of Sherpa - our unique support service for business leaders who are asked to take a leading role on their company's ERP programme.

 

Sherpa Guidebook for SAP S/4HANA Leaders