Before we get into the substance of HOW TO build a next generation IT organization that is integrated with business a quick review is in order.
Last week’s post on SAP Service Provider to Business Peer Through Center of Excellence Maturity proposed the direct maturity of the SAP IT organization. The key principle is there are three stages or strata of Organizational Change Management Inside the SAP IT Support Organization These stages create clear distinctions between SAP Service Delivery versus Value Delivery.
This week is an overview of the development and maturity details to use SAP as a Change Enabler through SAP Enabled Business Transformation for IT Leadership. Please keep in mind this organizational development overview is just one component of the Series on SAP Competency Center or SAP Center of Excellence. The need to continue your Steering Committee Governance for an SAP Center of Excellence cannot be ignored. Properly formed and instituted your SAP steering committee is a key enabler for business to IT convergence.
To achieve SAP IT Convergence Beyond Business to IT Alignment requires a senior leader change champion to make this a deliberate and accountable effort. This is not intended to be a theoretical discussion but instead it is an action plan. The entire initiative is as a project and needs a project plan, deliverables, key milestones, assigned resources, etc. All of the structure and processes will need to be defined within your IT organization to move this forward.
SAP Center of Excellence Maturity Development Level 1 – Internal Focus on IT Operations (Service Provider)
Internal focus is an “all hands on deck” effort. If internal focus, or basic IT service delivery is suffering then everyone within the IT organization must work to ensure your systems are meeting business needs. You will not gain enough trust of the business community to become a partner or peer until the basic infrastructure works. Some of the key development in this phase includes:
- A skills matrix
- IT staff training and development plans
- Clear SLA requirements
- Consistent and regular feedback and coaching
Typical activities for service delivery include:
- Help desk functions
- Data maintenance
- Security and authorizations
- Technical infrastructure (servers, system performance, database maintenance, network, etc)
- System access (desktop, remote, mobile, etc).
- Hardware procurement
- Knowledge (information) base development (Wikis, SharePoint, collaboration tools, etc.)
- Knowledge transfer to the user community (formal and informal training)
- Super user development
Skills development focuses on SAP or technical domain competence
- Application module specialties (SD, MM, PP, SRM, CRM, FI, APO, BObj, etc)
- Programming languages (ABAP, Java, PHP, etc.)
- Infrastructure (Cisco, routers, VOIP, IPv6, DHCP, LDAP, etc.)
- SAP Solution Manager use
- Effective presentation skills
SAP Center of Excellence Maturity Development Level 2 – SAP IT Integration With the Broader Business Enterprise (Business Partner)
At this stage, depending on the size of your SAP or IT organization, there are 2 levels of leadership here: 1) delivery management, and 2) process management while developing methodologies, tools, templates, and controls. A key part of the process management is the development of KPI indexes. Typical activities for business (enterprise) integration include:
- Requirements gathering
- System & solution architecture
- Business case development (cost and value)
- Knowledge transfer
- Subject matter expert training
- Super user training
- KPI and PPI* development with analytics
- Project management
- Team and project leadership
- Basic supervisory tasks
- Mentoring, coaching, and staff development
- Budget adherence
- Sourcing and supplier management
- SAP Solution Manager setup and maintenance for project delivery as well as BPM
Skills development focuses on project delivery and management.
- Facilitation, meeting, and time management skills
- Project management (training and certification)
- Managing conflict
- Supervisory & leadership
- Negotiation skills
- Organizational Change Management
- Total Quality Management
- Business Process modeling
SAP Center of Excellence Maturity Development Level 3 – Strategic Development Around the Marketplace and Competitors (Business Peer)
Split development track for leaders – 1) product or service engineering support (i.e. the “innovation” track) or 2) sales and marketing (i.e. customer focus). Typical activities for value added strategic technology convergence include:
- BPI* development and analytics
- Marketplace analytics with solution proposals
- Customer analytics with solution proposals
- Value analysis – ROI assessment and benefit compliance
- Cost analysis – TCO assessment and cost savings
- Business case review for strategic fit
- Technology roadmap for system & solution architecture
- System architecture integration with business process management
- Program management
- Program & project budget development
- Project audits / QA’s
- Mentoring, coaching, and development of level 2 participants
- Vendor management
Skills development focuses on business drivers, marketplace competitive pressures, sales, and senior leadership.
- Advertising principles
- Business statistics
- Market research
- Sales management
- International marketing
- Sales models
- Organizational development
- Coaching and leadership
- Strategic planning
Conclusion on SAP Center of Excellence Maturity Development
This analysis provides a framework for development of a world class, fully integrated SAP IT organization. However, this framework only scratches the surface of a much broader and more important topic–, Organizational Change Management Inside the SAP IT Support Organization.
Communication is One Key to Business and IT Integration
One of the most critical components of a change management program is not listed above in any of the bullet points – developing communication channels. Maybe this is naïve of me but I would expect that actively and aggressively developing clear and open lines of communication between IT at all levels with the business would be assumed. Developing an overall communication program and plans is a basic part of any change management initiative.
There is a significant amount of additional guidance for developing your SAP Center of Excellence in the Series on SAP Competency Center or SAP Center of Excellence. A systematic approach, including key milestones to measure progress against are important elements to success. To that end I hope this framework contributes to the dialog and direction of future SAP IT organization maturity.
* An upcoming post in the future will look in detail at this concept of “KPI, PPI, and BPI” as Key Performance Indicators, Process Performance Indicators, and then finally Business Performance Indicators.
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- Building a SAP COE
- center of excellence phases
- organizational structure for SAP Center of Excellence