S/4HANA Adoption : A checklist

Happy to share the learnings gathered during my S/4HANA Journey so far:

1. Digital Transformation SHOULD NOT be RUN in PURE AGILE. Stick to ACTIVATE. Do not reinvent the wheel. Understand in detail available Best-practice processes. if required ask for / agree for multiple POC’s. DESIGN Upfront, NOT in time-buckets or sprints.This would be Choice of recommendation for LARGE LANDSCAPES & Total Transformation Projects. Once the DESIGN is finalized, Development done in sprints is a more appropriate choice.  

2. Understand S4 Capabilities and differences from ECC, early during Presales and Pre-Project phase. Multiple POC’s might be required. Client and Consulting / Implementation partners must be ready to Invest in PRE-PROJECT PHASE. After all it’s a TRANSFORMATION ( not just next technical upgrade) project. TREAT it LIKE ONE. Be open to ideas and ready to LEARN NEWer ways of DOING things. 

3. THIS IS NOT just next version of ECC! Business will require TIME to make DECISIONS! Business decisions are required for some Mandatory S/4HANA features. Business decisions are NOT easy to make and BUSINESS will need time to decide. The Decisions should be discussed, agreed and ready before the start of ACTUAL IMPLEMENTATION project.

4. Mergers and acquisitions: Total Transformation: Agree on a Landscape Transformation and pre-assess impact of S/4HANA Features and also other in-flight projects on S/4HANA adoption, in addition to S/4HANA Product innovation availability and adoption roadmap. Match time-lines of in-flight projects with that of S/4HANA implementation. The Functionality available in S/4HANA version will differ and hence it’s important to have a STABLE High-level Landscape and Architecture DESIGN, based on PRE-CONFIRMED Commonly agreed Business Process. Especially in M&A, a Preparation-Project is AS-IMPORTANT as that of actual Designing of Solution.

5.Prepare a S/4HANA adoption ROADMAP. It could be a strategy of “First Vanilla, next add required innovations”, because the product has features which are available in next version, OR it could be a strategy of “Longer POC’s and Exploration, before signing the dotted lines for Implementation Projects” Or any other strategy, as per individual requirement. The strategy will differ based on if you are a net-new customer or and existing one, also size of organization – SMB or Global Organizations and other factors..

6. S/4HANA Implementation is THE CHANCE to ADOPT the STANDARD process. If you want to carry-forward the investments already made in CUSTOMIZATIONS, then for the Install-based customer (existing SAP Customers), it is important that S/4HANA Feasibility Assessment is done prior to starting of the actual implementation project. The Assessment should cover – In-Scope Business processes and the current customizations which will get impacted due to S/4HANA. It is also a DECISION making platform for deciding whether a NEW implementation or a system-conversion is cost-effective. Further it is this phase which will help deciding on which “Customizations” or non-standard features one would want to “add-on” on top of STANDARD S/4 process. 

Well this is a quick summary. Please feel free to comment and connnect.

Would love to hear about your S/4HANA Implementations and/or System Conversion experiences

Best Regards,


NOTE: This blog was published by me on Linked-in


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