Accenture made the strategic decision to migrate to a single-instance global SAP® platform for our internal business functions when we transitioned from a private partnership to a global public company. Today, our enterprise system is one of our company’s key assets, integrating most of our internal business functions and users and powering the core functions of the organization.
From the start of the program, we recognized that we had to establish a user support capability that would live on past go-live of the solution, to provide ongoing communication and training for users of the solution as it evolved and as users’ experience with the solution developed.
When tech meets human ingenuity
To achieve the full benefits of our SAP S4/HANA, SAP Ariba® and other enterprise solutions, our internal IT organization in collaboration with business stakeholders introduced sweeping new user and application support processes and change enablement methodologies. These processes drive collaboration across the diverse internal business functions that use the enterprise system solutions and ensure its ongoing stability, benefit realization and efficient operation.
“Business benefits are often achieved well past go-live and must be sustained through active and ongoing change enablement.”
— MARK BURBAGE, Managing Director – Corporate Services & Sustainability, Business Integration, Accenture
Change enablement program creation
The Change Enablement team sits within Accenture’s Business Integration organization, helping to deliver support to Accenture employees for internal business applications.
The change enablement program includes a communications, continuous learning and knowledge management capability, a comprehensive user support system, and a stakeholder management structure that serves as a key ongoing component for this leading-edge production support solution. A dedicated Change Enablement team keeps the capability digitally current by leveraging the latest social collaboration techniques, automating key support processes, and listening to and engaging on the feedback of users.
The Change Enablement team leads the internal IT and business process teams in six main areas:
Providing consistent, timely communications for stakeholders and users across all enterprise-wide applications, business process areas, and key application releases so users understand what is happening during an incident or in an upcoming release.
Creating and maintaining ongoing training and reference materials on mobile knowledge management sites that cater to the digital worker.
Subject matter experts + smart request/inquiry tools
An active, available network of subject matter experts to respond to users’ questions, share best practices and advocate the global solution, leveraging Accenture’s smart, central user request and inquiry workflow tools.
Business absorption risk mitigation
Measuring the ability of the business and users to absorb risk across initiatives and releases and advising teams on risk-mitigation techniques and practices.
Assisting projects that are enhancing or extending our enterprise system with planning and implementing proven practices for supporting their users as part of the integrated production support model.
Regularly gathering key business and IT leaders/stakeholders to build cross-platform awareness and make integrated business decisions on how the enterprise system is run, sustained, and enhanced.
Change enablement expansion
Since laying the change enablement foundation more than a decade ago, the team has evolved and honed its capabilities into a streamlined operation that provides ongoing digital learning and support to more than 15,000 users across Accenture’s systems. By leveraging various collaboration tools including chatbots, blogs, TouchCast Pitch, in-application messaging, online collections and more, the Change Enablement team ensures that Accenture’s digital workers are kept trained and informed on everything from the latest release or current incident. Capabilities today are organized along five main areas:
Communications ‒ Issuing customized, digital communications to SAP and related application users, including timely in-application and/or e-mail incident communications to alert users to an active issue and instruct them on relevant actions they need to take as the issue gets resolved. This also includes directing the release communication plan and program communications architecture. A critical set of operational communications is used to facilitate the highly integrated financial close processes.
Learning and knowledge management ‒ Managing an internal, mobile-compatible applications operations support site, process documentation assets and online collections, capitalizing on Accenture’s global, virtual collaboration and social learning enablers, driving interaction and shared learning across the user community.
Inquiry and request workflow tools ‒ Implementing chatbots and overseeing the use of a sophisticated inquiry and request workflow tool within Accenture’s ServiceNow platform that enables users to submit questions and/or requests to update business/master data, make enhancements to the solution or reports, and track status of resolution.
Service introduction business advisor ‒ Helping initiative teams that bring new system capabilities online to assess the requirements for successful support and sustainment of the capability post go-live. As releases become larger, the Change Enablement team constantly monitors the scope of changes across initiative teams and works with them to determine the most effective change and communications plans to put in place, which balance risk with the ability of end users to absorb changes.
Stakeholder integration – The Change Enablement team facilitates regular meetings with key business and technology enterprise system leads to invite input on key decisions such as enhancement priorities and release timing, and to ensure awareness of initiative impacts to each process and technology area.
A valuable difference
Active and ongoing change management through communications, continuous learning, knowledge management, and user support have proved to be essential to making Accenture’s business run efficiently. These critical activities ensure that initiatives, teams, and users stay connected and remain informed and capable in supporting global yet streamlined operations.
Change Enablement activities have enabled and continue to promote:
Increased efficiency and speed to value
Activities help attain a stable state on average five weeks post major and minor releases.
Reduced business risk
Timely and consistent communications reduce risk and smart inquiry routing tools ensure quick responses to urgent questions.
Self-support and automated resources reduce cost and increase efficiency.
Change Enablement has remained steady in size while the capabilities included in and the user base supported by our enterprise system have expanded.
Effective social learning
Effective use of collaboration tools and real-time interaction among the user community fosters teaming and open-sourced learning.