Through a more than decade-long journey of effective delivery of communications, learning, support and service introduction capabilities, Accenture’s Change Enablement team has become an essential element in running a single global instance of SAP at Accenture.
Today, the team is a streamlined operation that leverages a variety of communication vehicles to deliver ongoing learning and support in a digital way to more than 15,000 users across all enterprise resource planning (ERP) system applications at Accenture.
The Change Enablement team collaborates closely with Accenture’s technology organization and all business process teams to ensure that users of Accenture’s ERP systems have the tools and the information they need to perform their jobs with the ERP.
Accenture keeps the capability current by leveraging social collaboration techniques, listening to and engaging on the feedback of users.
Accenture’s ERP system is one of its key assets, integrating most of its internal business functions and users and powering the core functions of the organization. To achieve the full benefits of its ERP solution, Accenture 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 ERP solution and ensure its ongoing stability, benefit realization and efficient operation.
As part of this effort, Accenture created a change enablement program, including a communications, continuous learning and knowledge management capability, a comprehensive user support system, and a stakeholder management structure that would prove to be the key ongoing component for this leading-edge production support solution.
Accenture’s internal IT organization collaborated with the business to create a Change Enablement team that would sit within Accenture’s Operations Support for the Enterprise (OSE) organization. Together, OSE teams deliver production and end-user support for Accenture’s ERP operations. The objective of the Change Enablement team was to provide timely and reliable communications, ongoing training and SAP functional/business knowledge management and support for Accenture’s SAP users around the world.
The Change Enablement team today is a streamlined operation that leverages a variety of communication vehicles to deliver ongoing learning and support in a digital way to more than 15,000 users across all ERP system applications at Accenture.
Capabilities are organized along four main areas:
ERP communications – The Change Enablement team develops and issues communications to SAP and upstream/downstream application users. It also maintains the overall release communication plan and program communications architecture. The architecture fully leverages a broad set of digital communication vehicles and social learning concepts including e-mail, ERP desktop/front-door, community of practice websites, and blogs with content driven and provided by ERP production support teams, business teams and super users. Communications fall into two categories: ad hoc/issue and operational.
Business procedures knowledge management sites and internal learning site – The Change Enablement team also manages a suite of online knowledge sites, which house functional procedures, demonstrations, process flows, support documents, training content and standard templates. These provide both global and location-specific procedural documentation with additional links to support materials. The team has enhanced the support site to integrate with Accenture’s internal social learning capabilities and to enable mobile device compatibility.
Accenture’s company-wide internal learning site houses a wide variety of ERP-at-Accenture training materials organized by ERP process area. This approach helps users become self-enabled. The team maintains the ERP-at-Accenture training curriculum and course materials, course requirements, course design, training content approach and development.
Inquiry and request workflow tool – A sophisticated inquiry and request workflow tool helps users submit questions and/or requests to update business/master data or make enhancements to the solution or reports. The tool routes these to the appropriate lead/super user network or the business teams for response and resolution and allows the user to track status of resolution. Users’ issues and questions are addressed according to established service level agreements (SLAs) based on criticality and complexity.
Service introduction – As Accenture is continually enabling new capabilities with its ERP, the Change Enablement team helps the responsible initiative teams to assess the requirements for successful support and sustainment of the capability post go-live, according to standard Accenture ERP operating, governance and support models. They then support the initiatives as they establish them as a part of their service introduction plans. .
Accenture managing directors Chris Crawford and Dan Kirner discuss the benefits and challenges met when migrating Accenture to SAP Business Suite on HANA.
The Change Enablement activities have enabled and continue to promote:
Increased efficiency and speed to value realization – The Change Enablement team activities have helped to ensure that through two major and two minor releases per year including deployment of extensive new capabilities and enhancements, a stable state is reached five weeks post release on average. Initiatives have been able to seamlessly transition into the end-state support model more quickly and users have embraced and understood the new capabilities more completely. As such, initiative benefits have been realized sooner and sustained, and without disruption to running the day-to-day business.
Reduced risk through communication timeliness and consistency – In emergency situations, ERP users receive a communication within 30 minutes of the time an issue arises, giving them ample time to re-plan key business activities that may impact analysis and reporting. In addition, ERP users leverage smart inquiry routing tools to get urgent questions answered quickly by process experts.
Reduced cost and increased efficiency through self-support and social learning – Each year more than 12,000 Accenture people log into the Change Enablement-managed support sites that house ERP procedures and functional support for ERP-related tools. Each month over 30 users are sharing tips and tricks with other users via the online community of practice site. Access to this material translates into fewer calls to the tier 1 and tier 2 support teams.
Increased collaboration through more effective use of social learning – Followers of the online community of practice site have embraced the opportunity to interact real time with one another and with experts. The community fosters teaming and open-sourced learning that balance well with other communication vehicles the Change Enablement team uses.
Active and ongoing change management through communications, continuous learning, knowledge management and user support have proved to be essential to an efficient ERP program at Accenture, ensuring that initiatives, teams and users stay connected and remain informed and capable. Equally important, the Change Enablement capability has demonstrated value to the business through its vital role in supporting global and streamlined ERP operations.