A P2P transformation is a complex process involving people, processes and data. The very nature of transformation involves change. But for change to be successful it must be managed effectively; this necessitates a great level of preparation and a recognition that for a digital change programme in particular, the project must be viewed from a ‘people perspective’ as well as a ‘technological perspective’.
Preparedness is key to understanding how best to effect change. An organisation readying itself for a P2P transformation will need to go through a process of self-reflection. This is crucial to enable the identification of existing operational issues and legacy systems which require a focus shining upon them. Only when systems, data and processes are reviewed and aligned can an organisation be certain where investment and improvement is truly required.
Not only should the organisation understand where there have been short-comings in processes and systems historically, but they should also be clear on their goals for the future. Having a clear vision of what P2P success looks like for your organisation will support the prioritisation of activities. No organisation has an infinite budget, so ensuring that there is an agreed understanding of what areas of the business take precedence for change is important.
Whilst system and process alignment is crucial, a significant amount of time should be spent on the human resource element of a P2P transformation.
The culture of the organisation can have a huge impact upon employee perceptions of change. If culturally the business embraces change and views it as an opportunity for progress and improvement, there is an increased likelihood that employees will adopt that mindset too.
When considering the human element of P2P transformation, understanding two factors can significantly aid the Project Manager to anticipate likely reaction and therefore plan accordingly:
- Level of interest
- Level of influence
Those stakeholders who are likely to be most interested in the P2P transformation are teams where the impact will be greatest felt – accounts payable, finance, procurement teams for example.
Identifying individuals or teams who will have the opportunity to significantly influence the P2P project is also crucial. These can include individuals such as board members, who will unlikely be impacted on a day to day basis, but who can hold a significant amount of sway, for example in perceptions of the project organisation-wide.
Once stakeholders are categorised by interest and impact, clear roles and responsibilities should be set out by the Project Owner. This is a crucial phase to empower individuals and enable them to take action where it is deemed appropriate within the P2P transformation process. Your provider will be able to contribute greatly to this process based on their vast experience of successful implementation projects.
As a guiding principle, highly influential and highly interested individuals should be kept close to the project team as they have greatest potential to effect change.
Decision champions should be identified through this process – failure to do this will hinder the progress of a P2P transformation. Once identified, decision champions need to maintain a closeness to the project and be empowered to both draw conclusions and commit action that will drive change and ensure the success of the project.