SThree achieves a powerful new Change Management system with SAP Solution Manager

SThree is a FTSE-listed global recruitment business. UK-based, the company operates in more than 20 countries worldwide, employing over 2,000 staff in more than 50 offices. Bluefin Solutions worked with SThree’s IT function to upgrade its change management process, making it more efficient, effective and traceable.

The business challenge

Because change is a constant priority for SThree, agility is crucial when operating in sectors as diverse and dynamic as IT, finance, healthcare and energy. It’s essential to be able to adapt business processes in line with market demands and client needs.

SThree’s ongoing change activity falls into two streams:

  1. Major change initiatives: large, one-off programmes to implement entirely new systems or business processes
  2. Continuous service improvement (CSI): more minor systems and business process enhancements, or the addition of new functionalities required by the business.

SThree needed to bolster its approach to managing change for two key reasons: firstly, the documentation and testing of system changes was inefficient and labour-intensive; and secondly, testing could only be done by technical experts, which meant delays if they weren’t available.

Furthermore, because existing documentation and testing procedures were not robust, this was causing a number of problems for SThree:  

  • Documentation could be changed in retrospect, leaving no accurate record of the changes that had been made
  • Changes to the same process could be made by different individuals in parallel, with neither realising what the other was doing
  • Insufficient evidence was being captured at the testing stage, leading to poor quality control.

These issues were resulting in a lack of transparency over changes made to the company’s SAP system. It was difficult to understand what had changed, why and how; to see the results of the testing phase; or to analyse the impact of change on performance.

“We needed a more systemised way of managing change, and a more effective way of recording the changes made and their effects on the business.”  Daniel Sargeant, SAP Delivery Manager, SThree

The solution

As part of an SAP system upgrade for SThree, Bluefin Solutions recommended installing SAP Solution Manager to run the company’s major change programmes. The solution provides an automated and systemised change management capability, improving efficiency and creating a clear audit trail. It could be readily integrated into the company’s existing SAP landscape. Furthermore, because SThree is an Enterprise Support Customer, it was able to utilise SAP Solution Manager without having to pay additional license fees.

Implementation

Bluefin Solutions began by running workshops with SThree to analyse the company’s SAP landscape, identify weaknesses in its existing change management processes, and understand what the IT team wanted from the new system.

Following this, Bluefin built the solution offline without taking up the time and resource of SThree’s IT function. The software was then configured so that SThree could isolate documents relating to changes earmarked under the CSI programme. This allows changes to be made, tested and recorded outside of the business’s ‘live’ IT system, then plugged back in once ready to be implemented. 

The Bluefin team then trained key individuals at SThree on how to use the new solution in light of the business’s needs and each person’s particular role.

It was an approach that allowed the project to be completed very quickly.

“It was the first time we’d worked so collaboratively with an external partner on such a major project. The result was a pain-free, cost-efficient solution.” Daniel Sargeant, SAP Delivery Manager, SThree

The business benefits

SThree’s IT function now has a full set of documented change management processes and test scripts for the first time. This has had several major advantages:

Improved business performance. The new system has greatly improved the effectiveness of change at SThree. Bluefin Solutions developed thoroughly detailed documentation and testing procedures to help manage the process.

  • Improved efficiency. The change process is much more efficient. The test scripts have generated significant time savings for the IT department, compared to creating a new test process from scratch for every change event. This reduces cost, and frees up resource
  • Improved traceability. Change is now far more traceable, making it easier to audit internally and measure the impact on performance.

“The system developed by Bluefin Solutions has given us a whole new outlook on Change Management. We now take a broader perspective on what change needs to be achieved for the business, and a more methodical approach to making it happen.” Daniel Sargeant, SAP Delivery Manager, SThree

SThree is now working with Bluefin Solutions to identify additional functionalities within SAP Solution Manager, and examine how these can be brought on-stream to benefit the business in the future.

Why Bluefin Solutions?

Bluefin Solutions recommended and installed SAP Solution Manager as part of an overall SAP system upgrade for SThree. A model of success, the project won an SAP Quality Award.

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