Lessons Learned: Financial Transformation in Oracle Cloud Apps

Financial Transformation in Oracle Cloud Apps Hero (small2)Many organizations are looking for new cloud applications to help them transform as we find balance in the current business climate. Financial transformation ranks alongside digital transformation for most organizations, but successful transformations are few and far between. The problem? You don’t know what you don’t know. How can you overcome this? Learn from others’ mistakes. Below are the top six lessons you can learn when pursuing financial transformation in Oracle Cloud Apps.

Lesson 1: Modern Business Best Practices

Most organizations have adopted processes that are unique to running their business. Sometimes these processes don’t fit perfectly with the Best Practice process outlined in a transition to Oracle Cloud Apps. How can you overcome or even avoid this misalignment? Review and document your current processes and workloads, review the current list of best practice processes from your integration partner, understand what workarounds your team has implemented to work within your current tool, and ensure you have the support of your Executive Team.

Lesson 2: Quality Assurance

The quality of your financial transformation is directly linked to the quality of your Oracle Cloud Apps implementation. If you didn’t see an outline of quality assurance processes and procedures in the project Statement of Work or surveys weren’t anonymized, your quality would likely suffer. How do you overcome this? Ask for documentation samples and determine where documentation will be stored so that it is easily accessible for all parties. Require a Pre-Project Survey to get a baseline of where you are coming from so you can measure the results of your end state—review survey questions in advance and check the interviewer's skill set. Identify who your key stakeholders are in the transformation process. These people will range from power end users up to the C-Suite.

Lesson 3: Data Conversion

Data Conversion is one of the most significant areas for mishaps when moving to Oracle Cloud Apps. The time to extract data, confirm cleanliness, and map it correctly to the new system is usually severely underestimated. Resource availability isn’t adequately projected. A lack of understanding of who will be needed from a technical and functional perspective and halt your implementation. How can you overcome this? START NOW. Proper data conversion is one of the most significant portions of a successful financial transformation—junk in = Junk out. Start the data review process as soon as possible, date the extract so you can review and data sets that come after. Assign the proper technical, functional, and approver resources. Ensure their availability and enable them with the processes, procedures, and authority to make decisions regarding your data.

Lesson 4: Governance

Understanding the real commitment for an Oracle Cloud Apps implementation will be critical to success. On-premise projects used to take anywhere from one to five years to complete. The speed at which cloud projects move has increased ten-fold. These projects move fast and evolve with the information and insights gained during the process. How do you solve for this? Organize around the persona of the project. Often we see a PMO, a Steering Committee, and a project team. It gives a hierarchy of how to move and approve through the project. The PMO is your Executive Team or the top-level decision-makers, the Steering Committee consists of your power/super users or managers of a department who are hands-on in the system, but at a higher level, this team can resolve most escalations before involving the PMO, the Project Team are the ones who get it done – the real MVPs. Socialize the cloud project timeframes. Yes, the shortened timeframes help improve the bottom line, but taking a project that used to require a five-year ramp and shortening that to 18 months means all parties have a realistic expectation of the time and resource requirements.

Lesson 5: Efficient Design and Build

Huge efficiencies can be gained by leveraging best practices and templates, but you need to adequately review requirements documentation before starting. Also, keep in mind that your current documentation is likely to be outdated, unless you recently went through an audit, and need a refresh. There are specific set-ups your organization has that absolutely cannot be changed – do you know which ones they are? Finally, the pace of a cloud apps project moves fast, leading to skipped or pressured sign-offs. How do you solve for all of these? Utilize tools like Functional Setup Manager (FSM) to store, review, and revise documentation so all parties can work from the most up-to-date documentation. Ask what configurations CAN’T be changed – be very specific on this ask. Things that previously couldn’t be changed, like items that are foundational to your enterprise structure, can now be changed in the cloud. Focus on things like your chart structure or your calendars or something that can’t be changed after transactions start hitting the system. Take the time necessary to review documentation and configurations, so you eliminate the need to go back and clean up a mistake.

Lesson 6: Change Management and Training

Change management is critical when moving to Oracle Cloud Apps. Do not mistake Change Management with Training. Both are important, but change management will ensure your users become comfortable with the tool as it focuses on the users' psyche. Training resources and content need to be accessible for all users. How do you overcome this? Ask who the change management consultant(s) is(are) and who the trainer is. These should be two separate people. One will focus on the psychology of change; one will focus on training. People are what will make your financial transformation a success. Train-the-Trainer – who from your organization be a trainer? Are they equipped with the right skill set to be successful? Make sure you choose someone who understands how to read the students and utilize the information and blend it. If you don’t have a person or people within your team that can handle this, you might want to look at an outside organization for training.

As you look to implement financial or digital transformation for your organization, getting started on the right foot is essential. Start by working with a Denovo Oracle Cloud Apps expert on an assessment. Companies that begin with an evaluation reduce their time to implementation by 30% and increase their success rate by 40%. Sign up for your Denovo Cloud Apps Assessment today.