Project SURGE – hello world! (repost)

(this post was originally posted on blogs.sap.com)

Hey there!

With this post I would like to introduce you to an initiative we just started and that we would also like to share here on the SAP Community. To name it, we thought of “SURGE” because (according to my dictionary) it stands for a rise of the water level, of something that is swelling – because we would love to see more successful innovation projects as consequence of our joint efforts.

But who am I and why am I writing these words? I work as a Customer Engagement Executive for SAP Cloud Platform. As Customer Engagement team, we have the vision to enable our customer’s IT organisations to use our Cloud Platform as the new platform for Extension, Integration and Innovation. Besides explaining the technical capabilities of our offering, I think it’s at least as important to understand how the methods and processes of software design, development and operations change for the members of IT teams. I feel that the massive amount of emerging new topics and the immense speed in which they are changing is a key challenge to be answered by every team out there that is using IT to run their business.
While preparing, I stumbled upon the term VUCA to describe this level of transformation and I think it’s quite suitable.

VUCA stands for: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Let me phrase my personal understanding based on several resources I went through:

  • Volatility wants to address the “movement” you can see in the market. If new market leaders like airbnb or Uber can arise out of nowhere, it can rearrange the customer’s needs very quickly. As a company, you better be able to react to those market changes by setting up your organisation’s mindset ready for change.
  • Uncertainty is kind of a consequence of volatility – if the rules of the game change constantly, you need the ability to adapt to those new rules. Means if you are trying to make plans and monitor the level of execution, you will see that not only “times they are a-changing”, but your plans and the KPIs your measure their success on are as well.
  • Complexity should not be new for you if you are working in the SAP ecosystem. 🙂 (Business) IT landscapes are complex, that’s the reason why we all spend so much effort to build and run them successfully. Moving all of your landscape to the cloud will make the effort of running it easier for your teams in comparison to hosting own Data Centers and taking care of the whole infrastructure. But before everything is up in the clouds, you will start adding new components to your already existing, already complex, landscape. So it’s a little similar to what my physical therapist says before he starts massaging me: “It has to be worse before it can get better”.
  • Ambiguity describes the phenomenon that existing interferences between information/facts can change. While not even the single information has to change, it’s meaning might be a different one if – according to the aspects described above – the rules of the game have changed.

As you can see, there are a lot of different aspects in the short acronym. It also shows from how many different angles you can (and should) look at the topic: I found the term in books about New Work, Organisational Development, Change Management, IT Management, IT Transformation, ….

With Project SURGE, we

  • try to collect insights about useful methods and tools we can adapt to our work as SCP CEEs and thereby help our customer’s IT organisation to get ready for this “transformation challenge”.
  • want to combine useful insights from the ares of Change Management, Organisational Development and Life-Long-Learning.
  • will do some “research” by writing a series of blog posts about project-surge here on blogs.sap.com .
  • plan to connect our SCP CEE customers better via a mix of online networking on community.sap.com and physical events / meetups to collect the Best Practices from peer companies.

We think no company should be left alone with this challenge, because we all face similar issues – so let’s collaborate, because it’s always better together, isn’t it?

 

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