No employee needs to be lectured on the benefits of collaboration. We’ve all heard many platitudes about the essential need for teamwork in the workplace.
But it’s not until you work on a large government project involving multiple suppliers with countless moving parts and thousands of impacted stakeholders that you gain a true appreciation for just how important the right team, and culture, is to the success of a project.
Recently, I was part of the team that brought the largest Oracle Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to fruition. It was a massive digital transformation project that has involved taking 35,000 users from their familiar legacy business suite on a journey to the cloud.
Due to the scope of the challenge, it required numerous individuals across Fujitsu and the Customer, as well as other suppliers, to seamlessly collaborate in order to get it done. In this blog I will go into why our ‘One Team’ approach of open and transparent collaboration, was so integral to this success.
Technology built on trust
The first thing to note is that as much as the transformation was a technological endeavour, it was fundamentally built on relationships and it was those relationships that made it successful.
Fujitsu has been supporting the Customer for more than 15 years with its legacy Oracle ERP solution. Based on Oracle eBusiness Suite, it supported its back-office services – HR, Payroll, Finance and Procurement. So, we had an established relationship and were already aware of many of the organisation’s overarching goals.
As a Customer Success Director with more than 20 years of Oracle experience, I was able to use my knowledge and relationships to help the Customer really understand what it meant to implement Oracle Cloud, and how it would be different from the implementation of the legacy systems that they’d known.
The numerous components and complexities involved in the implementation of an integrated solution onto cloud is why the ‘One Team’ approach was so important. Because, while everybody involved needed to have ownership over their corner of the challenge, they also had to make sure their actions were in lockstep with the other teams.
I like comparing it to baking a cake – you don’t only need the right ingredients; they need to be mixed in the right way. Otherwise, it just won’t rise.
For this particular cake, we needed experts with legacy and policy knowledge, as well as partners who were familiar with the pros and the cons of the implementation cycle, so they could guide each other and steer away from any pitfalls.
So, the ‘One Team’ approach was more than a nice-to-have – it was integral to the success of the project. Without a culture of trust and transparency running through the project, without all of us leaning in to help whenever we could as opposed to having a, “that’s not in my contract” mentality – the project simply wouldn’t have risen.
This included orchestrating the smooth payroll cutover for more than 35,000 Customer employees – on time and to budget. And it’s important to remember that what is now the largest Oracle Cloud Payroll solution, was accomplished under the shadow of an unprecedented pandemic. This meant most of the work we did was carried out by remote workforces.
These details serve as further testament to the effectiveness of our ‘One Team’ approach. It’s an approach that runs through every single stage: from understanding the design of the system at the beginning, all the way through several pilots and prototype sessions to bring it to life – all the while going by the principle of “adopting, not adapting”.
And the learnings gained from this project are reusable for any business or industry – not just public sector. That’s because our ethos is fundamentally built of enabling people to collaborate as efficiently as possible.
So, even though every business might need something different, we will always be able to shape ourselves to understand their business outcomes and steer the project in hand to success.