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Ross Barnes-Moore 16-Mar-2022 15:54:54 5 min read

What have Fairy Lights got to do with implementing SAP S/4HANA?

I’m a pretty binary person, I’m either on, or off, no dimmer switch.

If I’m on, I’m really on, I’ve a wide range of interests but generally when I’m switched on to one of them I’m switched on to many if not all of them.

I’ve energy to burn and if I don’t use that in a positive way it affects my clarity of thought, my drive and ultimately my performance.

I’m writing this just after Christmas where we’ve had fairy lights scattered everywhere. When I was a kid I remember my Dad trying to detangle the lights cursing at having to find which bulb had failed resulting in all of the lights turning off.

I’ve never had that issue, maybe I’ve been lucky with fairy lights or maybe they don’t work in the same way anymore. Like my Dad finding an isolated failed bulb in a tangled string of lights my job is to work out what switches my lights on, and more importantly what keeps them on enabling me to performing at the level I need to, at home and at work.

There are a number of things which stop my lights burning but the most critical one for me is if I’m unable to get a sufficient level of exercise. Training for me is cathartic, it focuses my energy and enables me to unjumble my thoughts and plan for the day and week ahead.

Like everyone I have demands on my time. Over the years I’ve collected a Partner, two border collies and a toddler, affectionately known as Monster for reasons I may expand on in future. Prior to embarking on Project ‘Monster’

I would get up at 6am on a Saturday and Sunday, walk the dogs, eat and then get on the bike for a fast 3-4 hour ride on a Saturday and a slower longer club run on a Sunday. I’d run mid week in the evenings or before work and I’d be able to just get out of the front door as my will took me. Post Monster Go-Live that changed…. massively.

This isn’t about the benefits of exercise per se, although I could talk to you about that too if you’re interested, nor is it about the transition from human individual who did interesting stuff to ‘Mom’.

This is about the huge period of transition which my life went through. I breastfed for a long time which meant being away from home early morning and evenings wasn’t an option. For the first 12 months, every 2.5 hours or so I’d have a child clamped to me. That meant even in the day getting out of the house alone for any length of time wasn’t happening.

At All.

So, long rides and runs were out. On top of that my partner doesn’t work in a ‘family friendly’ industry and has little flexibility for changing his hours, he’s also a competing cyclist which takes up significant non work time, so all in all what time I have to train or do anything sans Monster as Lisa is limited.

I hit the off switch to everything that wasn’t Monster or relationship, I’m still fairly off to the bike (although I did do Coast to Coast in 2017 with some friends so maybe I do have a dimmer after all).

I would never change any of it (bar my partners hours) but this was impacting my health and well being and I recognised that things needed to change, fast. I wasn’t functioning as me Lisa at home I was just Mom and partner.

In some ways I’d failed to adapt to the transformation of my life, I was content with my labels of Mom and Partner and was getting sufficient energy delivered there but I was neglecting me and ultimately like fairy lights, if one went out they would all fail.

Previously I’d only really needed to worry about myself and how I delivered to me, but now I’d added further huge complex flashing fairy lights into my eco-system and failed to changed how I was operating.

Like my Dad I cursed for a while, then found the rogue bulb. I stopped beating myself up about a lack of long bike rides, they for the time being have dropped off a cliff. I started putting more focus into my running, and resistance training developing goals and a plan around getting stronger and faster. Previously I’d always liked a 10-20k distance, now I tend to focus on the 5-10k short sharp bursts. It’s not naturally my fit, I’m more of an endurance plodder but I’ve got quicker and stronger and in time that will benefit my long runs too.

I now hop off-line for an hour or so during the day for a run/turbo ride/or gym work out. Resulting are fine with this, they accept that to keep people performing at the level needed work and life need to operate as harmoniously as possible.

He also knows what motivates me and what doesn’t so there is a level of trust that if I disappear offline I’m probably getting my thoughts together- like for this blog today. In turn he gets my commitment and the improved performance which comes with me getting my energy flowing to the right places again.

I was talking to Derek Prior about his last few years as a Gartner Analyst and the kind of calls he was taking from SAP customers.

Confused about what to do next…


How do we adapt for S/4HANA…

Struggling to untangle the SAP S/4HANA fairy lights?

You're not alone, it seems that many SAP customers are both struggling to keep the BAU lights on whilst trying to untangle the shiny new SAP S4 Christmas lights.

Before you can move forward you need to work out where it’s not performing and focus an improvement plan around this. In life and business flux and transformation is inevitable, how you manage and adapt to that is critical.

When you add system complexity, undergo business transformation or have new constraints look at how you do what you do by developing an intelligent delivery method which aligns with your business strategy & direction.

If you’re experiencing a dip in performance or you feel your SAP project or programme is close to hitting the off switch take the time out to look at what and where your lights are tangled and formulate targeted improvements in order to keep the lights burning.

Run done, time to get back to delivering some results to our customers...