Staffing a Digital Transformation Initiative? Here Are Five Tips for a Successful Collaboration with Your Enterprise Performance Partner

Jeff Lewis
Senior Client Executive
1 March 2024

When an enterprise undertakes a digital transformation, whatever the technologies at hand—SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, etc.—the stakes are incredibly high. The success of the initiative will define how the business operates and its ability to compete for many years. These programs typically require a contingent IT workforce of dozens, if not hundreds, of people with highly specialized expertise. A successful engagement requires much more than just filling a roll or a seat with a body—it’s about finding the right people, at the right time, for the appropriate investment. You must identify proven expertise that understands the strategy, is committed to the initiative, and can drive the program to a successful outcome. And whether you are working with an enterprise performance partner like Baer or a traditional IT staffing company, everyone becomes more effective when they invest in collaboration.

At Baer, we are currently partnering with a systems integrator (SI) to staff a client’s fast-moving and complex SAP S/4HANA transformation initiative. We’ve already filled more than 50 roles, and the program is just getting started. The collaboration between the SI, their client, and Baer has been exceptional, and that has me thinking about what I can do to ensure every project is such a success.

For me, it boils down to these five things:

1. Be available and responsive.

Timing is everything. Every technical expert who participates in a digital transformation initiative is part of a complex spiderweb of dependencies. If you can’t find the right expertise at the right time, the delay it causes in one area will affect other critical paths. As the world moves toward a distributed workforce model, with people working in different locations and different time zones, it’s become more commonplace to rely on asynchronous updates, but when every minute counts, some things simply must be addressed in real time.

2. Find common ground (and language).

In a digital transformation initiative, there are innumerable internal and external stakeholders, each with their own point of view, business needs, and experience. What you all have in common is the desire to find the right expertise who will minimize risk, get the job done, and deliver a positive outcome. Using that as a shared North Star and ensuring everyone has the same baseline understanding for what the process will look like both go a long way toward keeping priorities on track.

3. Listen first, speak second.

Listening really matters when you’re dealing with complex technology. For example, a client will often say they need expertise in a specific area, but if I’ve listened well enough to understand the outcomes they are looking for, I may be able to suggest someone with a broader skillset that meets adjacent needs. Another important point: it’s much easier to listen to clients when they’re happy, and much harder when there is a challenge. I find that by gathering your thoughts first, and speaking thoughtfully and intelligently, it’s much easier to be a wise helper who guides them toward a solution.

4. Embrace change.

An initiative like an S/4HANA transformation is measured in years, and over the course of time, things are bound to change. The business might prioritize a new program focus that requires different skills, they decide to accelerate program areas, or they may postpone some. Depending on where you sit, those changes may or may not seem positive to you. Accepting this as a normal part of the process—and knowing things may change again down the road—makes it easier to reprioritize and focus on meeting the needs brought on by the change.

5. Don’t shy away from tough conversations.

In any successful collaboration, there are bound to be bumps in the road. The last thing anyone needs is a partner who slinks away the minute things get tough. Human beings are inherently emotional—we can’t help having feelings, but the presence of those feelings shouldn’t impact our willingness to communicate or how we show up in those conversations. If you can figure out ways to feel the emotion without making the situation emotional, you can get to a point where you can help. In the long run, having tough conversations and working through challenges builds trust, which is the foundation of any long-term partnership.

And at Baer, a long-term partnership is always our goal. We’re not looking to fill a seat and walk away—we’re every bit as invested in the outcome as you are.

About Baer

Unlike typical technology staffing companies, Baer is a true enterprise performance partner. We have a deep understanding of the scope of enterprise technology transformation initiatives and the highly specialized skillsets you will need at different stages of the process.

To learn more about how Baer can make a positive impact on your enterprise transformation, please reach out to, Executive Vice President, Sales, or Jeff Lewis, Senior Client Executive, at

We look forward to speaking with you and learning about your specific challenges.

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