10 Tips for SAP BW Project Management Success

Table of Contents

What You Need To Know About Managing SAP BW Projects

SAP BW Project Management, and more broadly, Business Intelligence Project Management (BIPM) which includes SAP Business Objects tools, such as xCelsius, Webi, Data Integrator, Data Services and Data Federator (to name a few) is very distinct from SAP R/3 or SAP ECC Project Management:

  • Deliverables for a SAP BW project are very difficult to fully define in advance.  Bill Inmon, widely acknowledged as the father of datawarehousing, had made note of this early on.  There are no time and motion studies on the Logical Units of Work (LUW) to fall back on.  At best, your consultants can give you a guesstimate (WAG or SWAG, your call).

  • Multiple Go-LivesSAP  ERP implementations are either big bang, or small bang with several well planned (we hope) out add-ons.  SAP BW requires multiple Go-Lives. 

  • SAP BW Stakeholders, which you identify in both methodologies, tend to be far larger in number.  For instance, all of your end users are stakeholders and may number in the hundreds to thousands, or even more.

  • SAP BW Project Management may well be part of another project.  For instance, the SAP ERP implementation may be running at the same time.  In these cases, your timeline will frequently be driven by the ERP implementation timeline.

  • Our experience shows that you will need to follow a waterfall software development process.

Waterfall Process resized 600

  • You will need to set up a very finely designed project folder systems.

Folder System BW Project Management resized 600



Project Folder Structure 


Your folder structure may vary depending on your particular project.

If available, consider using the SAP Portal to create a team work area for project documents.


  • End user feedback will be critical to your success.  They will be able to spot data errors and bad assumptions quicker than your team

  • Getting the BW implementation team mix right can be a challenge.  You need to make sure you have the BW skillsets onboard to avoid unnecessary ABAP coding.

  • Authorizations can be a very complex sub-project in BW.  Your main issue here is making sure the authorization model is actually maintainable by the client. 

  • Hardware sizing is not a one time task.  As your project progresses and as the data volumes grow, and the uses and expectations of the system expand, you will need to revisit this subject many times.

  • Managing Chaos goes hand-in-hand with a robust Naming Strategy.

SAP BW Project Management Best Practices

There are obviously plenty of other things to get right on a SAP BW project.  But we have found that these are the critical few.


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Lonnie Ayers

About the Author: Lonnie Ayers is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing consultant, with additional certifications in Hubspot Content Optimization, Hubspot Contextual Marketing, and is a Hubspot Certified Partner. Specialized in demand generation and sales execution, especially in the SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Partner space, he has unique insight into the tough challenges Service Providers face with generating leads and closing sales using the latest digital tools. With 15 years of SAP Program Management experience, and dozens of complex sales engagements under his belt, he helps partners develop and communicate their unique sales proposition. Frequently sought as a public speaker in various events, he is available for both inhouse engagements and remote coaching.
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He also recently released a book "How to Dominate Any Market - Turbocharging Your Digital Marketing and Sales Results", which is available on Amazon.

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