Ever wonder what a Project Manager actually does?
As a Senior Project Manager (and PMP), who has managed projects for SAP, i2, Oracle, and many military projects as well, I have to say, the company (i2) that was actually clearest about what they expected a Project Manager to deliver was profit-for i2.
Project Management Responsibilities
Let me repeat that, the clearly defined top level goal of a project manager is to deliver the project profitably.
I have to admit; my focus was and has always been to get to Go-Live - however that might be defined. Generally speaking, this involves managing the Project Manager's iron triangle.
Project Management Iron Triangle
It still is.
However, and as you might expect, the real goal of a SAP Project Manager is to deliver the project while making a profit.
So What is a SAP Project Manager And What Do They Do
What then, should a customer, the ultimate consumer of a project manager’s efforts, keep in mind then, especially with regards to a SAP project, or as we refer to it, a Significant Emotional Event (SEE).
- The profitability of the project is defined differently for the implementor than it is for the customer.
The business case made by the customer team to justify the project isn’t the same as the business case for doing the project on the part of the implementer.
A customer has a vested interest in having his implementor make a profit-or you may be faced with lack of resources, a lower quality resource, or less interest than needed from your implementor.
- A SAP project can be delivered at a profit to the implementer, yet still not yield a profit for the customer.
This is why it is critical to have a solid business case for your project, and SAP Value Engineering or a SAP Certified Value Engineer who knows how to use SAP Value Engineering should be involved on every project.
As a SAP project manager, I see this aspect of the project as part of the project.
- If you focus on achieving profitability, even if your project is challenging, your project will be much more likely to be successful and you will get more from your investment.
- Why focus so much on achieving profitability as a SAP Project Manager. What about all the other aspects of the project?
It influences your actions in terms of SAP Consultant selection, your leadership style, and at what level you will interact with the customer.
- A SAP Project Manager will carefully select his team to ensure success. A common mistake is to select the Project Manager after the deal (Statement of Work (SOW) in particular) is already signed.
You should hire an experienced SAP project manager to actually help draft an executable SOW.
There are, of course, many other characteristics to understand about successful project managers and project manager duties.
But the criticality of selecting the right one, and getting him onboard early, should be clear to any customer when they investigate who is typically blamed for a project failure. It is a high stress, high risk job.
Many people, particularly SAP Consultants, initially want to be a SAP Project Manager.
Few make it, and many of them decide they do not like it and return to SAP module consulting.
Managing key client projects is our speciality.
We can help you manage your SAP project to success. Though consulting rates for project managers are high and rising, having an experienced SAP project manager leading your SAP implementation remains a critical success factor.
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