5 Things to Know About Your SAP Project Manager

Table of Contents

Ever Wonder What a Project Manager Actually Does? 

As a Senior Project Manager (and PMP), who has managed projects for SAP, i2, Oracle, Hubspot 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.

 

Surprised? 

 

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

 

What's the Iron Triangle?

 

 

 Project Management Triangle

Project Management Iron Triangle

 

It still is. 

However, and as you might expect, the real business 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 SAP 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

 

What Don't SAP Implementation Project Managers Do?

They typically are not using the SAP PS module or project management module.  They could, but then you would already have implemented SAP.  

 

The one exception I've seen is where the project is the roll-out or migration to the SAP Project System module.   In that case, they would use it, but the context is usually part of a part of a broader strategy to integrated other processes, such as procurement, logistics execution, field services and many other variants.

 

Enterprise Portfolio Management

Most large scale SAP implementations, evolve into a portfolio of projects, some purely SAP implementation projects and others, part of supporting or ancillary projects.  While a Senior SAP project manager may well be a Portfolio Project Manager, (as this author often is), if the SAP implementation is of sufficient scale, it is probably already enough for him to manage that single project, which often has 150 or more members on it.

 

This then, spawns the PMO or Project Management Office.  Generally, this is required when dealing with very large, complex business organizations, that have been fully productized.

 

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.

 

 Request a  SAP Project Manager

 

 

People who read this also read:

15 Key SAP Project Plan Quality Checks

Ten Tips Every SAP BW Project Manager Should Know

10 Critical Chain Project Manager Tips

13 Keys to ERP Implementation Project Work Scheduling Effectiveness

10 Advanced SAP BW Project Estimation Techniques

 

 

Thanks

 

Download SAP BW Mindmap

Learn what SAP Business Warehouse is and what it does in under five minutes

Get this Mindmap

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.
Balanced Scorecard Consultant

He also recently released a book "How to Dominate Any Market - Turbocharging Your Digital Marketing and Sales Results", which is available on Amazon.

View All Articles by Lonnie Ayers

The SAP Blog

Subscribe to our blog and receive SAP BW Updates, demand generation, inbound marketing, sales enablement, technology and revenue generation insights and ideas delivered right to your email.