Starting a SAP implementation?
Have you tried to implement SAP but had to abort?
Were You The Using Agile Project Management Methodology?
You probably have some questions about how to proceed and what to expect, especially when using the agile project management methodology.
Agile Project Management Methodologies
Fortunately, SAP has a long established SAP Project Management Methodology called SAP ASAP or Accelerated SAP which has been used on literally thousands of SAP implementations. There are various versions of the SAP Project Management Methodology and to name a few:
- ASAP Implementation
- Global ASAP
- ASAP 8 Methodology
- SAP Activate
There are many more flavors of the SAP project implementation methodology available and best of all, they are free, part of the package of Business Implementation Services supplied by SAP and used by virtually all SAP Consultancies and consultants.
Flexible Agile Project Management Methods
Most can be considered an agile methodology for SAP implementation modifiable to fit your particular requirements.
What Does The Accelerated SAP Methodology Cover?
At the highest level, the SAP ERP Implementation methodologies cover the sap project implementation phases including:
- Pre-project or Discovery Phase,
- Implementation Phase
- Go-Live Phase.
Due to the tremendous variety of SAP customers and their specific project needs, the methodology has been specifically designed to be customizable to fit the needs of whatever the customer needs.
Without teaching you a course on ASAP, (because SAP provides that service already), we have put together a series of Top 10 SAP ASAP Project Implementation Tips broken out by each of the ASAP methodology SAP implementation phases:
- Project Preparation
- Final Preparation
With many SAP projects under our belts, ranging from green-field implementations to SAP BW Upgrades, SAP BPC to complete Supply Chain Management projects, we have what we consider considerable, expert level, valuable experience which you should take advantage of by downloading our overall SAP Project Management Tips Guide using the download button below, which covers what we consider the key pre-project activities.
SAP ERP Implementation Checklist Templates
Sales to Consulting Checklist Review
You might ask why we start with the pre-project part? It is very simple, in our experience, the initial conditions of the project are established in this phase and where the SAP Project Manager has a critical role to play - that of conducting a thorough Sales-to-Consulting Checklist Review. A successful SAP project is very path dependent, and while agile processes harness change, you want to know you're on the right path to start with.
Pre-Contract Work is Critical to Post Contract Success
This is also where we believe the focus is entirely too much on cost and not nearly enough on both the executability of the project and the value-focus of the project. That's why the agile project management framework is so powerful. The agile project management process helps you focus on what it will take to get to Go-live while keeping cost under control.
SAP HANA Business Case Developed and Validated by All Parties
We believe the focus during this pre-project phase needs to include some key requirements that are typically ignored or ‘negotiated away’ before the contract is signed, essentially guaranteeing failure or a negative ROI, very bad news for everyone! That's also why today, in every flavor of the SAP ERP Implementation Methodology, whether following a flavor of SAP ASAP or SAP Activate, and whether it is is in the cloud, on premises or a hybrid implementation and deployment, the value case or business case is the very first deliverable of the SAP Project Plan.
Critical Path Items Which May Already Be Behind
Whether you're deploying in the cloud or on-premise, there's a certain amount of time required to size a hardware and network package. Given unstable supply chains, changing requirements and the impact of cloud deployments, it is very easy to see your critical path impacted by hardware delivery timelines.
Training Plan and Course Enrollment
SAP is a large complex system that impacts everyone in a company. For many, if not most companies, there is a requirement to send their own personnel to formal SAP training courses. This helps you create your cross-functional agile team members. These courses, even when 'available on demand', often are not available on short notice.
Training and Education Consulting
Therefore, you will normally see a Training and Education consultant engaged prior to the Project Preparation phase to scope out the required training and ensure there is budget allocated to the project to fund this training. This is formal training well beyond End User Training delivered as part of the normal implementation.
This will also impact in most cases, internal HR policies and this is not generally addressed in the SAP Project Implementation Statement of Work. It is, however, addressed in the SAP ASAP Implementation Methodology as one of the key SAP ASAP methodology steps and plays a critical role in getting your project off to a smooth start.
This is one of the most, if not most, critical tasks carried out by a SAP Project Manager. There are a lot of busy hands in this process. But ultimately, the SAP Project Manager must interview and select all members of the team. This includes the internal team. It is a process fraught with politics, often requiring hundreds of unbudgeted hours on the part of the project manager. The bigger, more complex the project, the more critical this process becomes.
Solution Manager Installed and Configured
Key Step in Using the Agile Methodology in SAP Implementations
The SAP Solution Manager is a critical tool to install, as it serves many functions both prior to the implementation, during the implementation and post Go-Live. There are often competing products used by clients, but none of them provide what you actually need. If you're using the agile methodology in SAP and you don't fully understand the critical importance of this, or want advice as to how it should be deployed within your IT environment, you will need a Solution Manager expert. I consider a Critical Success Factor (CSFs) to successfully using the SAP project methodology.
Executive Steering Committee Setup and Trained
Composed of key decision makers, such as the executive sponsor, and the "C" Suite, partner and SAP representatives, and oftentimes, many others, this team plays a critical role in a successful project. The challenge is teaching them what they need to do and what they need to know about the agile sap methodology, versus letting them assume they know. As they are often, if not always, the highest ranking person in the room (HIPPO), there's a lot of tricky political shoals to navigate. But without this key role being properly staffed, and providing timely decision making, the project will fail.
That's basically a summary of the first of my agile SAP Project Management Checklists. Feel free to grab a copy, print it out and put it on your wall. If you have other tips from real projects, would love to hear about them.
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