Digitization has increased the competition among the businesses. Today, the businesses need to continuously evolve with their technologies, approaches in order to survive this rigorous competition. Moreover, to manage several departments within an organization, software like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) are essential. SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in data processing) is one of the leading ERP software providers that integrate all areas of business operations. Many large, small, and midsized companies rely on SAP solutions to better manage their business intelligence, operations planning, and purchasing and materials. For example, a midsized company named Schoolhouse Electric and Supply saw a continuous annual growth rate of 25% due to SAP implementation. Over the years, SAP has turned out to be a revolutionary strategy as far as business management is concerned.
Why most SAP Implementations become unsuccessful?
Presently, almost 200,000 businesses in more than 150 countries are utilizing the SAP modules. However, most of them fail to implement it successfully. There are several reasons behind it such as many businesses run forward without any appropriate planning and attentiveness. Moreover, if the administration team does not have any significant skills in the SAP implementation, it may become unsuccessful. To achieve successful and adequate SAP implementation, it is essential to get accurate planning and choose a skilled team. There are a few steps that can ensure the successful implementation of SAP. Through this article, we can try to understand and to implement the SAP services.
Turn a mere IT Project into a Business Modification Package
Most of the enterprises fail to receive the required attention of senior business administration individuals to accomplish extreme business welfares. As a result, SAP project is often led by IT management with the inclusion of CFO to regulate the expenses. However, different business capacities like sales and marketing, supply chain, production, and procurement have constrained participation in such type of venture and have other activities to perform. Despite having many business methodologies to implement, to obtain market share or to achieve cost investment funds, businesses observe them as only an IT project.
Furthermore, when an SAP project is utilized as a tool for big business change, various business cases get enhanced drastically with a partial additional expense. Thus, the SAP project must be considered a business modification package instead of a pure IT project. It needs senior administration responsibility from each influenced business capacity to lead the alterations. It is also required that their best clients should be made accessible for the task. These clients need to distinguish and lead business activities. These practices will alter your venture from conveying the new framework abilities into a business modification program.
Appointing a Project Manager who is always a step ahead
Like every other implementation projects, SAP implementation project also has issues and problems. The changes in roles and responsibilities of people can lead to clashes and anticipations. Due to this, SAP implementation can get affected. Thus, it is required to appoint a project manager who is expert, dynamic and the one who thinks a couple of steps ahead of the rest of his team. Focusing on anticipation of problems is extremely important to make a project successful. Furthermore, managing a project is much more critical than adjusting expenses. Thus, a project manager’s role becomes critical. The following are some of the qualities a good project manager should possess.
- Should be concerned with the business, should know the business, learn it and should be associated with the strategy.
- Should recognize the objective of SAP implementation.
- Should be very adjacent to the sponsor of the project and should always query regarding the project that needs to be done.
- Should be capable of modifying the requirements if the modification results in original enhancements.
- Should take care of the minor issues which may be the reason for problems.
Emphasize on Project Planning and Execution Regardless of the Method
For the implementation of IT projects, most of the organizations are using a specific project methodology. Among the wide range of methods open for project implementation, the company should select a method that is relevant to the requirements of a particular project. Waterfall and agile are the most frequently used methodologies for IT projects.
- Waterfall Methodology
This approach was used in most of the companies to implement SAP project in which various successive phases are involved. This method has worked well for those customers if they have on the spot planning and execution. The phases would not complete in time if the planning and implementation are not suitable. There are several issues in this methodology, hence it is not frequently used in the existing projects.
- Agile Methodology
The existing projects are using this methodology frequently. This is one of the favorable techniques used in many SAP projects. This method comprises various dashes which include design, build and unit testing. The dashes may take several months to finish the project depending on the size and intricacy of the deliverables. A major advantage of this method is that it is easier to manage, design, build and unit test the distinct work packages with the minor sets of works which being allocated to the dashes.
Regardless of the methodology, you select, it is more important to do the proper planning for project implementation. A good project along with the manager can confirm the successful project execution.
Involving Business Representatives from Start of Implementation
It is important to have an adequate number of business representatives in the project. If they are not adequate, the SAP implementation will scuffle with a business acceptance before and after the project go-live. Most of the projects are primarily based on the traditional project management method i.e. waterfall method. However, this method is not a suitable one as there is no match between the anticipation of business and the implementation of an SAP solution. This means that enough work should be done by SAP CC to correct it.
To avoid this situation, a specific project management method like agile can also be used, but it has several limitations. However, some measures are recommended to obtain the significant advantages of an implementation phase. They are as follows.
- By greater participation of businesses and third party agents at the time of project phase execution.
- By integrating project management with the waterfall technique.
- Planning and conducting the presentation or handover sessions in between SAP CC and business or a third party and SAP CC for functional unit results.
Finding the right SAP Resources and Team
It is important to have appropriate assets for a successful SAP implementation project. To merge a massive range of threads, a top team should be built. The team should make a final deliverable which is a pleased citizenry of investors all through the business that drives the enhanced productivity on the business process platform. While hiring the resources, the following points should be considered.
- Recruit the consultants who have relevant experience
- Retain same team members throughout the project
- Use the ‘tried and tested’ resources from the confidential resource partners.
- Choose the consultant with strong communication skills.
To conclude, Implementation of SAP goes hand in hand with its utilization. With proper plan and strategies, businesses can implement SAP Services successfully and attain the advantages of the same. SAP has indeed turned out to be a revolution and it promises to be one of the most significant technologies for the future also.