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Managing a Successful SAP Implementation – 5 Top Tips

Managing a Successful SAP Implementation – 5 Top Tips

It is necessary for companies to focus on SAP implementation in order to perform well. Many companies in a hurry have neglected this area and have suffered losses on account of it. It is very essential to focus on SAP implementation in order to attain success on the business front.

1) One must consider SAP Implementation as a business change program, rather than as an IT project:

SAP implementation is indeed a serious business investment and requires adequate attention by business operators. Nevertheless, it is much neglected. By applying SAP one must get the maximum business advantage. SAP project is no doubt led by IT management, with CFO involvement to control the required costs, but other business functions as well as such as Sales & Marketing, Supply Chain, Production, and Procurement have indeed limited involvement in such a project and are involved in “other things”.

SAP project can be used as a tool for Enterprise Transformation. The Top Users are required to identify as well as lead the business change initiatives such as an implementation of Shared Service Centers, Global Master Data governance, Sales & Operation planning etc.

2) Anticipate problems and stay one step ahead

A good project manager is required to be pro-active, and a few steps much ahead of the rest of the existing team. He or she needs to focus on anticipated problems that are essential to the success of a project. It is important to manage the project rather than controlling costs, managing people, tasks, and activities and thus ensuring that everything is executed on time. A project manager role is not administrative in nature.

  • Attributes of the good project manager:
  • Must be business oriented, should be able to understand the business, studying the company and also being aligned with the strategy.
  • Understanding the SAP project implementation goals and what the company wants to achieve.
  • Needs to be very close to the requisite project sponsor, thus able to question whether what is being done or required planning has been carried out.
  • Be able to conduct necessary adjustment requirements for improvements.

Following up with people in the given project such as team resources, stakeholders, key users, end-users and understanding their feelings and how work gets affected by SAP project implementation;

3) Focus more on decent Project Planning and Execution than worrying too much about selecting the right Project Methodology.

Companies do tend to make use of a particular project methodology for all of their respective IT projects. Poor planning must be avoided at all cost. The project must be completed on time.

4. Business Involvement from the Beginning of Implementation Phase: Different methodologies of implementation can be adopted such as “Waterfall” and “Agile Scrum”.

‘Waterfall” methodology means Documenting business requirements (Business Blueprint, BBP), very little involvement during implementation by SAP Competence Centre (SAP CC),execution of integration tests mainly by business representatives and supported by SAP CC, participating and partly taking responsibility for final preparation, providing 1st level support for business departments during hyper-care phase and afterwards

In case the implemented SAP solution does not match up to the business expectations, it could imply that the SAP CC has to do a lot of work again in order to correct this.

‘Agile Scrum’ involves organizational readiness that is not given (e.g. organizational structure, competences or responsibilities), project team members having difficulties in changing mindset and also adapting the new way of working

5.Preparation and Prerequisites

One must not document BBP in too much detail and the focus must be on real business critical topics thus allowing flexibility

Defining of smaller work packages (scope, effort, acceptance criteria delivery date and documentation, acceptance criteria) as part of work breakdown structure (WBS)

  • Defining a clear process for ‘presentation or handover’ sessions.
  • Scheduling a ‘presentation or handover’ session for each work package or for a combination of work packages
  • The purpose of ‘presentation or handover’ sessions is to be able to show SAP solution does look.
  • Why SAP Implementation?
  • In order to acquire maximum business benefits, one has to adhere to the following SAP implementation phase:
  • Combining project management methodology
  • Greater involvement of business and/or 3rd party representatives during the time of project phase implementation
  • Planning as well as conducting ‘presentation or handover’ sessions existing between SAP CC and business or 3rd party cum SAP CC for functional unit results.

Benefits :

  • Better cooperation between business as well as SAP CC
  • Feedback from a business at a rather early date
  • Adaptations, as well as changes, can be made directly before execution integration tests
  • Integration tests can be focused on integration aspects than on functional topics (less time-consuming)
  • Reduction of efforts as well as (fundamental) discussions at the time of integration tests
  • Preparation of end-user training materials
  • Smoother integration tests, final preparation, go-live and hyper-care phase


SAP project implementation must be adequately focused upon.

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