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OCM & Outsourcing of SAP Projects: Problems and Solutions

In era of increased outsourcing; projects are managed in On Site Off Shore Model. It has biggest advantage of saving cost and creating high availability of consultants. With benefits this model comes with few problems/ risks and that are mainly related to OCM. In this blog we will discuss problem and possible solution to the problem. I will be sharing some of common issues I have observed or discussed with my fellow consultants and SDN members.

OCM is one of the key responsibility of Project Manager and we will discuss all problems in prospective of Project Manager. Problems mentioned here are related to Outsourcing of SAP Projects, where Technical or Business Consultants are working from Off-Shore.

Problems / Risks:

  • Staff Change: In a project spanning 6-12 months duration, many of team members resigns to find a better pay package or a higher position.
  • Communication Gap: Between Onsite Functional / Technical Consultant and or Module owner there is a huge gap; this gap in either in form of culture difference, ascent difference or as small as expectation difference. One of the reason for communication gap is a distance, we are working in virtual world where we are not getting opportunity to know our fellow worker and we have to take or give work to him. If these issues are not managed in a project can be a big problem for project manager.
  • Priorities and Ambition of People: Consultants working on project have different priorities and ambitions. They want to get more money, does not want to miss the bus or want to know new technology and keep them selves updated.
  • Pressure of New Technology: SAP is introducing new technology to make business Agile and People working in a project constantly feels pressure of learning new things. Some time these changes creates a problem for project.


  • Staff change: Can be reduced if PM plan to address the issue rather than hiding face from it. Starting from selection of team to allocation of work; project manager needs to be mindful of the fact that people on the project needs to be happy.
  • Communication Gap: Can be reduced by arranging introductory meetings , video conferencing or sharing peoples profiles and interests, at the beginning of project. We can also introduce basic cultural facts and likes and dislikes of people from both countries where team belongs. This seems a small thing but if addressed properly can give huge dividend to project manager in completion of project.
  • Priorities and Ambition of People: Project manager has a biggest responsibility in mentoring people to set right priorities and need set a correct environment for people where they can satisfy their self esteem and feel achievements matching their ambitions. This is one of the toughest task manager has to do and I think this trick of the business can be learned by having real experience in projects. I can see Stephen Covey’s: “The 8th Habit” a good handbook to lead people.
  • Pressure of New Technology: We can ease the pressure from our team members by sparing some time in arranging an internal training on new technologies. SDN can be used a knowledge source and team members can create synergy among them selves by conducting lectures to each other. I have seen SDN as a great source of motivation for Technical Team. If project manager can motivate his team to create an open culture of sharing, caring and learning then he can solve this issue also.
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  • Darshankumar,

    Good comments and it is nice to see the support for OCM approaches.

    In the larger picture, the SAP OCM team brings the full picture to a project. Often the greatest challenges on a project are people related. The OCM methodology synchronizes the OCM approach, including communications, with the project milestones.
    The major areas that are addressed are as follows:

    Leaders & Stakeholders
    Business Readiness (BR)
    Organization Work Design
    Team Effectiveness
    Sustaining Change

    It has become increasingly clear that companies that invest in the time and resources for a proper Change Management program when initiating major change initiatives have successful results.

    John Davis