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The biggest SAP HCM system went live at CNPC/PetroChina

The worldwide biggest SAP HCM system went live in Dec 2008, in CNPC and PetroChina. This is not a news anymore. However, it is still one the most significant events in my SAP carrier over the past 15 years. I played the role of SAP Expert in the project. I am proud that I am involved in the project to provide expert advise, solution guidance and technical support. What is more to me? I learned a lot from it too.

There are number of points you may find distinctive and significant about the project:

– It is the biggest SAP HCM system in single installation in the world with millions of employee master records. I shouldn’t provide a more exact number for not disclosing customer’s business sensitive information. However I believe it is the biggest so far to my best knowledge.

– It is utilizing the most recent SAP solutions and technologies, including EEC6.0, Org Management, Personnel Administration, Time Management, Payroll, Training & Personnel Development, Performance Management, e-Recruiting, HR Processes and Forms, Self Services, BI, Management Cockpit etc.

– It went live within 3 years. I consider implementation period is short for its complexity with hundreds of subsidiaries / branches with different business processes.  Add to that,  there are typically 3 to 4 different levels of HR users from top to bottom with different focus, perspective and requirements. Some other challenges you will see below.   

– People,  solution and system consolidations had happened half way in the project. Started as 2 separate projects PetroChina and CNPC in the beginning and middle of 2006 respectively, there were 2 teams of consulting partners (IBM and Accenture respectively), IT support (by 2 different subsidiaries) and business users (2 lines of HR personnel systems) .  At the beginning of 2008, CNPC and PetroChina HR departments were consolidated into one at all levels, thus the system supporting the business behind would have to consolidate too. (What had been well prepared and lucky for that change? Both projects were managed by the same IT Department at the top level; both projects were based on SAP solutions and supported by the same expert from SAP. That expert was me!)

– Consultants from two worldwide competitors IBM and Accenture were working together, face to face, side by side, back to back. They worked harmoniously in the same SAP system, in the same conference room, to conquer the same issues/difficulties, to moved towards the same target. “One Team, One Dream” was the project slogan. Sounds familiar? Yes, it was raised in the year of 2008, the year of Beijing Olympic Games. Do you remeber? It’s slogan was “One World, One Dream”. 

There are many contributing factors for success of the project. The top success factors, in my point of view, among others are: Top executives driving and support; unified corporate IT development principle and strategies; highest project targets and standards; strong and dynamic project management; corporation from various parties within and outside of CNPC /PetroChina including implementation partners and SAP. 

I think you agree with me that a good management IT system cannot be accomplished in one step and for all. Efforts will continue to strengthen and deepen the use of system along business evolving. I wish CNPC /PetroChina and its SAP HCM system continued success!           

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  • The same story in Chinese:

    –     中国人力资源系统是世界上最大的SAP人力资源系统,在同一套系统中管理着中国石油的百万员工。出于对客户敏感商业信息的保护,我不应改透露更具体的员工数量,但通过大量的调研和比对,我确信它是迄今为止世界上最大的SAP人力资源管理系统。
    –     采用了SAP最新的解决方案和技术,包括组织管理、人事管理、考勤管理、薪酬管理、培训及员工发展、绩效管理、电子招聘、人事流程与表格、自助服务、商业智能、管理驾驶舱等。
    –     在三年的时间内全面上线。考虑到其数以百计的分公司、企事业单位,业务流程的差异和复杂性,及系统功能的全面性,与国际同行业公司相比,我认为实施时间是不长的。其复杂程度还表现在,从上到下,通常存在3到4个层面的人事相关用户,他们对系统的关注、看法和需求都有所不同。下面你还会发现一些其他深具挑战之处。
    –     在项目过程中,经历了人员、方案和系统的整合。在2006年初和2006年中,中国石油上市和未上市是作为两个项目启动的。这两个项目由不同的实施商(分别是IBM和Accenture),两个IT支持单位和业务用户。在2008年初前后,中国石油上市和未上市企业的人力资源部门进行了组织调整和业务融合,作为支持业务的管理系统及其实施项目组也随之进行了整合。(对此所做的准备及幸运之处在于,两个项目是由同一个信息部门管理的、两个项目都采用同一SAP解决方案并进行了沟通和参照,且由同一位SAP专家支持。这位专家就是本人)。
    –     IBM和Accenture这两个全球竞争对手的顾问工作在一起,面对面、背靠背、肩并肩!为了一个共同的目标,他们使用同一个系统、在同一个会议室、同一个投影仪前、讨论同一个方案、解决同样的问题。项目组的口号是“同一个团队,同一个梦想!”。 有点耳熟?是的,这个口号是2008年提出来的,而2008年是北京奥运会的一年(你肯定记得北京奥运会的口号)。