Lessons learnt from a SAP Implementation
In this blog I listed lessons learnt from our SAP implementation. I hope you will find them useful during your implementation.
Inaccurate estimates and missed dependencies – Plan for mock and simulation conversion and testing cycles to capture accurate timeline. This will help in accurate estimates during Go-Live deployment and identification of dependencies. Baseline should be documented for standard tasks. This allows future releases to reference past experience for cutover window estimates.
Tasks identified late in the release (like conversions, interfaces, and integration tasks) – Ensure proper end to end integration testing will help identify and gaps early and gives you enough room to design, build and test the tasks way before the actual production deployment.
Issues with SAP Transports imports – Identify early and develop transport strategy to eliminate errors. Make sure you plan to clean up all your logs and buffer tables. Transports are sequenced appropriates.
Some support teams engaged late in the game – Always Plan for three (at least two) production simulations before the actual deployment. This will help identify all task and right resource for each task.
Processes were not clearly defined – Develop templates to provide a standardized process, documentation and understanding of what is required for deployment preparation.
Changes to project plan continued till the last minute – There should be several “all participants” reviews of the plan to ensure all resources listed on the plan are clear with their duties and any dependencies. Project plan changes should be strictly controlled.
Deployment team members with insufficient SAP Security access causing undue and avoidable deployment delays. Deficiency in assigning right security access roles – Deployment team members should be provided with sufficient access to perform the project tasks efficiently. Security ID’s issued should be verified, validated and confirmed well in advance before the actual deployment.
Communication issues – Simple, concise, periodic communication on the status of the project will keep the entire stakeholder community on the project aware of what’s happening and sets expectation on what is expected. Communication plan should clear state accomplished tasks, status of the deployment (Green, Yellow or Red), immediate plan for the next few hours, next status update.
System Checkout/Validations issues– Identify all keys system checkout tasks. Involve key team members including business, functional, technical and super user in the system checkout activities.
Availability of Team members on site – During simulations and final deployment, as much as possible team member with a task on the project plan should be available on site. This will help you avoid any delays related to connectivity issue and due to availability of SME at one location faster resolution of any unforeseen issues. Establish good communication with off shore team members who are part of the deployment to work seamlessly.