Why do you need SPOCs on your SAP Implementation? How does it help your implementation?
Recently, I came across an implementation that went off track. I was curious and asked what went wrong and who the Single Point of Contacts (SPOC) for the capability. Unfortunately the project did not identify a SPOC for the capability. Thought I would share importance of SPOC and how it helped us in our previous SAP implementations.
For each capability in your SAP implementation, your implementation needs to identify a Single Point of Contacts (SPOC). A SOPC is team member who is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in her/his SPOC capability area with good contacts within the organization and excellent communication and decision making skills.
Without a SPOC there will be too many decision makers (or in worst cases, no decision makers at all) causing conflicts and delays to implementations. This is no single person who owns the capability and when issues crop up, team members tend to point at others. The basic idea to have a SPOC is provide clear direction and decisions and not to find a person to blame.
At a very high level your implementation need to have SPOCs at least from these 3 areas.
Business SPOCs – Example Payroll, Time Management, and Sales Contracts/Quotes, Master Data (Customer, Material, and Vendor) etc…
Functional SPOCs – SAP HR Payroll, SAP Time Management, SAP OTC (Order to Cash), SAP Master Data etc…
Technical SPOCs – SAP Technical Development, SAP Basis & Security, SAP Portal etc…
SPOC is the central team member for that capability. He/She will be completely responsible for the success of the capability and shall be kept in the loop involving any changes to any of the elements in the capability.
SPOC should be a capable mature team member who can provide direction and timely decisions, bring the team together and get issues resolved. A week SPOC will lead to SPOF (Single point of failure)
SAP Project team should know who the SPOCs are and how they can be contacted.
In one of the SAP Implementation that I worked we had SPOCs for each of the Master Data Areas – Customer Master, Vendor Master & Material Master. Due to the nature of legacy data, we had around 100+ systems where master data used to me maintained. These SPOCs are highly knowledgeable and experienced in their area and helped our SAP team at every stage of the project and made our implementation successful. I even wonder now… what would have happened to our SAP implementations, if we do not have these highly knowledgeable talented SPOCs?