Invaluable, Lessons from the Field
EPM projects more often than not have numerous stakeholders which contribute to a successful implementation.
The following learnings, I believe should be highlighted as integral and indeed generically applicable to most if not all EPM project implementation. These findings can be delved into more deeply in the SAP Insider hosted webinar, “Enterprise Performance Management: The Key to Predicting the Unpredictable”. I will attempt to attach the presentation in a bid to credit authorship, albeit my debut Blog on the new and exciting SCN, so please forgive functionality oversight.
Think big but start small:
- Rather than implementing point solutions in the EPM space an organization should map-out a desired end-state architecture and roadmap that will support the required business processes
- Design with the full Enterprise Performance Management process in mind, not just Planning, Forecasting or Consolidation alone
- Remember the objective is to provide better insight and business decision making capability, in addition to making the process more efficient
- Consider the timing of the BPC implementation – particularly if BPC is being implemented as part of a broader SAP implementation
- BPC design / build / test activities will naturally lag core ECC implementation activities
- Timing of end user training and deployment for planning and budgeting likely to be different…deploying BPC ahead of core financial systems to align with budget cycle is feasible but brings its own particular risks and challenges so should be evaluated carefully
- Ensure dependencies on other departments and projects are identified and well managed e.g. CoA re-design, ECC implementation, or BI (NW or SQL technical upgrade)
- Ensure your project has achieved the appropriate stakeholder buy-in and agreement with regards to the business case, scope and roll-out
- This approach helps prevent unnecessary delays to mobilization and ensures a pro-active resolution of potential issues e.g. speed of delivery vs scope or potential blockers such as landscape freezes
- Identify achievable quick-wins to get under-the-belt before embarking on a more ambitious program. This approach has the following advantages:
- The business doesn’t have to wait a prolonged period to see returns on investment
- Builds confidence that EPM solutions deliver tangible benefits
- Allows time for the solution to bed-in and for the business to plan extensions and improvements at a manageable pace
- Interim process improvements can bring big benefits while the project is in progress
- Flexibility is one of BPC’s greatest strength but a project’s worst enemy. Enforce a good change control process. In integrated systems, even small changes in BPC can have far reaching impact, upstream and downstream
- Whilst BPC consolidation solutions can be scoped with relative ease, planning, budgeting and forecasting projects present more of a challenge.
- The project should account for a contingency budget to deal with the “unknown unknowns”
In conclusion, I think these are great project generic methodologies to apply in order to better guarantee EPM project success.
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