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The numbers don’t lie: ASUG sessions address the “people issues” in SAP implementations

These days, it seems like everyone is reminding us that “numbers don’t lie.”  The other day I was reminded of a number that reveals an important truth about successful SAP projects.

Did you know that 61% of the issues faced during ERP implementations are directly related to people? That’s People – not technology, not processes, and not data.  Admittedly, we at SAP like to bring out numbers like this when talk about the importance of preparing your people for an SAP implementation.  But experience tells us that in this case, the numbers really don’t lie.

People Issues Graph.jpg

So how do you deal with “the 61%”?  You may have seen Mike Conners’ recent blog about that describes three must-haves” for a successful SAP implementation:

  • Stakeholders who are prepared early on to adopt your planned business and technology changes
  • A solid end user training strategy
  • A strong and stable super user network

At ASUG in Orlando, I and two of my colleagues from SAP Education – Kerry Brown and Amy Feldman – will deliver sessions that address these three topics.  And while I don’t want to steal any thunder from the sessions, I’d like to tell you about our customers and what we do every day to help them address the “61%” in their projects.

Must-have #1 – Prepared Stakeholders.  Before an SAP rollout, many of our customers prepare their stakeholders with readiness activities based on solid organizational change management (OCM) practices.  We find that SAP customers often have significant OCM expertise, but they may be lacking in knowledge specifically oriented to SAP implementations.

In these situations, I or one of my fellow SAP consultants will join forces with our customer’s project team and OCM experts. The OCM Assessment delivered by SAP Education helps customers understand the people, process, and technology changes that occur during an SAP implementation.  Depending on where they are in a project, we assist the customer in developing a strategy from the ground up or validating OCM activities already in progress.

For good reason, organizations with OCM expertise prefer to use their own resources to do the work. After all, they know OCM but they need an SAP framework to guide them.  In this scenario, many customers take advantage of our SAP OCM & Training Toolkit.  This resource gives project leaders, managers, and project teams real-life tools for a comprehensive approach to executing an OCM & Training strategy specifically geared to SAP.  Beyond that, we provide OCM Coaching to make sure that our customers have the skills they need to help their stakeholders understand and adopt process changes.

Must-have #2 – A solid end user training strategy.  For as long as there’s been an SAP, we’ve been training customers’ employees (SAP end users).  Over the years we’ve learned that a comprehensive training strategy is essential.  To make this happen, we provide an End User Training Strategy service where a consultant goes on-site to review the customer training approach (or the way they’re planning to do it!).  We look at the existing tools, evaluation techniques, and ongoing support.  Then, we suggest a formal strategy that outlines the components of a training solution, best practices, risk management techniques, and skills required to deliver training.  In addition, we work with our customer to develop a high-level education roadmap that recommends project activities and potential resources by project phase.  The result is a customer-focused strategy designed to enable their employees to get the most value from their SAP investment.

Must-have #3 — Strong super user network.  It goes without saying that if you can build an effective network of super users, you can save time and money, improve productivity, reduce cost of ownership, and increase sustainability.  We find many of our customers struggle mightily to build and maintain their super user program.  High turnover, fuzzy role definitions, weak management support, and a lack of structure seem to chip away at the program’s effectiveness. Why do some super user programs stumble while others thrive?  It’s all in the strategy.


Our Super User Strategy service helps our customers lay the groundwork for a thriving super user program.  Our consultant works closely with them to assess the current program, or helps to you to build one.  Together we find out what’s working, what’s not, and help apply best practices to be successful.


Every day, our team helps customers manage the “people issues” that arise in SAP implementations. At ASUG, we’d like to share some of our experiences with you. Please join us for these sessions:

If you’d like to know more about the sessions before you head to Orlando, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We’d also be happy to speak with you at  the ASUG Annual Conference and SAPPHIRE NOW!

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      The sessions you highlight are all ASUG sessions, so, the title of your blog is misleading.  In fact, if someone were to go to the agenda builder and search on the SAPPHIRE NOW sessions, these would not show up.  And, as ASUG is the group responsible for selecting these sessions, you should give credit where credit is due and that is ASUG.


      Karin Tillotson

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author


      Thank you so much for your note!  You are completely correct and this was an oversight on my part that has been corrected.  I do appreciate you bringing this to my attention so this could be corrected immediately.  Thanks again!


      Author's profile photo Jill Mikros
      Jill Mikros


      Would you mind sharing your presentation that you gave last week at SAPPHIRE on developing a training strategy?  I am unable to locate it.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member



      Where can I find the SAP OCM Toolkit. I have been searching around for days. I have downloaded a pdf, but the links inside the pdf does not work or are incomplete.

      Any help will be greatly appreciated!.