Heard about template project and don’t know exactly how it’s different than typical implementation project? Thinking what skills you have to have to work on such projects? You may like to read on.

When usually do you use templates?

When your work, which you do repeatedly, is of similar nature, right? You just create a template and adjust it a little as of the requirement in hand. You don’t redo all of the work again and again, even for work which isn’t in reality so big / difficult.

For instance, if you’re producing a progress report on monthly basis, instead of writing all the details every time, you may write it once and fill it with figures of the month to produce monthly report. This saves your time.

When it comes to SAP implementation projects, the spectrum of organization model has to be considered. If it’s a huge organization and for instance, operating in different locations but performing almost same functions across the region, such implementation model (the one we’re talking now) would be a suitable choice.

What does it mean? It means you create a template and use it for the rest of your organization, just as you do for your report. But to build a solution template, you would still be required to follow typical implementation approach. What’s that approach? It is to gather, analyze & document the requirements and then to develop and implement a solution. You do all such activities in different phases (planning, blueprinting, etc.) Once you have solution ready and it has been tested & confirmed by business for operational use, you could deploy it across the organization.

Why do you do that? Because it not only saves time & cost of implementation but also keep the same standard of solution operation, for example, your support organization could provide similar support to whole of the organization in same fashion.

What if part of your organization operates little differently than the most? Would you build different templates or would you create version from the same template? Which one do you think would be better? Let’s get back to same report example. In addition to creating monthly reports, suppose you also have to produce quarterly reports. The only different of both types of reports is the layout of certain element (not all). In this case, you could use monthly template and create another template.

Similarly for part of your organization, instead of creating a new template from scratch, it would be better to utilize existing solution template you developed for major part of your organization and create a version.

Template projects do require similar skill-set as do the implementation projects; however, for rolling out the solution to additional organizational locations, generally few other skills are required. In addition to training & support skills, it’s also advantageous if you know languages & culture (used at additional locations). For such roll-out locations, if you’re eligible to work legally without visa implications, you’d be preferred as well, even if you are not a ‘geek’ : )

Basically I worked on a template project in early days of my SAP career, more than a decade now, but it was within one country but since the organization was spread over the country, such model was followed. I was lucky to be part of Solution Development as well as Roll-out and thus got chance to explore & learn different roles within the project.

It’d be nice to hear from those who already have worked on such implementation model to relate their experiences to those who’re embarking on such a journey.

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