Building the Template
20 years ago ( after couple of years of SAP R/3 announcement) Industry giants noticed that SAP R/3 might be the cure for global process collabration and standardization issues. Global process teams were established and each industry giant has started to build their own template. Before to hit Y2K problem, they wanted to complete implementation of major country operations.
Those years were spent for building up the perfection of the template, interms of SAP funtionality and collaboration. Then big challenge has been started: roll-out to rest of the world. This means to plan, manage and deliver a complex, upredictable and long long SAP program. During the roll-out, every organization learned many good things to follow and bad things to avoid. I have summarized 3 key facts that I have learned during my personal journey which took more than 10 years:
1. Think simple, design lean, follow SAP standards
Every enterprise or organization think that their processes are unique, yes this is true, however only the 20% of the processes are treated as unique. But the sucess will come from deployment of 80%. So template should be lean and standard. This will reduce required time and resource for deployment and post go-live support requirements.
2. Set up a special team for roll-out
Roll-out is a different job than building up a template. Template developers are like scientists or specialists who are working in research centers, however roll-out experts are like sales force who are facing the real consumer or customer challenges. So they have to be good in face-to-face communication, full of patience. And finally they need to have to have the devil’s own luck:)
3. Country project team should be set up from real users
Final users should be nominated as country project team, I mean the real users, real busy users, otherwise you will face the real issues after go-live. Normaly country managing directors do not like to assign the real and experienced users to these kind of globally owned and managed programs, because they have targets to achieve and they do not want to risk, which is understantable from one point of view. However if the real users are not involved, all the deployment efforts might be garbage and further targets will be unachivable. This reality should be presented to top management.
Those 3 facts that I have listed are the most important facts which I have experienced during my roll-out journey. Please share yours.