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.

Many thanks,

Sarhan.

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4 Comments

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  1. Faisal Iqbal

    A decade ago I worked at a Global Template / Rollout project. It was a huge project and in public sector.

    The governmental entities (accounting & auditing organizations) were split into Federal, Provincial and District levels. Each of the organization types had its own set of requirements. To provide them a best-fit solution, we first developed a main template, involving SMEs from each type of organizations, of course with much arguments.

    1. Initially we rolled-out the template to each level,
    2. Then rolled-in local requirements & created additional template versions, and
    3. Finally rolled-out specific template versions to project sites (i.e. similar entities at each level).

    So as you rightly mentioned, 1) the original template doesn’t cover all the requirements until it is deployed, 2) rollout require different expertise and 3) special team assignment for local support lessens the burden on central support as well as its more practical.

    So my experience at the template / rollout project was similar to yours and hence I fully agree with your points;

    1. we refined our template through pilot implementations,
    2. split our project team in 3 major teams; a team to address changes / configuration etc, another to deploy solution, yet another to provide typical support services,
    3. recommended super (/better) users to take over local support.


    I stayed on the large-scale project for 4 years and hence, got good chance to explore the Template / Rollout project extensively, while working on different roles from initially working with Technical Team developing the template to later working on pilot implementations to face the real challenges & refining the template and finally managing multiple rollout sites. It was interesting… 

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  2. Sercan TomaƧ

    The one of first rate rules of to be succesful and become close to excellence for the consultants is following and undertanding the experience like yours.

    “Experience is everything, everything is experience.”

    Thanks for your sharing.

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