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Global Rollout Approach & Best Practices in Large SAP Rollout Programme

I was associated with one the world’s largest SAP Implementation project in Oil and Gas Domain for more than 7 years. I had this unique opportunity & experience of working across different functions of project organization – worked as a Functional Analyst, Integration/Test Management, Global Deployment, Offshore Management. I have tried here to outline my experiences and share some best practises in the context of large SAP Rollout Programme.

Objective of the Programme – reduce complexity and bring change in three ways – through simple business models, standard global processes and
common IT systems.

Journey:  10 Years – 35 countries & 39000+ users


Pathfinder – Low risk & diversified implementations done to test methodology

Ramping up – Building global design and processes

Complete Global Design – Complete global design and focus on deployment to multiple countries

Embedding – Retrofit the earlier go live countries (pathfinder & ramping up) to current level of design (global template); deploying change requests to live countries

Extending Business Value – Bring in country with high business value & deploye improvement change requests

Global Rollout Approach:

  1. Global Template Developement


2.  Local Rollout Deployment


Programme Managment Framework


Critical Sucess Factors :

  • Robust Governing Model – To deliver a programme of this size and scope – robust governing model is required with regular reviews and connects across teams and across management chain
  • Effective Planning (Milestone driven) – Advanced planning (couple of years in advance) with details of milestones and activities on a single spreadsheet. To give greater visibility for all staff on various activities of the programme
  • Diverse Team – Central Team was based in one location but a good mix of resources across globe to cover differenct time zones and local coordinations.
  • Dynamic delivery organisaton – changed as per programme need. Started off with one central team responsible for both design and deploy. Later division into design and deploy to drive global deployments. Adding new team to cater to live country requirements. This lead to siloed working and demarkation, dilution of knowledge across teams. Eventually teams merged and organised in hubs across globe to remove inefficiencies.
  • Resoucing – building right skillsets and domain knowldege
  • Process Adherence
  • Innovation and value additions

Definition of Sucessful Go Live : On time, on budget and with minimal disruption to the business

  • Business Continuity at Go Live – businesses are fully compliant and continue to serve customers smoothly and efficiently
  • Stable system that enables busines to carry out day to day activities
  • Customers and vendors are aligned with new processes and policies and experience the full benefits of the new processes and policies
  • Accurate and meaningful and transparent management information
  • Staff find it easier to work within the new processes and systems and ultimately have more time with their customers
  • There is a plan in place to drive through the benefits – everyone knows the part they play in realising the benefits and continuing to increase efficiency
  • Legally and fiscally compliant

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      Author's profile photo Kaushik Choudhury
      Kaushik Choudhury

      Thanks Keshava for sharing the information. The blog provides the structured approach an organizations needs to adopt for such a huge program.

      One query : Could you please share the way solution manager was used, if used at all , and whether it helped in leveraging the existing artifacts/accelerators for roll out ?