Identifying key design decisions to optimize the functionality and usability of your BPC-based consolidation solution
Here at TruQua, we have just about seen it all when it comes to implementing the consolidation component of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation. And more often than not, we get asked at least one of the two following questions:
- What steps can my company take to make the most of the tool and its functionality?
- From a user perspective, how can we get more usability from the tool and increase user acceptance?
Kermit Bravo, one of our consultants, will be presenting a session on this topic at the upcoming SAPinsider Financials conference in Nice, France this June. But in preparation for that, I wanted to take a few minutes to share a couple components of our suggested approach, which we’ve seen significantly help customers along their consolidation journeys.
The first key step is to identify and document your key design decisions (or as we call them, KDDs) during the blueprinting phase of your project. There are a few tried and true ways to go about this. One of the most effective ways of identifying your KDDs is to host a functionality process workshop with key business process owners from your IT, Finance, and Project Management teams. By getting representation from all key project personnel in the room, you’ll be able to more efficiently gather key requirements. If you’re unable to host a workshop, another way to identify and document your KDDs is to schedule individual interviews with your business process owners. Even if you do host a full workshop, you still may find individual interviews to help in the process. Whichever way you choose to go about it, by listening to user input early on in the process, it will help to increase acceptance later on. Also by doing so, you’ll be able to get a more solid understanding of where there are gaps in your current processes and what functionality improvements your users are really looking for. It also provides a better view into any complexities, exceptions, and technical limitations within your solution and/or business processes. Having the ability to clearly define the challenges and problems the business is looking to solve will help you better outline different approaches for the design and flag them as Key Design Decisions.
Another recommendation we have is to use a KDD template to help foster the design discussion and capture any final decisions. It’s an easy way to outline and pinpoint current issues or problems with the design of your solution. It will also assist in helping your company highlight technical attributes and solution alternatives in a way that’s clear, concise, and easy to understand.
For more advice on how to streamline your next consolidation project, check out Kermit’s session at the SAPinsider Financials conference in Nice, France this June. For more updates from TruQua Enterprises, you can follow us on Twitter at @TruQuaE or find us on LinkedIn.