The “Myths of Implementations” – Myth #2
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Myth # 2 – Cutting Corners Is A Smart Idea (The Dance Between Cost and Scope)
An Achilles heel of many failed implementations is they assume doing things right will incur more time and money than if corners are cut along the way. While it may look good on paper to strip out preordained project activities, the reality is a project will probably take longer to implement and proceed to fail at Go-Live, or sooner, if key project activities are dismissed from the implementation. It is much less expensive to get things right the first time than to recover a project. PROJECT RECOVERY is Expensive!
Misalignment between a project budget and the cost to implement is generally a consequence of faulty estimating processes and incomplete scope definitions. This reality results in an ill-fated attempt to squeeze additional work into the schedule without adjusting the Go-Live date. Furthermore, it pushes the burden to correct the shortcomings to project team members through creation of concurrent work activities that are hopeless. Yet, “Hope” then becomes the reigning endorsement to quantify the reality of the project. If you have an algorithm to measure hope, please send it to me immediately!
So what wins in this dilemma…the management of cost or completion of the full body of work? Let us try it another way. Would you buy a car at a stated price and delivery date but willing to accept it without the seats? Probably not! So why would things such as removal of training and organizational change management, reduced data conversions cycles, reduced test scope, and reduced acceptance criteria be consider as less important and less risky in the success of an implementation. Typically, these are the first items to go when “Time” becomes an issue. I suggest the decision to favor cost or work effort is routinely based on an idea of the least possible harm…but to whom!
A well constructed implementation plan should never be compromised. When assigned resources are equipped with proper skills, experience, and knowledge that are aligned to their specific role, great things happen. Skill level equates to speed of delivery. Experience equates to an appropriate design. Knowledge equates to optimization of functionality. Linking skills, experience, and knowledge to a valid and proven estimating process increases the probability of implementation success and reduces the chance for the cost versus work effort dance to commence. If there is no dance, there are no corners to cut!
Have you ever experienced the “cost versus work effort dance”? If so, what caused the dance to begin?
About the SAP’s Chief Customer Office: The Chief Customer Office’s mission is to help SAP’s customers achieve success. The team averages 18 years of SAP experience. When SAP started the CCO, the team was 99% reactive. Now the CCO is 73% proactive and typically gets involved before the implementation starts. All programs the CCO provides SAP’s customers are at NO CHARGE. The one criteria for engagement is that we have a cadence with the customer executive (CIO or LOB leader).