After spending 21 years in SAP ecosystem by experiencing many SAP projects in different countries, I have tried to distille these experience and listed 5 untold actions which most probably accelerate the success.
This August we have succesfully delivered a huge SAP Transformation Project in a well known automotive manufacturer. SAP ERP, CRM, SRM, SNC, SOP on HANA was in scope. This was a big-bang.
During the project, but especially in the cut-over and go-live phases we have experienced many issues and problems. However we had overcome those issues and following 5 action helped lot.
1. Find a real project sponsor
Normally one of the biggest and most common mistake is having a sponsor who is only demanding and controlling. However you will need more from this role.Especially in cut-over and post go-live period, many issues will occur which you may not foresee. At these times your sponsor will be your hero. Like the role of Gandalf during Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers If you do not feel yourself comfortable about your sponsor, do not hesitate to raise this, in the fist steering comitee in a diplomatic way 🙂
2. Set up a support team with people who really likes to support
Many projects go down after succesfull go-live because of support issues. When you dig more to find the root cause of the failure, you will find bunch of un motivated people who do not like their job. Support team members should have at least one experienced and motivated lead consultant for each process, also keep in mind that business key users should own the support tasks as part of their daily routine.
3. The purpose/goal of the project is not implementing SAP solutions, to secure, accelerate and simplify the business processes
All the SAP components may run seamless, all developments run accurate, however, customer may not be satisfied, if you only focus on implementing SAP. Starting from kick-off, the purpose of the project should be spreaded throughout the organization. This will add value each and every phase of the project. Otherwise most probably you will have several battles versus business users and there will be no winner, only casulaties.
4. Do not prepare cut-over plan, propose a template
If the cut-over plan is forced by poject team to business users,you’ll have 100% failure during go-live. You’ll have wrong master data, stocks and open-items. Also Business continuity will be interrupted by unconvinced business users. To avoid this, propose a template and support the business users to find their tempo. They will own the plan because they have prepared.
Definitely create a whatsApp group, this will help you to monitor the action. Users will feel themselves that they are not alone. When they shout somebody will help. But please keep in mind that whatsApp is not a help portal, all issues must be recorded and handled as planned.