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Author's profile photo Waldemar Falinski

ITIL and SAP rollouts with lack of Project Management

I can hear and observe that some SAP projects – especially ERP rollouts – are handled solely ITIL-wise means as some kind of bunch of new services. The charge of ITIL for SAP project is of course very good and worth of appreciation but that is definitely not sufficient as ITIL obviously isn’t project management method and SAP implementation – even the smallest one – is a project.

I see that, in the first line, Key Users involvement (means business active participation) suffers from that approach – the implementation becomes much more “technical”. Then usually at the end they try to apply ITIL wise change management as a way of organizational change just to realize a very low level of buy in and maybe even serious difficulties causing delays and overruns!

That is in clear opposition with what SAP is promoting: with the newest SAP ACTIVATE method the Key User involvement becomes even stronger than before! SAP project brings indeed a set of new services but the nature of that “set” obviously requires to be treated with a right project management method. That PM method may be limited and tailored but has to contain all good PM practices.

The root cause of that may be a lack of clear advice in ITIL how and when to apply project management and defined “slots” in ITIL where right project management has to be “plugged in”. Maybe also lack of rules how to differentiate projects from “only” new services. That means IT managers looking after every IT initiative in their organizations due to ITIL may have it difficult to see.

I must admit that it is hard to find something about coexistence of ITIL and PRINCE2 while the “owner” of either of them is the same organization which means APMG / AXELOS (means indeed UK OGC) – I found only that one: “Case Study: Using ITIL® and PRINCE2® Together” by Noel Scott, PMP Unfortunately that is not about PRINCE2 Agile® introduced last year.

A bit more can be found about coexistence of PMP with ITIL what is more interesting for us since ASAP is PMP compliant. Especially in “ITIL Service Lifecycles and the Project Manager” by Mark Thomas   I found very interesting diagram how to map PMBOK Process Groups with ITIL Lifecycle Phases:

and that can help us to map SAP project methods like ASAP and SAP ACTIVATE.

Look forward to hearing your remarks, criticism is also warmly welcomed!


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      Author's profile photo Paul Dandurand
      Paul Dandurand

      Interesting post. I like how you mapped both ITIL and PMBOK to the development lifecycle. I'm not an ITIL expert, so can't comment to much on that process, but I do know project management well. I have found too many people get stuck with connecting the PMBOK process groups with their more traditional and familiar development lifecycle. Some people change their lifecycle phases to map to PMBOK. This is a common mistake for two reasons. One, the PMBOK Execution group is too broad as it contain Design through Deploy. The second more serious issue is how to drive Monitor & Control in parallel to Executing. This requires a pm tool that can visually show phases in tandem.

      Author's profile photo Waldemar Falinski
      Waldemar Falinski
      Blog Post Author

      Dear Paul, thank you and please excuse I am coming back with delay. Must admit it is not clear for me why U mean this is a mistake with this change your colleagues do - maybe your context is specific and I can not see it?

      Author's profile photo Waldemar Falinski
      Waldemar Falinski
      Blog Post Author

      If U are interested for continuation of this topic please have a look at