SAP projects are often seen as the magical solution to break free from business process limitations through Digital Transformation. SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP C/4HANA, and the wide range of SAP products have only increased that belief.
But, SAP projects are not just about the destination. It’s about the journey. While this has always been true, the journey has become an undeniable necessity thanks to the “new normal”.
SAP projects now need “Digitally Special” SAP Project Management.
Disclaimer before you read ahead: This blog post is based on the insights of a single individual which in turn is based on that individual’s conversations with different SAP customers and SAP Partners across the globe.
Digitally Special SAP Project Management Journey
A Digitally Special SAP Project Management Journey consists of the following:
- Identifying business pain points and figuring out the solution
- Building the business case and presenting it
- Getting the green-light to go ahead with the SAP project
- Finalizing the scope
- Defining the phases of the project
- Preparing the project plan
- Identifying the project team
- Kicking-off the project
- Active collaboration during the project
- Completing the project with proper sign-offs
- Going live with the solution
- Ensuring everything is working as expected
- Documentation of everything that’s happened from start to finish
- Using one Digital Workplace for SAP projects throughout the complete journey
- Limiting spreadsheets and paperwork
- Avoiding multiple products and integrations for communication, management, and governance
As you can see, there is a lot to take care of in the Digitally Special SAP Project Management Journey. However, what’s alarming is that many SAP projects don’t follow the #DigitallySpecial journey by giving each of the above the due diligence it deserves.
The Result – These SAP projects don’t realize the goal which they hoped to achieve within the planned cost and effort. They either turn out to be costly venture, or end up a complete failure, or both.
Why do SAP projects deviate from the Digitally Special SAP Project Management Journey?
SAP projects might deviate from the #DigitallySpecial SAP Project Management Journey due to many reasons. However, the most common reasons are given below:
- Lack of a strategic plan and business case
- Inaccurate project scope
- Disruption in control over the project from the get-go
- Sporadic senior leadership involvement and governance over the project
- Underestimation or overestimation of the project effort and timeline
- Lack of documentation where required
- Unavailability of knowledge gatherings and takeaways
- Inability of project team members to collaborate and be aligned as one unit
- Insufficient skillset of project team members
- Gradually declining commitment from project stakeholders
- Violation of SAP Best Practices
- Erratic project management
- Lack of a risk management plan
- Not adopting one single Digital Workplace
How to avoid deviations from the Digitally Special SAP Project Management Journey?
SAP projects can be stabilized, brought under control, maintained within the #DigitallySpecial SAP Project Management Journey, and delivered successfully by:
- Building a solid strategy which is built specifically for the enterprise’s goals and ambitions
- Identifying and finalizing on the right project scope to fulfil the desired objectives
- Adopting a rigid project governance framework to ensure no deviations
- Automating documentation of all project learnings and making it available for future teams
- Ensuring active involvement and collaboration from each person involved in the project – be it a team member, sponsor, or stakeholder
- Relying on an AI-powered knowledge base engine to remove bottlenecks based on task knowledge and skillset
- Following proactive risk and defect management
- Maintaining one user-friendly Digital Workplace for SAP projects to manage communications, team members, files, calendars, tasks, test cases, issues, defects, sign-offs and reports
- Abiding with SAP Best Practices as much as possible from the start of the project to the end
- Adopting a Digital Workplace which has templates of the SAP Activate implementation methodology or future SAP approved implementation methodologies
- Relying on past learnings, journey checkpoints, knowledge gatherings, and takeaways and maintaining them in one Digital Workplace for SAP projects to enable all project members
Whether its a change request, an ECC ERP EHP upgrade, SAP S/4HANA implementation, SAP S/4HANA migration, or SAP Cloud Solution implementation – all SAP projects need Digitally Special SAP Project Management.
This blog post could be considered a primer of the bigger picture.
Have something to say about these insights? Let’s talk in the comment section.