Analyzing the Project Management Workstream in an S/4 HANA Implementation Project
When implementing SAP S/4 HANA, whether you are following the approach of Greenfield, Brownfield, or Bluefield, requires an investment in planning and effective project management to ensure a smooth transition to S/4 HANA. This article will provide an in-depth overview of the project management workstream and what roles are needed to successfully execute an S/4 HANA transition, and how these roles support the overall success of the project. We will also look at a case study of how a company successfully transitioned to S/4 HANA by ensuring proper project management workstream role definition.
Overview of the Project Management Workstream – Goals & Capabilities
The goal of the project management workstream on an SAP S/4 HANA Implementation is simple, to keep the project team on track throughout the end-to-end phasing of the project and ensure that stakeholders are well-aligned with/ set the project’s vision. The project management workstream supports these goals by preparing a project plan, allocating the correct resources to the project, and maintaining clear and effective communication with the project sponsor and other key stakeholders in the project.
Background on Key Roles in the Project Management Workstream
While you are planning your S/4 HANA Implementation, it is important to key in on three committees, in the case that your SAP S/4 Implementation is on the larger side. The general outline for a larger implementation team would consist of around 20 – 100 team members, depending on the company and project size.
The steering committee is one of the highest operating teams within a project, and they report to the executive board, which is the highest-level committee on a project. The executive board team members set the vision for the project and allocate funding. The steering committee focuses on approving the goals, results, and any changes made to the project. They also work to ensure that the project is in overall alignment with the companies’ vision and strategic objectives, set by the executive board.
The operating committee reports to the steering committee and they help to coordinate and monitor all activities across the project for all workstreams. They are primarily responsible for streamlining operations and supporting successful project outcomes. The operating committee incorporates business owners, project managers, and technology architects, outlined in Diagram 1 – Project Committee Flow Chart.
The integration committee is an inter-project committee, meaning, that they can take on multiple projects by ensuring integration and consistency between deliverables. Their primary focus is on managing integration and master data among multiple workstreams. They also help to define integration points and the release strategy for a project. A release strategy is defined as several sprints with deployment activities that result in a go-live.
Case Study Background
A company was looking to enhance its financial performance for its planning, reporting, and compliance processes, and wanted to undergo Digital Transformation to drive intelligent decision-making, leveraging SAP S/4 HANA. Within this, they determined that various committees and project team roles would need to be assigned to delegate the successful completion of the vision and goals outlined.
Analyzing the role of team members in each committee and their importance
- Project Sponsor
The project sponsor was the CFO of the company and helped to achieve buy-in from the executive committee.
- Project Manager
The project manager plays a key role across multiple committees to act as a central point of contact for the project team and stakeholders involved.
- Project Administrator
The project administrator also ensured collaboration across multiple committees and was responsible for the overall project logistics, coordination of meetings, and making sure that all project documentation was being maintained.
- Technology Architect
The technology architect served on both the operating committee and the integration committee to help design the technical solutions for S/4 HANA by collecting business requirements and ensuring that the suggested solution was well-aligned with the overall project goals.
- Application Consulting Lead
The application consulting lead was involved in the operating committee to provide deep expertise in financial services. They regularly met with business process owners and worked closely with the project manager, project administrator, and technical architect to provide optimal processes and maximize the value of the solution delivered to the organization.
- Business Solution Architect
The business solution architect plays a vital role in the integration committee workstream. Their responsibility was to help make important decisions on integration and overall master data management from within the company. They acted as a facilitator of organizational change management to demonstrate that the solution is aligned with the overall business process.
- Quality Manager
The quality manager, although not mentioned in the committee overview, plays another significant role in an S/4 HANA implementation by ensuring the fulfillment of acceptance criteria and continuing to conduct various improvement initiatives.
- IT Department Head
The IT Department Head is responsible for facilitating and allocating IT project resources, as well as ensuring that the project is well-aligned with the company’s IT Strategy and objectives.
To summarize, the project management workstream plays a significant role in S/4 HANA transition planning capabilities, and by ensuring an understanding of these vital roles that team members play within the overall project execution, you can better plan and structure your team to ensure successful implementation efforts. With a strong project management workstream, teams can unlock the full potential of S/4 HANA and drive business transformation efforts.