How to manage successful implementation of SAP

Category: SAP Posted:Aug 14, 2018 By: Ashley Morrison

How to manage successful implementation of SAPEvery work should be be adequately planned for its successful implementation. A project should begin with proper planning and strategy in an organization. Well, an implementation is said to be a process that converts plans and strategies into actions, to achieve particular goals and objectives. Implementing a strategic plan than the strategy is essential. A strategic plan gives a business with an idea which it requires to follow a particular strategy, direction and set of performance goals, that deliver customer value and become successful.

Most of the SAP implementations become unsuccessful because the businesses may run forward without any appropriate planning and attentiveness. It may also become unsuccessful if the administration team does not have any significant skills in the SAP implementation. It is essential to get the accurate planning and the correct team, to achieve the successful and adequate SAP implementation. There are a few steps which can be followed to make the successful implementation of SAP. Let us explore them in detail.

1. SAP Implementation should be a business modification package, it should not only be an IT project:

sap implementationTo accomplish the extreme business welfares, most of the enterprise may fail to receive the required attention of senior business administration individuals sometimes, though the SAP implementation is an ultimate resource. An SAP project is led by IT management frequently, with the inclusion of CFO to regulate the expenses. However, the different business capacities like sales and marketing, supply chain, production, and procurement have constrained participation in such type of venture and have other activities to perform. The businesses may have their business methodologies to implement, to obtain the market share, and WIP or achieve cost investment funds. They observe these as only an IT project, and they believe that they cannot submit their best representative.

It has been observed from the past knowledge that when an SAP project is utilized as a tool for big business change, the various business cases get enhanced drastically with a partial additional expense. The SAP project should be considered as a major business modification package, instead of a pure IT project, which needed senior administration responsibility from each influenced business capacity to lead the alterations. Furthermore,  it is required that their best clients should be made accessible for the task. These best clients are needed to distinguish and lead the business change activities. These services include the use of shared service centers, global master data governance, sales and operation planning, etc. It is required to utilize the prescribed procedure like to use the robust method to recognize, design, manage and track business benefits, including the clear accountabilities and communication to make a project successful. These best practices will alter your venture from conveying the new framework abilities into a business modification program which is grasped by senior administration and went for business welfare once it is go-live.

2. It is required to predict the issues and remain one stage forward:

Every implementation may have some issues with it. None of the SAP implementation projects are free from any issues, problems. It will also have changes to the roles and responsibilities of peoples, including clashes and anticipations. Due to all these issues together, the SAP project implementation becomes terrible.  Thus, it is required that the project manager should be expert, dynamic, and a couple of ventures forward to the rest of the team because it is extremely important to focus on anticipating problems to make a project successful. Well, it is much more critical to managing a project than adjusting expenses, overseeing individuals, assignment, and exercises and guaranteeing that everything is executed on time. How can the issues be predicted, as the project managers are not mystic? Therefore, a good project manager should possess the following qualities:

1. A project manager should be concerned with the business, should know the business, learn it and should be associated with the strategy.

2. The project manager should recognize the objective of SAP implementation and the achievement of the business.

3. The manager should be very adjacent to the sponsor of the project and should always query regarding the project that what needs to be done, whether the activity was scheduled or not.

4. The project manager should be capable of modifying the requirements if the modification results in the original enhancements.

5. The project manager should have followed up with the people in the project like the investors, key users, end-users, etc., recognize their spirits and their way of working.

6. He should take care of the minor issues which still may be the reason for the problems and decreases the team efficiency.

Thus, it is essential in the project to always anticipate the issues on a priority basis, so that the necessary action would be taken to ease them.

3. Instead of selecting the correct project approach, it is required to emphasize on a decent project planning and execution:

Most of the organizations are using a specific project methodology for their entire IT projects. There is a wide range of approaches open for the project execution; the companies should select a method which is relevant to the requirements of the particular project. The waterfall and agile are the two types of methodologies which are used frequently in most of the IT project. The waterfall approach was used in most of the companies to implement the SAP project in which various successive phases are involved; this method has worked well for those customers if they have on the spot planning and execution. If the planning and implementation are not suitable, the phases would not be going to complete on time. This has given rise to the contingency planning if the project is not scheduled correctly. Also, there is a possibility of starting a phase which would overlay with the previous phase and the last minute the plan has to be executed, which may not be successful. It may also require to see the deliverable dates adjusting with the phases which may look fine theoretically, but not attainable in realism. This may happen when all the deliverables have a close due date or the end date of the phase.

Now the existing projects are using the agile methodology. This is one of the favorable techniques used in many SAP projects and has been used ordinarily as of late. Agile comprises of various dashes which include design, build and unit testing. Depending on the size and intricacy of the deliverables, the dashes may take several months to finish the project. This method has an advantage that it is easier to manage, design, build and unit test the distinct work packages with the minor sets of work which is allocated to the dashes. To make sure that the problems are understandable by everyone and to know about the current deliverables the scrums are held very regularly. With this methodology, the management can easily see the slippage and provide the possible changes. If the required deliverables have not completed by the end of the dashes, then you are lagging behind the strategic schedule technically.

The important factor in utilizing this technique effectively is determined by the accomplishment of any project planning. It is required to know the essential requirements and make sure that the deliverables are allocated to the various dashes in proper order to make the project successful. It is also required to assign the correct planning time to the most complex and challenging deliverables to lower the risk in the project.

Thus, it does not matter about the methodology which you will select; it is more important to do the proper planning for the project implementation. A good project along with a manager will confirm the successful project execution and Go Live, without any concern about the executed approach.

4. It is important to involve the business from the start of the Implementation phase because Business acceptance is the crucial aspect for success:

If the business representatives are not adequate in the project, then it is possible that during the execution of the project, the SAP implementation will scuffle with a business acceptance before and after the project go-live. Most of the projects are based on traditional project management method, i.e., waterfall in which business participation means:

  • Detailing the requirements of the business.
  • Less involvement of SAP Competence Centre at the time of implementation.
  • The integration testing is carried out by business agents and supported by SAP CC.
  • Contributing and taking the accountabilities for final preparation.
  • Giving the initial level of support to the business departments.

If there is no match between the anticipation of the business and implemented the SAP solution, it means that enough work should be done by SAP CC to correct it. It is required to adjust the scope depending on the work packages.


To avoid this situation a specific project management methodology like Agile scrum should be used, but it has some limitations like:

  • It’s difficult for the project management to change the mindset and adopt the new way of working.
  • The scope of the project does not permit a project management technique rather than Waterfall.
  • The willingness of an organization is not mentioned such as organizational structure, responsibilities.
  • Also, there may not be enough time to establish the new project techniques and make it stabilized in urgency, to begin, with the new project.

It is recommended to obtain the most significant advantages of an implementation phase:

  • By integrating the project management with the Waterfall technique.
  • Greater participation of business and 3rd party agents at the time of project phase execution.
  • It is required to plan and conduct the presentation or handover sessions in between the SAP CC and business or 3rd party and SAP CC for functional unit results.

This approach will not enhance the acceptance by the business of variation from old to new, as this method does not provide the outcomes which are instantly available for the business use. With the help of this solution, it is possible to obtain the better understanding of the new SAP business solution.

5. It is important to get the right SAP resources and team:

For the successful SAP implementation project, it is essential to have the appropriate assets. A top team should be built to achieve the massive range of threads that has to be merged together, form political dimensions, organizational change management features, project management viewpoint, official themes, quality requirements, etc. to make a final deliverable which is a pleased citizenry of investors all through the business, driving the enhanced productivity on a business process platform. The following points should be considered while hiring the resources:

  • Recruit the consultants who have the relevant experience and the business process industry-specific experience.
  • It is a big asset to retain the same team members throughout the project.
  • Utilize the “tried and tested” resources from the confidential resource partners or own network.
  • The hired consultant should have strong communication skills. For the effective and successful SAP implementation, it is important to have the communication and understanding.


It is required for a business to have a proper plan and strategies to carry out the successful SAP implementation, without which an SAP implementation would fail. An SAP project can be made successful by making an SAP implementation a business change program, predicting the issues at the beginning, focusing on right project planning, involving the business from the beginning of the implementation phase, and getting the correct resources and team in place.

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