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SAP Implement


Successfully Implementing SAP

Implementing a package can be a traumatic affair for both the customer and the vendor. Get it wrong and the vendor may get paid late or have to resort to lawyers to get paid and tarnish their reputation. For the company the new package may not work the way they expected, be late or cost a more than budgeted for and take management will take their eye off running their business.

Recently a client asked me what I would consider to be the five most important things one should consider before embarking on an implementation. This isn't a simple question, although there are many factors to think about after some consideration for me the top five are way ahead of the others.


My top five factors to consider would be:

1. Set up a Project Board,
2. Secure the resources,
3. Complete the GAP Analysis,
4. Have detailed Cut Over Plans,
5. Train the users.

Taking each one in turn:

The Project Board
The correct set up and operation of the Project Board in my view is major factor in the success failure of the project. The Project Board will consist of the stakeholders, key users and the vendor. The Project Board is part of the governance of the project. The Project Board will meet regularly to ensure that the project plans are created and being executed as planned, moves from stage to stage with all the deliverables being signed off is resourced properly.

The Resources
Three types of resources are absolutely necessary -- end users, change team and technicians.

Early involvement by the end users is absolutely necessary, as they will be the ones living with the system for hopefully many years to come. They will want to feel involved in its implementation. Buy in from the end users of the system is absolutely essential if the system is to have a long and stable life in any organisation.

The Change Team will identify the gaps between the package and the business requirements, re-engineer some of the businesses process to cope with the package, train the users to ensure implementation is smooth as possible into the business.

The Technical Team will prepare the systems environment for the package, apply any software fixes from the vendor, implement the software in the best way possible for the organisation set up and tune the software for the particular technical environment.

GAP Analysis
A through gap analysis will identify the gaps between how the business operates ad its needs against what the package can can't do. For each gap there will be one of three outcomes which must be recorded and actioned, GAP must be closed and customised software can be developed close the gap, GAP must be closed but software cannot be written therefore a workaround is required, GAP does not need to be closed.

Cut Over Plans
Detailed plans need to be developed for cutting over from the old system(s) to the new. Parallel runs of what will happen over the conversion period using test data, convert and watch for a period after wards to ensure nothing unexpected happens.

Train Users
Well trained users will support and defend the system on site. Unsupportive users will continually undermine the system and eventually it will be replaced. Therefore the more effort you put into helping the users master the system early the better.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

S A P - R E S O U R C E S


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