Alongside with the designing of the functional and business processes, there are several other processes and lists that needed attention to engage in a successful project implementation. Below I list some of the key items that need attention.
The Project Management list
This list should be implemented earliest in the project. The Project Management team is eventually responsible to take decision (or devolve the decision-making) on all lists and issues impacting the project.
- Frequency of communication is vital to success of the project. How often to communicate, what communication to disperse, and what method to communicate (emails, meetings)
- Team Structure to manage issues, deliverables, and deployment
- Project Timelines, fall-back plans, disaster recovery plans
The infrastructure list
- Telecommunication infrastructure to facilitate easy communication (Webex, Meetingplace)
- What are the local legal issues, if any, that need to be considered prior to building the system. Some countries require the hardware located in their country, this builds complexity around infrastructure landscape. What are the local legal requirements around key areas like Payroll, and International Trade?
- Office tools (email, presentation, meeting organizer) to enable smooth flow of communication
- Tools to manage the project and store the project documentation
The team structure list
Global Implementation involves use of resources globally with the central team providing the core structure and the local team providing key inputs and support with a local point-of-view.
- Teams and team member contacts, points of contact
- Team geographical location – see team structure chart below
- Local and Global Project Owners – for every roll-out, there should be a local owner of the solution as well
- Specialization and skill-set of team members – members from business, existing support team members, Subject-matter experts
- Use of specialized support members – third-party consulting members to provide expertise in niche areas like best practices, eBanking, Vendor Invoice scanning, tax.
The implementation list
Building the design should cater current requirements and should be flexible to future needs.
- Can you standardize the implementation code/ configuration?
- Have you allowed room for changes to be easily made in the future?
- Is the implementation adequately documented?
The solution extension products list
The implementation should leverage the use of Solution Extension products with the core SAP implementation.
- What tools do we use to record and store documentation? Proprietary database, SAP Solution Manager?
- What tools do we use to enable testing documentation, results, reporting? Quality Centre, MS Excel, Solution Manager?
- What tools do we use to perform stress testing? SAP Loadrunner?
- Project Management tools, Project Time writing tools
Lists from other teams are not documented here. Technical team has list for hardware specifications, hardware connections between systems etc.
A global project should involve team members spread geographically. A core team that designs the solution with inputs from all key stakeholders; a central team that builds the solution; and a local team that provides input to the solution and deploys it globally. The two projects I worked on had a similar organization structure – the key difference was that one of the projects had a dedicated solution team that owns the design and approves changes to the design. I found this structure far more solid and objective; it provides objectivity to the solution design.
Rajesh Shanbhag has worked on several roles on both projects. He has been a team member, Functional Architect in the Solution team, System Integrator lead, Coordinator for Finance team. Rajesh has 12 years experience implementing SAP Finance solutions for several customers globally; he also has prior 7 years experience working in the business in Finance and Accounting functions. His business knowledge combined with his IT expertise enables him to provide his customers with best-of-breed advise on business process implementations.