CIO VP Perspective - Smart Ideas To Lead Your SAP Project

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  • Choose the best leaders and executives in your company to lead the SAP project. I would suggest that you as a CIO or executive sponsor of the project select executives for the project that have proven successful project delivery track record. Make sure you do not have any VP, AVP and Director level leaders whose mode of operation may cause bottlenecks for the project. We need every leader on the SAP program to roll up their sleeves and make quick decision to resolve any challenges to ensure rest of the project teams are not held up.
  • Have an independent executive project advisor oversee the project. This would also help resolve differences between you IT and business organisation with an unbiased perspective.
  • Have your project team define scope of the project as early as possible even may be prior to the project commencement. If the scope is detailed enough, then I suggest that you engage with your SAP systems integrator with a fixed fee engagement mode. This means that your systems integrator will deliver entire SAP solution for a fixed amount or complete each phase of the project for a fee agreed at its beginning. If scope is not defined properly then it may be advisable to start the project blueprint on time and materials basis with later phases executed either on fixed fee or T&M basis.
  • Minimal but best leaders on change control board. The number of change requests that are evaluated on a weekly basis may increase as the project gains momentum. I believe in precise evaluation of each change request with some quality discussion rather then prolonging decisions on these requests. Hence you need to have your internal and system integrator leaders on change control board that evaluate and decide on change requests with quick decisions.
  • Audit your implementation periodically to avoid any surprises. Your internal project leadership along with project advisor should review deliverables, milestones, spending and technical implementation periodically. I suggest the reviews done every 4-6 weeks and any major issues be discussed with executives of your SI followed by steering committee.
  • Commitment from all business stakeholders. Your business stakeholders should be very forthcoming with 100% commitment to support the SAP implementation with all necessary business knowledge and support. Business stakeholders with their teams should quickly make decisions that impact their business processes, scope of solution, etc. so that your team does not cause a bottleneck in project progress.

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