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SAP Project Best Practices - Blueprint

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  • Given the pre-planning and complexity that comes with SAP systems implementation, it is totally understandable if the executives take longer than anticipated to select an appropriate vendor as a SI and further negotiate the bid. This process is time consuming and can go on for a few months. By now you may have already setup your internal business and IT teams for the upcoming implementation. I would hate to see so many people waiting on the project to officially kick-off. Rather I would ask your business SMEs and leads to start internal sessions meeting with business stakeholders and further working as a team to start gathering business requirements. This will expedite discussions during the requirements gathering workshops when blueprint is officially kicked off.
  • A detailed blueprint requirements gathering workshop plan with detailed schedule and list of participants is a must to start the blueprint phase. Make sure that the systems integrator (SI) leadership, PMO and business leads have prepared a workplan and mutually agreed to the approach.
  • Level of Details : Business requirements should be as detailed as possible such that the business SMEs and SAP consultants can understand your exact business needs and write functional designs based on these requirements. All these business requirements should be part of BPRD documents.
  • SAP BPD or BPRD : (also known as Business Process Requirements & Design document) Identify all key end-to-end business processes that are part of your enterprise operations. Each of these major business processes should have a dedicated BPRD document that should have all future state business requirements clearly explained in a standardized template. The BPRD should be signed off by the business SME, team lead and overall business lead. It may be worthwhile to include signoff from the business stakeholder that is executive leader who owns this business process.
  • Fit - Gap Analysis : I have seen projects where fit gap analysis is done in conjunction with business requirements gathering. I would discourage performing SAP solution fit-gap analysis unless you have clear understanding of detailed business requirements and also how the business processes from one work stream integrate with other business processes across your organisation. It is critical to have overall end to end picture of your future state business processes. Why ? Often the way you want your future state business process to work may depend how other business functions use the output of this business process and ensure smooth integration within your organisation.
    Are all BPRDs (Business Process Requirements & Design documents) signed off by business? Yes .... then you are ready to begin with the solution fit-gap analysis. You should make sure that senior resources from SI are performing fit gap analysis such as Senior SAP consultant or Architect in a specific SAP module. Imagine you have junior or mid-level resources that are doing fit-gap analysis who may have much lesser knowledge of the standard SAP solution. Because they do not know enough about the standard SAP modules, you may end up with RICEF inventory with lot of enhancements or custom developed objects which in reality may be fulfilled by a standard SAP functionality. If you are implementing specialty SAP modules or IS solutions with significant enhancements or custom development, then I would recommend reviewing the RICEF inventory with a SAP Solution Architect or Principal Consultant from SAP America or SAP AG on a short term 2-3 week engagement.
  • Project Estimations (or Work Effort Re-estimation)) : Now that you have better idea on the number of RICEF and configuration objects, it is better to re-estimate the work effort for remainder of your project based on these RICEF objects. Ask you Systems Integrator to estimation of the RICEF object work effort and compare the estimates to the original project estimates done during the project planning phase. If you have a independent advisor, he should do a cross check on the work effort estimates based on type and complexity of RICEF object. Re-prioritize items in scope to meet the budget and timeline if the work effort and costs significantly exceed the project budget. Make sure that business stakeholders are informed of any items that may be de-scoped. Ensure you do the re-estimation before writing RICEF functional specifications as you can save significant costs on the items that may otherwise be descoped to reduce costs.
FAQ: Does CIOVP provide services to lead ongoing SAP Projects ? How do you typically engage ?
We have been frequently asked this question by organizations around the world whether we can support their SAP implementation. Yes! Deepak or one of his team members depending on their availability can work directly with the client or through their IT vendor to lead and provide SAP Program leadership/advisory services on a consulting engagement. We also provide remote SAP project advisory services for international clients outside of United States.

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