SAP ASAP Methodology Tips for effective management during different phases of implementation.
Project Preparation Phase
- Form an efficient Project Team – The project manager should be accountable for identifying and placing the right candidates who work together towards a common goal and share responsibility for specific outcomes of the project.
- Understand the Scope, TP and Contract – Ensure that the stakeholders and team members understand the scope of the project.
- Set Project goals – Setting proper goals will help avoid challenges which a project might face with bloating scopes and unruly requirements lists.
- Set the expectation of project document standards – Verify company branding and the predefined documentation from customers to incorporate the same with expected quality.
- Share Templates – Ensure that the templates are shared to drive the project (Risk tracker, Issues tracker, Action log etc)
- Identify Stakeholders – Identify the required stakeholders who can influence and support the project to move it to the next level.
- Identify Risks– Identify and register the possible risks of the scope and monitor them from the initial stage.
- Schedule Kick-Off Meetings – Assemble the required stakeholders and dedicated project teams from the customer for the meeting.
- Verify whether Skills match with the Scope
- Verify that Team Selection and Mobilization is complete – Ensure that team members are mobilized on day 1 especially if it’s fixed price and rate.
- Complete the Project Management Plan – Try to keep it as close to the original document made on day 1.
- Get the IDES system ready – Ensure that the system is up and running from day one for a system walk through.
- Follow SAP best practices – Based on the Scope, identify the required business functions and activate SAP best practices.
- Conduct hands-on workshops –Explain the objective of the project and each ASAP phase to the customer.
- Make Workshop Meeting Minutes – Circulate the meeting minutes to the users at the end of each session.
- Make Detailed Flowchart Diagrams – Construct flowcharts with roles (who is doing what / how) of the business process so that it makes the user easily understand and sign the BBP.
- Get the Blueprint signed off – This can be the most difficult part of any phase completion. Training, continuous buy-in and selling are key here.
- Have the Developments Scoped and Approved – It is best to kill as many unrealistic developments as possible.
- Document Functional Specifications – Have a written specification completed for later use.
- Update the Project Management Plan – Though it seems less critical, it is important to update it from a compliance and management standpoint.
- Complete execution or planning of the Training – Complete the Customer Project Training cycle. If you don’t do this, it implies that you have decided to outsource support post-Go-Live.
- Regulate Change Management Efforts – Ensure you have effectively employed all Change Management methods and techniques.
- Test, Test and Test Some More – It is essential to decide on the testing approach repeatedly since each project will have slightly different requirements.
- Review the Project Solution – SAP or other third parties will help validate your final solution and design approach.
- Complete Developments (RICEF) – Complete all Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Enhancements and Forms
- Complete the project team evaluation Process – Typically an on-going process, you should formally announce when you start and complete this task.
Final Preparation Phase
- Realization of the Phase Document Signed-Off – Similar to the blueprint signoff, training and continuous buy-in and selling are key here.
- Finish the End-User Training – Train the end user and make your life easier. Cut scope before you cut end-user training and then train some more.
- Revalidate the business Case – SOW (Statement of Work) based on your initial RFP might change during the project. Re-align your expectations with the requirement.
- Update the Project Management Plan – Update the project management plan from a compliance and management standpoint of view.
- Deploy Change Management Globally – The scope and scale of the change management process should swing into high-gear in this phase.
- Conduct a Final Project Review – It is an important stage, especially if a large number of developments were necessary.
- Prepare a Data Migration Plan (Cut-over Activities) – The plan must include action items regarding purchase orders, financial issues, and human resource issues.
- Decide on a Parallel Systems Approach – Always have systems which will continue to operate alongside SAP during transitions even if it is difficult to scope out from a manpower perspective.
Project Go-Live Phase
- Formally announce that SAP is Live – Ensure that each stakeholder in the company knows about the go-live of the SAP system.
- Get Signoff – Get the sign off from the customer on every aspect of the project. Payment does not happen until you get the sign-off.
- Value management approach establishment – Continuously monitor the value management project with projected case benefits as SAP doesn’t have inbuilt prediction capabilities.
- Close the project management plan – For project prioritizing organizations, it’s critical that all steps of the project are closed out.
- Operate Change management on a goal basis – Success comes from effective change management. Post go-live, the customer should take this as part of his responsibility.
- Conduct a final steering committee meeting – It’s important that they know about their role in the project and that the project is live. Moreover, it’s a great way to say thanks and discuss the future steps for all stakeholders.
- Prepare a continuous improvement plan – List out the value management approach which should be planned for future implementation phases.
- Verify Support from the organization – Ensure that the IT Support tool is already installed and that all support staff members are certified to handle first level support.
Note: Collect lessons learned from the projects – Collect all the lessons learned from the structured projects to ensure effective future projects.