Choosing SAP Project Lead

  • 18 May 2015
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Every SAP implementation can witness success if it is directed properly. A project lead acts as the oil in the machine, making sure all the parts runs smoothly to achieve all the required purposes. Handling SAP is not an easy task which is why appointing a lead always assures a successful project.

Migrating the existing software system onto SAP needs meticulous eye and a planned approach. The best SAP implementation partners in India point out that choosing a project lead for SAP is extremely crucial and how it should be done.

SAP systems are complex and the first instinct would be to run away from complexities. Unfortunately, companies can only wish to do that. Instead of dreading a SAP implementation, it would be wise to start looking for qualified individuals who would be willing to step into the tricky world of SAP implementation and do the needful. Again, looking for the suitable person is not as simple as scouting through the room and picking out someone who ‘looks’ like he could perform effectively.

How to Choose a Project Lead

SAP project lead should possess technical expertise, strong management abilities and political skills as well. He is responsible for adhering to the deadlines, budget and resources. If choosing the right SAP solution for the company is the right start, then choosing the right project lead is the next step to finish the race the way you want. SAP B1 partners suggest companies to look for the following qualities before recruiting a project lead for any SAP project.

–          Ability to Multitask, Coordinate and Delegate

What makes SAP complex is that there are numerous things that demand attention at once. It would be impossible for him/her to focus and execute every single task on the to-do list on his own. Implementing SAP requires one to juggle between numerous abilities all at once. Efficient micro-management becomes possible only when one has the ability to multitask through numerous activities, coordinate the same with their team and delegate the right tasks to the right team members. It goes without saying that the project lead should be great at communicating ideas, suggestions, criticism and information with his team.

–          Exceptional negotiation skills

SAP implementation deals with multiple areas of businesses at once. There will be times when there will be conflicting ideas and personalities during the implementation. If those situations are not handled well, expect the implementation to halt for a while. As a manager you should be able to identify those who are more worried about hurting others’ feeling instead of getting the work done, keep them away from the post of project lead. It is important for leads to push through hard decisions and manage team-members’ egos efficiently without putting any road blocks in the implementation process.

–          High flexibility

SAP B1 partners rank flexibility as one of the most important traits of a project lead. There may be a rule-book that lists down how to manage SAP projects but problems don’t knock before coming. Project leads should have high flexibility to respond to such unpredicted problems without going into the panic mode. They are expected to understand where one should resist and how to embrace change and evolve through the project without affecting the overall result.

–          Good at building and motivating teams

When people come join hands and work together, it is possible to even move mountains. Compared to that, implementing SAP projects seem slightly easier. However, without a strong and cohesive team, even the simplest SAP project can fail. Project leads should have the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different individuals, bring the right ones together to build a team and motivate them to achieve the required results. They should assign tasks, train, mentor and reward them accordingly.

–          Strong knowledge of business and technical world

Having technical knowledge or business knowledge doesn’t make the cut. One has to be well-versed with both the fields to ensure an efficient execution. The best SAP implementation partners in India suggest enterprises to select a candidate who fulfills this criterion as the lack of one would result in the downfall of the entire project.

If you have someone fulfilling all these criteria, make them the project lead immediately!

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    Nidhi Batra

    About the author

    Nidhi Batra is a marketing and brand communication professional with 10 years of experience working in the dynamic B2B marketing environment. She strategizes, writes, reviews a variety of content for demand generation and sales support activities. Having a Master’s in English from Delhi University, she knows how to navigate her readers on insightful journeys with her SAP published blogs and thought leadership content.