Recovering From SAP Project Failure

  • 04 June 2015
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There are many reasons why a SAP project might fail. The reasons may range from establishing unclear business objectives, mismanagement of resources or issues with deadlines. Failure may occur due to one tiny factor or multiple elements; regardless the loss remains critical. However, that does not mean you have to put the project in a casket. It is possible to recover from a failed product. It’s definitely not easy but there are ways to rise up and turn the failure into success.

Careful analysis and re-strategizing would be a good start. Once SAP B1 implementation services for SME are in place, scope of the project should be re-defined. All the existing and necessary requirements should be listed down, some new methodologies or innovations could be introduced.  Once all the preliminary assessments are conducted, SAP B1 partners suggest undertaking following actions as a response to project’s failure.

–          Doing a thorough re-examination of original ERP software:

If the implemented ERP software is not a good fit for SAP project, then failure is evident. Before you start ‘fixing’ the issue, it is important to make sure that all components involved in the mix are the right ones. Assess if responsible teams evaluated the desired objectives and requirements accurately and chose the right ERP solution. One of the most common reasons why projects fail is implementing the incorrect software. Once that is overcome, the recovery team should ensure that subsequent changes are managed efficiently. One grave mistake here would be to hold onto outdated processes and keeping a closed mind when it comes to innovations.

–          Identify the resources required to move forward:

Resources can refer to the right team or materials to execute the project. Evaluate all available and required resources to achieve the desired effectiveness and results. Focus on keeping the concerned process agile and flexible enough to accommodate the addition or elimination of resources. Discard the redundant resources that were a part of the failed project initially. However, don’t neglect the budget aspect when narrowing down resources. SAP B1 partners would caution you to not get into a situation where you have the exact requirements but cannot carry on with the project because your budget doesn’t support it anymore.

–          Re-grouping the Recovery Team

It would be a good idea to have a separate team work on the recovery of the failed project rather than the original team. Getting new members offer new and different perspectives to the project. It would be easier for them to understand what went wrong and they would provide an unbiased point of view. Since they refrain from blaming anyone, work can get done much faster. Excluding all members who were a part of the original team altogether also might not be a good idea. Retain some of them, make someone accountable on the recovery team and assign responsibilities smartly.

–          Keeping in touch with Experts/Consultants

An external expert or a consultant could give valuable inputs to recover the failed project. They usually have prior experience in dealing with failed projects and bringing them back on track. Since they have a good understanding of factors contributing to the failure, they could advice accordingly. They have the ability to foresee results of the planned recovery plan so that further disasters can be preempted. Rate of success increases and the chances of recovering from failure go up significantly.

It seems easier to walk away but getting bogged down by a failed project and making no attempts to recover from it would be a bigger failure. It is alright to fall down but if companies do not reel back from it and take the next step, the project could be stalled indefinitely. Pointing fingers and playing the blame game never resolves the concerned issues. Appoint the right team, perform an independent analysis and determine the right SAP B1 implementation services for SME. Managing change is equally important and managers shouldn’t shy away from using innovative techniques.

It’s never too late to bring the project back on track. If you are experiencing a failed project, know that many have been there before and recovered successfully. You can do the same. Good luck!

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.