Things to Consider Before Designing a SAP Implementation Strategy

  • 07 May 2015
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You must have been told time and again to invest oodles of time on the planning stage. Just deciding that you want to implement a SAP solution does not validate immediate execution without planning properly. Once you have your best team-members, you need to start strategizing your implementation.

The planning stage seems to be well outlined: clearly define the needs, design the entire system of the desired process, once the design is executed methodically you plan the testing process which is a very crucial step, planning the training sessions for the concerned employees and finally going live. If everything sounds easy and sorted till now, it isn’t. According to SAP B1 partners, there are certain variables that should be considered before designing an implementation strategy. Even when add-ons are considered, such as SAP Business One Add On implementation for Manufacturing, the strategy would change. Such variables change for every company which is why you should focus on them before taking any step.

Some Defining Variables

It would have been great if there was one strategy for SAP implementation that would fit all. ‘Copy pasting’ the technique would have been much easier, faster and fail-proof. Let us take a look at the some variables that would make the difference between you having a successful implementation or a failed one.

–          Standardization: As an organization, you have to decide whether or not you want to standardize all the existing business processes across the company or not. Autonomy is the other option. Weigh the pros and cons of both and which one would benefit you more. If you opt for standardization, it would take you more time for sorting out the business requirements for all the processes and spending time on reengineering would be advisable so that no red flags pop up during and after the implementation.

On the other hand, if you want autonomous processes, one should spend more time during the design, testing and training for each process thoroughly before going live. Accordingly, every process will require different amounts of time and resources in each of the three phases.

–          Re-engineering of processes: With the introduction of SAP implementation, some processes will require reengineering. Unfortunately, this fact goes tangential to most and they avoid spending time on it spite of understanding its importance. The easiest route that many opt for is automating all their inefficient processes while not touching those processes which work fine. This would initially cost less and can be done faster since one has to focus on improving just the few ineffective processes.

However, in the long run this design would fail since there would be a clear disparity between the automated processes and the ones that haven’t been touched. Probably the SAP Business One Add On implementation for Manufacturing would not complement an old process and the entire system fails. So avoid half-baked jobs and focus on all processes equally. Check which one would be the best approach for reengineering, what are the resources required for the same and how much time needs to be dedicated to achieve a good result.

–          Kind of Software Development required:  The two popular options are waterfall and agile. People don’t spend too much on deciding this during the design phase however failing to do so has the potential to negate the positive effects of SAP implementation. Waterfall is the traditional approach and many prefer that due to familiarity. It is a sequential and uses a formulized approach. These are suitable for larger organizations and processes. On the other hand, if you want a more iterative approach then agile is the best option. In fact, it has a less structured approach too. This works best for smaller organizations.

These are some important variables that companies tend to overlook. Others include the kind of data you would want to use, the language for the same, factors involved during the change management etc. Figure out what would work the best for your company and do not follow the footsteps others have implemented for their company. SAP B1 partners keep on insisting that what works perfectly for them may fail disastrously for you and vice versa. Consider all the variables and you will have a solid foundation to start on.

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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.