Successfully Implementing SAP

Implementing SAP package can be a traumatic affair for both the customer and the vendor.   Get it wrong and the vendor may get paid late or have to resort to lawyers to get paid and tarnish their reputation.   For the company the new package may not work the way they expected, be late or cost a more than budgeted for and take management will take their eye off running their business.

Recently a client asked me what I would consider to be the five most important things one should consider before embarking on an implementation.   This isn't a simple question, although there are many factors to think about after some consideration for me the top five are way ahead of the others.

My top five factors to consider as SAP implementation success factors would be:

1. Set up a Project Board,
2. Secure the resources,
3. Complete the GAP Analysis,
4. Have detailed Cut Over Plans,
5. Train the users.

Taking the SAP implementation success factors, each one in turn :

The Project Board

The correct set up and operation of the Project Board in my view is major factor in the success failure of the project.   The Project Board will consist of the stake holders, key users and the vendor.   The Project Board is part of the governance of the project.   The Project Board will meet regularly to ensure that the project plans are created and being executed as planned, moves from stage to stage with all the deliverables being signed off is researched properly.

The Resources

Three types of resources are absolutely necessary -- end users, change team and technicians.

Early involvement by the end users is absolutely necessary, as they will be the ones living with the system for hopefully many years to come.   They will want to feel involved in its implementation.   Buy in from the end users of the system is absolutely essential if the system is to have a long and stable life in any organisation.

The Change Team will identify the gaps between the package and the business requirements, re-engineer some of the businesses process to cope with the package, train the users to ensure implementations is smooth as possible into the business.

The Technical Team will prepare the systems environment for the package, apply any software fixes from the vendor, implement the software in the best way possible for the organisation set up and tune the software for the particular technical environment.

GAP Analysis

A through gap analysis will identify the gaps between how the business operates ad its needs against what the package can can't do.   For each gap there will be one of three outcomes which must be recorded and actioned, GAP must be closed and customised software can be developed close the gap, GAP must be closed but software cannot be written therefore a workaround is required, GAP does not need to be closed.

In simple terms: Gap means small cracks. In SAP world.  In information technology, gap analysis is the study of the differences between two different information systems or applications( ex; existing system or legacy system with Client and new is SAP), often for the purpose of determining how to get from one state to a new state. A gap is sometimes spoken of as "the space between where we are and where we want to be." Gap analysis is undertaken as a means of bridging that space.
Actual gap analysis is time consuming and it plays vital role in blue print stage.

Cut Over Plans

Detailed plans need to be developed for cutting over from the old system(s) to the new.   Parallel runs of what will happen over the conversion period using test data, convert and watch for a period after wards to ensure nothing unexpected happens.

Train Users

Well trained users will support and defend the system on site.  Unsupportive users will continually undermine the system and eventually it will be replaced.   Therefore the more effort you put into helping the users master the system early the better.

Explain Cut over Activities/Strategies in SAP FICO as example.

Cut over Activities or Master Data Uploading Strategies Depending upon the when we are going live.  As per that, you have to give the information to your core team.  If you going live at the middle you have to upload the all P&L Account items and B/S Items.  If you going live at the financial year start, you have to only Upload the B/S Items. Activities for Golive: 

1.   G/L Master Upload through BDC or LSMW (TC-Fs00 and extended one co code to another company code Fs01)
2.   Vendor Master Upload Thru BDC Or LSMW (Will be Taken Care By MM) 
3.   Customer Master Upload Thru BDC or LSMW (Will be Taken Care By SD) 
4.   Asset Master Upload(Thru As90) 
5.   Cost Element Master Upload 
6.   Cost Center Master Upload 
7.   Profit Center Master Upload 
8.   G/L Balances Thru F-02 
10. Vendor Balances thru F-43 
11. Customer Balances thru F-22 
12. Customer Advances thru f-29 
13. Vendor Advances thru F-48

Before uploading Vendor Balances you have to take care of WHT (TDS) Information.     *-- Satynarayana

Difference between the User Exit & Gap analysis.

Both are quiet a different and has a small relation.

User exits are standard gate ways provided by SAP to exit the standard code and we can write our own code with the help of ABAP workbench.   its not new functionality which we are trying to build in sap but its slight enhancement within the same code. 

Gap analysis is start point of Realization and once blue print is finished we have to find the realization of sap system for client requirement and there will be certain gaps when compared to system fit.  Those gaps can be closed either by re-engineering of business process to fit with SAP or we have to use USER exits in case of small deviations or complete enhancements with the help of ABAP to fit with the SAP system. *-- V. Sridhar

What is roll out of SAP Project?

As per dictionary, Roll out means “Inauguration or initial exhibition of a new product”. 

As per SAP specific definition, rollout is the strategy for international SAP implementation. Roll out strategy normally include the following

  • Whether to implement SAP simultaneously (also known as big-bang) in all the countries, or 
  • Go live in sequence of phased manner
  • Or to go for the combination of both (phased manner implementation for some of the countries and big-bang for others).
Roll out strategy  is the most important decision that a client can make during SAP implementation. Normally, steering committee decides the rollout strategy.

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