Some Rules!

I was feeling a little cantankerous this morning and thought I would assemble some “Rules” for your SAP Project. Please add some rules and guidelines you have thought helpful! These are not necessarily in order of importance.

  1. Knowledge Transfer from your Implementation Partner: Do it! Set up a regular time for it to happen. When I was a Platinum Consultant for SAP, I said when I left at night I wanted the Project Team at the Client to assemble questions for the next day. Then meet me the next morning with those questions! Sorry, but I think your expensive consultants may sit around too much. Get your moneys worth!
  2. Set up End-User Training BEFORE you go live. These can quickly degenerate into a “Complaint” session or a User attempt to set the course for the Project. Listen and note the input (I usually suggest the Users write-up their request, because like Instructors, Users like to talk. Set a Training Agenda! Give a quiz! I am not a fan of Training games, but that doesn’t mean you can’t devise something fun to help in learning SAP!
  3. Exhaust looking at as much of the delivered SAP Reports and Reporting tools as possible. Nothing is worse than hearing a group of Users download to Excel spreadsheets or worse yet, they have a “Z” report or ABAP report written esp. for them. No sooner will that report be written, then the business requirements will change.
  4. Document, Document Document. Convert your completed BUP’s (Business Procedures used in the Implementation process) to EUP (End User Procedures). Include menu paths, Transaction codes and screen prints. All will help the End-User figure out that they have arrived at the correct screen.
  5. Run a copy of all Standard Reports, so that people can review available report options BEFORE the End-User throws up their hands and exclaim in frustration “It isn’t in SAP!”
  6. Set up End User Teams to work alongside your implementation Partners and Project Teams. These chosen few can easily become your Super User Group and deflect many questions before they reach IT. Fast answers, fast response, greater productivity.
  7. Question your SAP Instructors before the class to make sure the course covers what you need to know. It won’t cover your requirements 100% but as an Instructor I wonder why I have HR people in my Production Planning courses… (as an example)
  8. Did I say Document? Documenting your procedures as you complete your implementation is one of the big myths of the SAP Implementation. The other big SAP Project Myth: Cleaning up all of the duplicate, triplicate and quadruplicate Customer, Vendor, Material etc. Master record files. So many companies just copy the same dirty, messy files from their legacy systems into SAP. Take the time to do the necessary housecleaning before the transfer.
  9. In addition to the myth of Documentation and Master Data Cleansing is Archiving. Even though we tend not to do it in North America (7 years of records, remember?), someone should at least learn the process. I have long-held that the lonliest person is the SAP Archiving Instructor in North America.
  10. Somebody on your team should join ASUG (America SAP Users Group). I don’t get anything from them, but they have great information. There are regional companies just like yours who face the same problems you will have during your implementation and oddly enough, they do share how they solved a challenge in SAP. It is amazing how many advanced classes I have taught at SAP and find that the Client does not know about ASUG. Somebody should join, go to their reginal and national ASUG meetings and then report back to the group. There should be a meeting on your site before your representative heads out where people can submit questions your representative can ask about.

So I look to you now for some rules you can recommend. I can always say that your success can be greater if you have upper Management or Executive support (for some reason they feel isolated from this process). We could discuss whether Organizational units be physical or logical to support SAP Processes. We could even answer the big question:Are we rushing the SAP Project? But we will save things for another blog entry.

I am heading off to teach a 5 day class that used to take at least 15 days and then I will wonder why the attendees look so overwhelmed and dazed come Friday.

     Remember you can eat an elephant, but you must do so one bite at a time.