Success Mantras for the Game Changing “in-Memory platform”: SAP S4 HANA implementation
Sandip Pradhan, Chief-IT, Exide Industries Limited
A successful SAP S4 HANA implementation is about the powerful next generation applications and analytics brought by organization. This will choose the game changing in-memory platform with advanced analytical processing. Every project manager wants to be successful. The implementation failure may be fatal to the organization. Here are nine mantras to keep in mind when one is starting the high-impact S4 HANA project -
1. Experienced and Right Implementation Partner: SAP systems are difficult and costly to implement. A large portion of the overall implementation cost attributes to consulting fees. Therefore, it becomes crucial to select the right partner and use consultants effectively to keep the overall costs low. Organizations want to reduce the engagement of costly consultants, but on the other hand hardly any organization has the internal knowledge and skills to implement the system successfully without external help. So, choosing the right partners and using their skills and knowledge appropriately becomes essential to the overall success of the project.
2. Formation of right minded Core Team: Core Team is the pillar and is crucial to start-up the project. The formation of core team begins with selecting the right project manager and staffing the rest of the team. Right team means the right minded people not like-minded people for example a group of negative minded individuals are also like-minded. It does not mean the most intelligent project manager will survive rather he would be a change agent and each team members must be an agent of cange. Besides that, team member should have functional experiences and well known about his concern departmental processes and basic IT skills like knowledge of Excel. Normally, department releases the person for core team whose performance is poor.
3. Work Collaboratively: Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. One has to establish a partnership among Core Team members, IT Team, related service providers and implementation partner. At the end of the day, project team will speak in the same language then only will get fruitful output otherwise not.
4. Speed defines Everything: Speed is the King. Philosophy would be ‘Do It Now’ and keep in mind ‘Time is Money’. Speed is a priority in every situation as the top management expects tomorrow’s product today. This advice sounds simple but it is one of the critical elements to drive the project.
5. Focus on Change Management: Charles Darwin's theory says, “It is not the Strongest or the most Intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change”. SAP implementation is a huge Change Management and Business Process Re-engineering for any organization that needs to be carefully managed. The SAP implementation success significantly depends on the organizational fit with the business processes. The implementation failure may be fatal to the firm.
6. Testing - Key to Success: Testing is the inevitable path of all software engineering because defect-free software does not exist. Testing is the key to success of the project as testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product under implementation. During testing stage, the slogan would be “Break the System”. It is better to have another team for testing besides core team. One has to carry out Unit Testing, Integration testing within modules, Integration Testing within other interfaces, Stress Testing for Dialog response time including network time and ultimately user acceptance testing (UAT).
7. Effective end-user Training will drive benefits: End-user is the actual consumer of any system. So, end-user training is an essential key to the successful implementation. Similar focus should be placed on increasing SAP adoption, which in turn creates ROI. SAP Enable Now (SEN) can help to create, edit, deploy and track context-sensitive user help, transactional documentation, simulation, test scripts etc.
8. Be ready for Surprises: All most all On-premise HANA implementations will be custom based on the business use cases which will face several technical as well as functional challenges. Besides, the risk of knowledge loss will always be there due to unexpected departures. So, be ready to tackle those.
9. SAP Support: SAP HANA is a next generation Applications and Analytics. So, there will be always some challenges in Technical and Functional areas. To mitigate those and speed up the SAP OSS incident resolution process, you have to take the support from SAP.