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PMO for SAP: 15 tips for a killer PMO that will deliver your S/4HANA migration - Part Four

Agile methodology for SAP projects

#10 - Are you being managed by your supplier?

Sometimes when you’re working on a project – especially if things aren’t being managed well – you can find yourself in a situation when a key supplier is not delivering the value you expected.

You’d think in this situation they’d apologise, but that is seldom the case.

In fact, sometimes you will even find that the supplier turns round to you and says “we weren’t able to deliver due to your inadequacies and prescribed methods”.

That’s right – they do the old switcheroo!

When this happens it can be hard to counter their argument, especially if they can cite examples where your project’s management has been poor.

If you want your suppliers to deliver effectively it's vital that you avoid situations like this arising.

What can you do to improve your SAP PMO?

The PMO can stop situations like this happening by aligning supplier contracts and measurements to delivery outcomes.

And, you can assure what is outlined in these contracts gets stuck to by negotiating milestone payments aligned to quality gates.

The PMO should also hold regular supplier management meetings to make sure that all work is still being performed in line with the outlined policy.

Why it works on your SAP PMO

It’s pretty obvious why this one works really – it’s just good old-fashioned supplier management, but it’s something that is easy to overlook on a project.

A good PMO should be doing this as standard, but it’s always a good idea to refamiliarize yourself with the process so you know that your supplier management is top-notch.

#11 – Business benefits from SAP belong to the business

When a business begins an SAP Project it does it for one reason and one reason alone – to provide business benefits.

If a company is embarking on an SAP project for any reason other than this, they’re making a big mistake.

Despite this fact though, once the project begins it can be hard to get anyone to take responsibility for delivering those benefits – especially if it is an IT led project.

So how do you make sure someone takes ownership for benefits and benefits tracking?

What can you do to improve your SAP PMO?

One of the most effective ways to make sure someone takes ownership of benefits tracking is to outline whose responsibility it will be early on in the planning process.

Ultimately, benefits are a detailed breakdown of the business case. If you ensure that the business case is defined and owned by the business you will make sure that benefits are at the forefront of people’s minds throughout the lifetime of the project. You can further reinforce this by making benefits validation part of the stage gate review process, with business owners reporting on the benefits during these sessions.

Why it works on your SAP PMO

Having the business take ownership of benefits tracking is so effective because they are the people who will get most out of the benefits being delivered.

For IT, once the project is over they will simply move on to the next thing so it makes sense that they have less interest in how SAP will be performing a number of years down the line – for the business however this is the bit they have been looking forward to.

By putting ownership of benefits tracking with the business right from the outset you significantly increase the chances of them being tracked, delivered, and your SAP project being a success.

#12 – Embrace change on your SAP project

When you embark on an SAP programme you normally have a plan that you’re trying to stick to.

And, the chances you’ll have stuck to that plan by the time you reach go live?

Probably pretty slim if we’re being honest.

The requirements of the business will inevitably evolve across the lifetime of the project, which means there needs to be flexibility.

While some aspects of the project can cope with these changes just fine, others – like supplier contracts and strict methodologies (I’m looking at you waterfall!) simply don’t mix well with the constantly evolving nature of running a business.  

It’s up to the PMO to find a way to mix these two different worlds to find a happy medium that works for both parties.

What can you do to improve your SAP PMO?

The requirement for change is inevitable, so the PMO should build in processes for accepting change from the off.

This can be done by using a flexible delivery framework like Agile, especially in fast moving parts of the business.

A flexible delivery framework feeds into Demand Management and Release Planning for Business Process Improvement, allow for re-prioritisation and delivery of frequent small changes.

Why it works on your SAP PMO

Agile methodology is perfect for fast changing solution areas and complex products as a business person will often need to see baseline before defining what they truly need – Agile can accommodate this better than any other methodology.

By building a responsive release approach post major go live, you allow for the re-prioritisation and delivery of frequent small changes.

You can align these small changes to business process improvement initiates.

What this means is the project team will be better equipped to provide updates that deliver the benefits the business really needs from SAP straight away without having to wait for the next big stage gate or update.

You made it! Keep reading.

SAP PMO tips part 5

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