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Former Member
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Are you seeing excessive custom development on your project?

If there seems to be a large number of enhancements, integration points or even custom reports, for that matter, coming out of

blueprint / solution design there may be an issue with solution gaps. Excessive gaps can result in a longer build cycle, more rigorous testing and increased effort to support the solution post go-live. This situation has an adverse impact on the project budget, timeline and, longer term, total cost of ownership.

Are there really only two gaps in design? While the mapping of requirements to the standard solution may reveal many gaps, the two gaps I’m referring to here are:

  1. The gap in the team member’s understanding of the standard configuration and/or integration of the solution/product.
  2. An actual product gap.

Referring to the Implementation project Success Factors’ wheel introduced in my blog “Better Manage the “I” in the ROI equation,” this topic addresses the Solution Design but could manifest itself in Resource to Win.

Implementation Project Success Factors

Ensure the team members are “fit for purpose.” In other words, they must have the appropriate knowledge, skill and experience to perform their job?  In the 2005-09 time-frame we found that the skill base had stabilized as the introduction of new features also stabilized. With all the innovation in the past five years, obtaining the right skills for the job has, once again, become an important topic. If you are the project sponsor or project manager, ensure you do extra due diligence to validate “fit for purpose.” Go beyond what’s noted in the resume and ask for prior customer references. Ask the reference about the person’s specific experience in the solution set they are responsible for on your project. If you’re staffing a large team then you may only need to do reference checks for the solution architects and team leads, if they are “hands-on.”

If there is a question on the validity of a product gap don’t hesitate to engage SAP to validate it. 

Stay tuned as future blog posts will address additional implementation good practices.

About the SAP’s Chief Customer Office:

The Chief Customer Office’s (CCO) mission is to help SAP’s customers achieve success. The team averages 18 years of SAP experience.  When SAP started the CCO, the team was 99% reactive. Now the CCO is 73% proactive and typically gets involved before the implementation starts. All programs the CCO provides to SAP customers are at NO CHARGE. The one criteria for engagement is that we have a cadence with the customer executive (CIO or LOB leader).