Skills for Different Types of SAP Projects

Dmitry Kaglik

February 24, 2014

SAP

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SAP is a well established industry in the world nowadays. There are many companies that use SAP in their everyday life. But still there are many companies who implement SAP software anew.

You are aware that a SAP consultant should have certain skills. But having skills is not enough. You need to apply them properly. Because of the wide variety of SAP projects, skills need to be applied differently.

SAP Consultant on a project
SAP Consultant on a project

Let’s look at different types of projects and what is required there.

SAP Greenfield Implementation: Improve

Greenfield implementation is when company migrates from some old ERP or accounting software to a SAP solution. This type of project is the most difficult for the consultant to handle.

On one side, there is a customer that has some established processes. They may not fit well with a SAP standard solution. Business users may have a strong desire to keep their processes, making SAP a puppet in their hands. The SAP consultant needs to use soft skills to persuade the user that the SAP solution is better.

Of course, in order to prove the point, a SAP consultant should know his own solution thoroughly. It means that he should be an expert in his own field, which may be very wide. Lack of knowledge of SAP functionality may mean trying to impose unnecessary changes to the company or SAP code.

The main slogan for the Greenfield implementation should be: Use the SAP project to improve pre-existing processes.

SAP Roll-out: Don’t Break

Roll-out projects usually follow Greenfield implementations. At this stage, a company’s template is extended to other companies of the Group, not covered by the initial implementation. They may be in different countries, or in different business areas, or both. At this stage, a SAP consultant should be very cautious about the requirements he gets from new users. They may request some significant changes to the existing SAP functionality or processes. When considering this, you need to assess the impact that changes make on production users. Sometimes it is better to have a workaround than to follow the requirement directly.

The main slogan of the Rollout should be: Don’t break what is working.

SAP Extension: More SAP

Enhancement projects usually follow the Greenfield implementations, Roll-outs, or both. This is when a company decides that the scope of the initial implementation was not enough, and wants to use more of the vast SAP functionality. SAP consultant at this stage should have a very deep knowledge of the new functionality that is involved, and should also have an ability to quickly understand the existing solution. The task here is to assess costs and benefits for the new SAP functionality the company wants to implement.

The main slogan of an Extension project should be: More SAP! More Functionality!

What project type are you currently working on?

 

Image by Nadezhda Malovechko, with owner permission

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