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Collaboration in SAP Implementation

5/2/2014 4:25:19 AM Posted by Erin Carrather

In last week’s blog post we discussed why focusing on quality in the initial stages of implementing an SAP solution is important. Remember, a collaborative quality approach creates an engagement framework that involves setting targets to which all stakeholders can commit. But, how do you go about doing this?

Who is the biggest expert in terms of knowing what your organization’s end goals are? However close a supplier gets to an organization, the supplier can never be as much of an expert as someone on the inside. Your employees are your most valuable asset. The best individuals to ensure that a program fulfills your business goals are often outside the IT functioning positions and are quite frequently the key to implementation success. You want to manage implementations in a way that will minimize risk, but it is important to note that the absence of risk does not automatically ensure excellence. Creating a collaborative quality plan is a good way to tie suppliers’ deliverables to the overall success measures of the implementation program.

No two implementations are the same, just as no single collaborative quality program fits all. However, there are a number of tools and best practices that are commonly used in successful implementations and that deliver controls for the internal program owner. It’s all about creating the right environment and a proper plan. For instance, a plan can be as simple as a concise two page document that lists clear actions and ownership for all key areas of success. It is important to recognize that this document will be a constant work in progress and should be updated at all stages of the implementation to keep all parties on track for delivering the overall program objectives. The plan should also describe the framework within which the project management team will implement and evaluate the new software solution. Quality planning involves identifying which quality standards are relevant to the project and determining how to satisfy and verify them. It’s all about making the right decisions.

In order to ensure that the right decisions are always made, a collaborative quality forum can be created, where a formal group of all suppliers and internal parties involved in the program agree on, document, track, deliver, and sign off on the independent items of the collaborative quality plans. In some cases, simply setting up this group increases the likelihood of a successful implementation.

It is clear that collaboration is a necessary step in the beginning stages of the implementation process. Stay tuned for next week’s post where we start to discuss the 10 principles of quality and how they impact your organization.Contact Third Wave today to discuss!