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Realize Your Post-Implementation Vision

Continuous Improvement Initiatives Drive Sustained Business Value

by Sriram Ganesan

October 1, 2013

CIOs in today’s market are expected to leverage fast-paced innovations while keeping costs down and staying compliant. While systems integrators can help with tested methodologies, very few offer a systematic approach to help companies reach their ultimate vision. This article looks at how Deloitte’s continuous improvement (CI) initiative motivates employees and ensures long-term success of SAP implementations.



CIOs are under constant pressure to ensure business continuity and compliance, reduce total cost of ownership, manage increased stakeholder expectations, and leverage fast-paced innovation in the marketplace. Systems integrators bring tested methodologies to enable the successful implementation of SAP applications to help CIOs meet these goals, but very few integrators offer a systematic approach to assist companies in continually advancing their “to-be” vision.

Continuous improvement (CI) can be divided into two types: optimization, which reduces the cost of system maintenance and system risk and improves system performance; and innovation, which drives incremental business value through system improvements. To help companies ensure the long-term success of their SAP implementations, Deloitte’s Enterprise Value Delivery for Application Management Services (EVD for AMS) methodology offers a discipline that provides a multi-step approach to identify, prioritize, implement, and monitor CI opportunities. In conjunction with EVD for AMS, we encourage companies to leverage SAP Solution Manager to enhance, automate, and improve the management of critical business processes and SAP systems.

Uncover CI Opportunities

CI initiatives are a vital part of an organization’s overall strategy to continue to drive business value and reduce risk. They can help companies realize the benefits stated in original business cases, as well as KPIs and value metrics that were considered during the initial SAP implementation. Deloitte’s CI discipline consists of four phases (see Figure 1).

Figure 1 Continuous improvement phases

In the identify and prioritize phases, we begin by brainstorming the KPIs that directly affect organizational objectives and identify the business processes or underlying applications that drive them. We assess the current performance against stated objectives and/or industry benchmarks and practices, and develop a preliminary CI opportunities list. During these phases, it is important to engage key stakeholders to develop the prioritization criteria, review recommendations based on potential benefits versus risks, and obtain formal approval to implement the agreed-upon initiatives.

Next is the implement phase. The objective of this phase is to implement a combination of changes to existing procedures, processes, technologies, or governance policies to achieve the desired outcome. Expected benefits can fall into one of several categories, such as process simplification, improved system performance, and end-user competency.

Finally, in the monitor phase, we measure the outcome or performance after implementing improvement opportunities and compare them with predetermined criteria. For all variances, particularly for those below the expected levels, it is necessary to develop actionable steps to determine the root cause and take corrective actions. This may include identifying new CI opportunities that directly affect KPIs. Core application lifecycle management (ALM) processes, supported by Technical Operations, Business Process Operations, and Change Control Management functionalities provided by SAP Solution Manager, can be utilized to effectively monitor and manage the applications.

Sustain the Value of Your Applications

CI initiatives are important for any company looking to sustain the value of its SAP applications. Deloitte’s CI discipline is oriented toward business benefits, helping organizations make improvements based on small changes aligned with operational KPIs, while using existing resources and staying within budget. It also motivates employees, encouraging them to take ownership. Visit to learn more.

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Sriramz Ganesan
Sriram Ganesan

Deloitte Consulting LLP

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