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4 signs of a thriving SAP installation: How to derive measurable business value from your SAP investments

by The Tip Doctor

December 13, 2010

The Tip Doctor, Insider Learning Network.

Only 1 in 5 SAP clients is actually thriving - and many are in denial about their status in terms of SAP maturity.  So says Michael Doane, author of "The New SAP Blue Book" and "The SAP Green Book, Thrive After Go-Live ."

This tip highlights findings from Doane's study of SAP clients, highlighted in his white paper "Your SAP Immaturity is Showing: Growing Up to Measurable Business Value". Editor's note:  Michael Doane will answer your questions in a live,  interactive Q&A on Thursday, December 16 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm ET. Register today for this live, interactive Q&A .

The question turns to priorities and directions: What actions are required and in what order to improve SAP maturity?

Many clients pick one or two initiatives, based on some leadership vision, and simply plow forward without knowing fully which activities will lead them out of the SAP woods and which activities will only lead them deeper in.

However, the common characteristics of firms that were successful in deriving measurable value from their SAP investments included:

  • Business & IT Alignment: unlike firms that broke up their implementation teams after go-live, the model firms retained a formal and continuous relationship between business stakeholders (often in the form of business process owners) and SAP applications and technical staff.
  • Capable End Users and Supports: firms that provided sufficient ongoing training and support to end users.
  • Enterprise Applications Stability: firms that had sufficiently stable applications and interfaces so that ongoing maintenance was not eroding resource availability.
  • Value Management: firms that had the means to measure current business performance, target improvements, and monitor progress. 

Rather than being an organization doing a good job of standing still, these firms are deemed mature because they are doing a good job of moving forward.

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