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Tips for scoping resource and staffing requirements for your next SAP project

by Amy Thistle

October 6, 2011

This Project Management tip comes courtesy of Dan Wilhelms of Symmetry Corporation, who is speaking at our Managing your SAP Projects 2011 event. Staffing your SAP project with the right resources is a critical success factor and a major cost component for implementations, roll-outs, upgrades and enhancement pack cycles.

Converting “In-Scope” Project Requirements into Staffing Requirements
• Project management

  • Before the start of the formal project
    • At least part-time commitment leading up to the start of
      the project
    • Create the project plan
    • Recruit and engage resources
    • Set up program office
    • Oversee prerequisite projects
  • During the project
    • Plan on a full-time commitment
    • Scheduling resources
    • Drive project plan
    • Escalation and issue resolution
    • Reporting and communications
  • Post-cutover
    • Be aware there may be a “production stabilization phase
    • At least part-time commitment for a few weeks
    • Wrap up outstanding issues
    • Final reporting
    • Close up the program office
  • Functional configuration and testing
    • Scope of support includes:
      • Mapping requ irements to SAP functionality
      • Driving consensus on configuration
      • Configuration
      • Unit testing
      • Integration testing
      • Cut-over testing

Basis team — technical execution of the project

  • Technical project planning and coordination
    • At least part-time commitment leading up to the start of the formal project
    • Server and infrastructure requirements/specifications
    • Drive procurement
    • Coordinate installations, new equipment staging
    • Oversee, drive prerequisite technical projects
    • SAP application installations
      • Estimate 2 – 4 days per SAP install
      • Estimate 4 – 8 weeks for overall infrastructure procurement to application availability
    • DEV, QAS, PRD and other systems
    • Tip: project milestones are gated by go-live of SAP systems
    • Project team support
    • Part-time to full-time depending on magnitude of the project
    • Estimate one Basis FTE for every 20 functional team members
    • Project support takes priority
    • Backfill production support?

IT infrastructure team

  • Same scoping process as other IT projects
  • Timing aligned with the project timeline

Remember RICEFW (Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Enhancements, Forms, Workflow)

• Master data loads
• Scope of support includes:

    • Initial evaluation
    • Development and unit testing in DEV
    • Test data sets
    • Integration testing
    • Master data test loads
    • PRD master data and PRD cut-over testing
    • Map objects to SAP module expertise (SD, MM, PP, etc.
    • Determine resource requirements by module area
    • Consider a full-time project manager to oversee the ABAP remediation

Interfaces and other SAP applications

  • Resource commitment from these teams should be cursory*, unless:
  • Does the SAP project retire or change the usage of a related environment?
  • Does the SAP project require an upgrade to or alteration of a related environment?
    • Same scoping process as regular implementations
      • Timing aligned with the SAP project timeline
        Resources supporting interfaced third-party applications and other SAP applications will be required for testing

SAP security, audit, and controls

  • How rigorous are your audit and controls requirements?
    • Drive internal and external audit to define go-live requirements
    • Often scope of security requirements are underestimate
  • Is HR tightly coupled with SAP roles?
  • If doing an upgrade or EHP, should a security role redesign project be bundled with the upgrade?
    • Role redesign should be tightly coupled with BPP testing
      • Leverage testing resources for both
    • Security testing should be integrated into functional BPP testing

SAP security, audit, and controls (cont.)

  • Estimating security project support
    • One role for every four end users
    • Estimate 12 hours of support per new or modified role
    • Project support takes priority
      • Backfill production support?
  • Change management, training, and documentation resources
    • Considerations:
      • How much new functionality is being implemented with
        the project?
      • How formal are your enterprises’ change management requirements?
      • How effectively can power users train end users on the job?
      • What is your enterprises’ tolerance for a messy cut-over?
      • Review BPPs and mapping to end users
      • Engage power users early to access change management scope
      • Engage power users to set expectations with end-users
      • Utilize the pilot systems to demonstrate new functionality and sell the project

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