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The Advantage of a Benefits-Driven Approach to SAP TM Projects

February 6, 2014

Major IT projects can be very challenging. Working and delivering within many constraints, such as time, cost, scope, and quality, requires experience and a best practices project management methodology and governance process. This is particularly true when it comes to SAP TM projects.

SAP TM projects are diverse in every aspect. They frequently encompass a global set-up (ranging from different time zones to diverse cultures) and involve various stakeholders from IT and business sectors (enter the challenge of differing requirements). They are supported by business and IT consultants (enter the challenge of lack of alignment when it comes to management and implementation approach), and a major part of the project management is taken care of virtually (enter the challenge of people management).

A disciplined application of sound project management methodology will increase the likelihood to initiate, plan, execute, and close the project within agreed time and scope. This is especially important when it comes to a heated debate or a decision-making process as part of the project management methodology that pushes a project team to act within the project constraints. The result of this approach is a successful project. But is this really true?

Well, in order to answer this question, we have to know what a successful project means, or is it possibly a program or even a change initiative? One of the key pitfalls in SAP TM projects is the lack of dedicated time to answer and agree on what success will look like and what the dependencies are for the overall transformation.

A good first step is engaging with a partner that leverages a benefits-driven approach to initiate and facilitate a discussion to identify the overall big picture with business benefits and change enabling dependencies for the project. In this approach, project benefits should be defined and considered as a main driver and constraint for project management.

A benefits-driven implementation approach adds an additional step, called benefits realization, to the project after the project closure phase. To achieve success, the project team is challenged throughout the entire project to link important decisions to the overall benefits. The project team also needs to focus on the right steps, such as defining the critical key performance indicator and setting up monitoring and improvement processes, for the benefits realization phase.

To hear more from Novigo on implementing SAP TM, attend their sessions at the upcoming SAPinsider SCM 2014 conference in Las Vegas April 1-4. 

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