Any SAP project manager probably wishes they had an infinite amount of two key items: money and time. Without these must-haves (or at least without the efficient management of them) any new SAP initiative – whether an upgrade, global rollout or EhP installment – would be nearly impossible to complete.
While Projects 2010 speakers can’t offer project managers an endless supply of dollars or hours (although, wouldn’t that be nice?), they can offer strategies for optimizing the project budgets and timelines you do have.
One such speaker is Steven Crooke. I sat in on his Day 2 session this morning, “A smarter way to manage budgets and timelines in tough economic times,” and he offered techniques for determining, monitoring, and making the most of your project timelines and budgets.
He explains that, in order to successfully manage project budgets, you must first identify the major budget and functional constraints that could stand in your way. Here are two tips from Steven’s presentation that can help improve your team’s budget and timeline management (and avoid costly mistakes):
- Remember that the assumptions made during the budgeting process are only a partial representation of the real budget consumption factors. So, at project execution, make sure you understand exactly how the budget numbers were obtained and what deliverables attract what part of the budget.
- Project teams often uncover additional scope elements during project execution. Handle this by align
ing work with project goals and deliverables, quantifying clarified scope, and planning for “clarified scope” issues in your initial budget request.
Steven did a great job driving home the point that, sometimes, the best way to avoid budget and timeline pitfalls is simply to anticipate them in the first place (you always need a plan B, right?). I look forward to seeing what other valuable project management tips I gather from the speakers over the next few days. Stay tuned!