The secret of a successful SAP ERP implementation can be summarised with a simple sentence containing seven words. Each single word has either one of two syllables. It is easy to remember and easy to apply. It has been tested and proved and verified by several dozen of self made millionaires. It is based on common sense that is not common knowledge.
You can guess this sentence when asking yourself what event is vital within your business focus on avoiding bankruptcy.

When you are to formulate this sentence correctly, then it cannot be misinterpreted by anyone in your team. Else you have fallen victim of syntax ambiguity. Do you communicate successfully? How do you know? You can make a very convincing speech, but it can result in more debate and confusion.
When you hear that “the burglar threatened the student with the knife”, who is holding the knife? When you read someone has “shot an elephant in my pyjamas this morning”, was the elephant wearing clothes? How about the stolen picture that was found by a tree? How can red tape hold up a bridge? What happened when a newspaper reported that “police helps dog bite victim"? The professor said he was glad to be a man, and so is his wife. The chicken wasn’t ready to eat, because it was served in a hot bowl of soup.

A common mistake is to let complexity take over. Essential decisions are either not made or postponed, allowing temporary solutions to remain until the end of time. It takes authority and conviction and courage to discover and discuss and apply simplicity amongst complexity.
Quite often this coincides with endless management meetings, triggering endless requests for analysis to sustain the status quo. In the meantime the deadline for deployment comes closer and slowly panic and apathy and desolation creeps in the team. This is the moment when professionals also feel that their advice is not taken seriously, wondering whether the grass is greener at the other side.

The main reason for identified complexity can also be linked to the challenge to successfully apply change management. Up to now each department in your organisation had the opportunity to optimise their own processes. Now all departments are forced to corporate on a level never experienced before. For many this is translated as a loss of precious functionality. So it is to be expected that there will resistance to change.
Your task is to guide your business in this transition. Show that this change is not just some fake empty promises. Make your entire organisation believe that is change is real. Point out what remains the same, which undesirable functionality will disappear and what would become a much better user experience. Then you have the chance to replace opposition with commitment.

Even all the advice has been taken on board, there is still one important hurdle to take. This requires some investment in upgrading the quality of your workforce. Even though education seems a no brainer, it is shocking to see how easily this is simply ignored. Any individual would like to boost their confidence by getting the opportunity to learn new skills. However, many managers worry that the time spent on education during regular working hours will potentially be detrimental in achieving the milestones on time. Instead they do not realise that lack of knowledge is the main reason why these deadlines are not met.
You would want a team that has a wide knowledge of all the vital business processes. This is not only for those configuring the system, but it also applies to the developers and the team arranging the user authorisations. There is even a case to be made to get the infrastructure consultants involved as well. The main advantage is that everyone can test their own work in isolation. That prevents silo thinking and forcing others to validate and approve your contribution. This may sound trivial, but it is the basis for increased efficiency and productivity.

You can summarise this book by listing the Fast Implementation Track™ (FIT):

  • FOCUS on the most important event within your business.
  • COMMUNICATE this focus whilst avoiding syntax ambiguity.
  • Triggers need to SIMPLIFY your business processes.
  • Convince everybody to voluntarily COMMIT in making  change a reality.
  • EDUCATE to increase efficiency and productivity and collaboration.

The size of the budget for SAP ERP implementation does not matter.  A successful implementation achieves its goals on time and within budget. In my past I have been in part of victorious projects with a original budget of £200,000 or £60,000,000. They had in common that the Fast Implementation Track™ were adhered to successfully.

This book is just the beginning.

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Fast Implementation Track™ for SAP ERP.

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