The 7 Essential Steps to a Successful SAP Business ByDesign Project

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The 7 Essential Steps to a Successful SAP Business ByDesign Project

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De Villiers Walton runs on SAP Business ByDesign. In fact, we were one of the first companies in the world to implement the solution successfully. ...

De Villiers Walton runs on SAP Business ByDesign. In fact, we were one of the first companies in the world to implement the solution successfully.

One of the key lessons we have learned from our experience of implementing SAP Business ByDesign, is that it is essential that a thorough diagnostic be made to assess your company’s readiness to proceed. This should be done well in advance of the start of the project giving time to resolve the issues, which are identified.
From our experience, there are seven areas, which should be included in any such assessment. They are:

1. Solution Roadmap
2. Business Case
3. People & Change
4. Business Process
5. Hardware & Software
6. Data Migration
7. Connectivity & 3rd Party Integration

In this article, we will address each of the seven areas in turn.

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  • 1. 1 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 THE 7 ESSENTIAL STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL SAP BUSINESS BYDESIGN PROJECT
  • 2. 2 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction ................................................................................................................ 3 1. Solution Roadmap.................................................................................................. 3 Assessment of suitability of chosen solution........................................................... 3 Assessment of suitability of implementation scope................................................. 4 Project risk assessment .......................................................................................... 4 Complete a Roadmap for implementation............................................................... 4 2. Business Case ....................................................................................................... 4 The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the new solution(s)..................................... 4 Expected related cost savings ................................................................................ 4 Intangible business benefits for your company ....................................................... 4 3. People and Change................................................................................................ 5 Assessment of project team structure..................................................................... 5 Meetings ................................................................................................................. 5 Workload assessment............................................................................................. 5 Training................................................................................................................... 5 Communications ..................................................................................................... 5 4. Business Processes............................................................................................... 6 5. Hardware and Software.......................................................................................... 6 6. Data Migration........................................................................................................ 7 Master data held in legacy systems ........................................................................ 7 Transactional data held in legacy systems ............................................................. 7 Off system data....................................................................................................... 7 Estimate of data migration effort ............................................................................. 7 7. Connectivity & 3rd Party Integration....................................................................... 7 SAP Business ByDesign – A Hands-On View............................................................ 8 About De Villiers Walton........................................................................................... 12
  • 3. 3 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 INTRODUCTION De Villiers Walton runs on SAP Business ByDesign. In fact, we were one of the first companies in the world to implement the solution successfully. One of the key lessons we have learned from our experience of implementing SAP Business ByDesign, is that it is essential that a thorough diagnostic be made to assess your company’s readiness to proceed. This should be done well in advance of the start of the project giving time to resolve the issues, which are identified. From our experience, there are seven areas, which should be included in any such assessment. They are: 1. Solution Roadmap 2. Business Case 3. People & Change 4. Business Process 5. Hardware & Software 6. Data Migration 7. Connectivity & 3rd Party Integration In this article, we will address each of the seven areas in turn. 1. SOLUTION ROADMAP Spend time ensuring the suitability of your chosen solutions and construct a plan to realise this in a realistic achievable implementation timeline. A good plan is the backbone of any successful project and is a vital communication device to align your stakeholders with your project objectives. Time spent planning before the start of your project is invariably never wasted. In the early stages of your project, your solution roadmap acts as this high level plan, and is your vision of the route to implement the various aspects of the proposal. It is crucial for the success of your venture to get this right and focus on the following will help: ASSESSMENT OF SUITABILITY OF CHOSEN SOLUTION Which software components most fully suit your needs? Do not expect a 100% fit, but look for a ‘best fit’ taking into consideration the potential future development of your business.
  • 4. 4 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 ASSESSMENT OF SUITABILITY OF IMPLEMENTATION SCOPE Which components of the software are you looking to implement? Do you intend to stage the project so that you implement specific aspects in various timed subdivisions? PROJECT RISK ASSESSMENT Think about where the serious risks to your project lie, and propose solutions to remove them or at least reduce their likelihood or potential severity of their effect. COMPLETE A ROADMAP FOR IMPLEMENTATION Map out your plan and communicate it throughout the major stakeholders in your company. Look for independent advice to sense-check your thinking. 2. BUSINESS CASE Analyse the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for of your SAP solution, and the likely business cost benefits of the new implementation. Ensure that the necessary funding is in place to cover the costs of running your project. When you have completed your proposed Solution Roadmap you need to convince those within your company who hold the purse strings that your vision of the future will be beneficial for the business, and building a coherent business case is the best way to convince of the expected benefits your proposed SAP cloud solution will bring. Aspects included will be: THE TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP (TCO) OF THE NEW SOLUTION(S) What will the new systems cost to run? How much are licenses, additional hardware and software costs? EXPECTED RELATED COST SAVINGS Quantify the expected cost savings due to the implementation of your roadmap, such as improved business process efficiencies, savings due to reduction in running costs or even lower headcount. INTANGIBLE BUSINESS BENEFITS FOR YOUR COMPANY Document any other likely business benefits that the new systems will bring, even if they do not bring an obviously quantifiable cost benefit.
  • 5. 5 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 3. PEOPLE AND CHANGE Identify potential organisational and change management pitfalls, which may later compromise project progress and impede your project’s likeliness to thrive after go live. It is essential to the success of any project that all stakeholders are fully informed and prepared for the changes that the new solutions will bring to their day-to-day lives. The key to this is of course communication and training, but this rarely achieved without good planning beforehand. Part of that scheme should include a realistic and sympathetic implementation plan which ensures that all stakeholders will be the fully equipped to properly fulfil their project roles. Your plan (or Change Management Roadmap) needs to cover the following: ASSESSMENT OF PROJECT TEAM STRUCTURE Do you have the right people available to you to successfully execute your plans? Do they have appropriate training to fulfil their assigned roles? MEETINGS Plan meetings for all stakeholders and all aspects of your project, from “on-boarding” meetings for your Business Sponsors through to “project progress” meetings for the day-to-day users of the system. WORKLOAD ASSESSMENT Check that your planned timelines are acceptable to all stakeholders. Spend time explaining the thinking behind your roadmap and schedule to all concerned and ironing out potential risks to your project. TRAINING Incorporate a training schedule within your Change Management Plan. COMMUNICATIONS Half of the battle for achieving a successful outcome is in keeping the right people informed at the right time. Plan how you intend to disseminate project information to the different groups of stakeholders.
  • 6. 6 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 4. BUSINESS PROCESSES Analyse your current business processes and understand the impact of your new SAP implementation. An important method of preparing your team for the changes that they may face after implementing SAP Business ByDesign is to make a detailed comparison of the business processes as they are before the project, compared to how they may become afterwards. Running workshops with your key business stakeholders to understand the current processes and to communicate and discuss the likely new look and feel of the new system can be an excellent way to bring your team on board as well as giving insight into potential issues and risks. The activities related to this piece are as follows:  Business process workshops with key business stakeholders  As-Is business process documentation  New business process documentation  Gap analysis  Issues and risk register 5. HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE Assess the suitability of your current IT infrastructure to support your chosen SAP cloud solutions. Whilst a cloud solution generally reduces your IT costs, there will be some enhancements required to allow good access to your new systems. A thorough audit should be made of the suitability of your IT infrastructure to support your proposed SAP cloud solutions. Areas that you should take into consideration may include the following:  Laptop / PC / Tablet audit  Printers / Scanners  External Connectivity (Broadband)  Internal Connectivity (Wi-Fi)  Additional Connectivity (Home Office/3G)  Other peripherals (label scanning guns, point of sales technology)  Assessment of software suitability  Internet Browser  Email applications
  • 7. 7 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 6. DATA MIGRATION Investigation of your current legacy system data and make an assessment of the effort required to extract, cleanse and transform these data in preparation for use with your new systems. The transfer of data into your new system is a project task, which is very often under- estimated in terms of volume and complexity, and consequently is a significant risk to the timely completion of your implementation. It is essential before planning project timelines that you spend a significant period gaining a full understanding of the scope and complexity of this area in order to come to an accurate estimate of the likely effort required to extract, cleanse, and prepare your legacy data. Consideration should be given to all data that you will need to enter or migrate onto your new system. Some of the areas to consider are: MASTER DATA HELD IN LEGACY SYSTEMS Ensure that you have clean and accurate information about your customers, suppliers, employees, contacts etc. TRANSACTIONAL DATA HELD IN LEGACY SYSTEMS If you are moving to an SAP cloud based finance solution, you will of course need to bring across Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss data, but also consider the historic data, which lies in your legacy system. For example, do you need to migrate your sales history into the new system? OFF SYSTEM DATA It is often the case that there may be some data requirements for your new solutions, which are not available in your legacy systems. ESTIMATE OF DATA MIGRATION EFFORT Make a realistic assessment of the required effort in terms of man-hours for the preparation of the migration data. Add a generous buffer as this piece of work almost always takes longer than you expect. 7. CONNECTIVITY & 3RD PARTY INTEGRATION Make detailed analysis of the integration interface requirements and related implementation effort for your new SAP systems with other systems and business partners.
  • 8. 8 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 There are many options to connect your SAP ByDesign solutions into other systems and to allow external access in order to improve the efficiency of your business processes. Consider if and how you intend external parties to connect into your new systems. The interface partners, which might be considered, may include:  Customers  Suppliers  Externally managed warehouses  External contractors  Electronic data interfaces (EDI)  Other internal systems  e-Shop SAP BUSINESS BYDESIGN – A HANDS-ON VIEW In this article first published on SCN, Gerlize de Villiers, Director of HR & Business Operations for De Villiers Walton presents a personal view based on her experience of De Villiers Walton’s implementation of SAP Business ByDesign. In February 2013, we took the final step in our migration to the cloud by switching off our legacy systems and moving all of our business processes onto SAP Business ByDesign (SAP ByD). As the Director of HR & Business Operations for De Villiers Walton (DVW), I must admit that I had a few concerns when our MD originally suggested we implement the solution. Firstly, our business already ran smoothly and had done so for 10 years on a suite of fit-for-purpose software products, some cloud- based, others more traditional. Why fix something that wasn’t broken? Secondly, as a non-technical person, I was concerned about relinquishing control over the existing systems and creating a dependency on technical specialists. At DVW, we have always believed that a small business does not have to be an unsophisticated business in terms of its people, processes, and technology. Many of our people started and developed their careers in large, top-tier consultancies and blue-chip corporations before joining DVW so between us we have had exposure to it all - good and bad. Our size has given us an edge in our ability to learn from the past, adapt rapidly to the present and plan with confidence for the future. Thanks to our people and processes, DVW has already thrived for 10 years, which suggests that we are doing something right! Before running our business on SAP ByD, we made the technology we had adopted work for us and our systems never failed us. But - unlike our people and processes - our choice of technology did not give us any competitive advantage. What we have in SAP ByD is a serious, sophisticated, and dynamic business solution that will support the growth of our business well into the next decade.
  • 9. 9 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 Having a cloud solution has given me peace of mind. I know that our data is secure and there is no longer a dependency on me to ensure that we have data back-up processes in place. The cloud suits our workforce, which is internationally mobile. Our people can log into SAP ByD from any location at any time of day and get access to data and reports in real-time. We also have access to an SAP Support Centre with skilled technical specialists to assist when we have problems. I recently logged my first Incident with SAP and was surprised at the speed of resolution and general level of support offered. All in all, I have not given up control but have gained access to support and assistance beyond the level that was previously available to me. In working closely with our SAP ByD Implementation Specialists from the start of our project, I feel that I have peered into the guts of our system and have a good understanding of how it all hangs together from a data and configuration point of view. I also understand what I can refine on the spot and when a change project is required. This gives me a degree of independence. What is great is that I don’t need to be a technical specialist. I just need to be familiar with how the business processes fit together to support my business, ensure my business users are properly trained and that our system is populated with clean data. It’s an added benefit that the on-line Help Centre is always at hand to jog my memory and walk me through a process or a configuration change. I can also add my own Help documents to support our users in remembering how to do things the “DVW Way”. There are a number of things however, that I would like to see catered for in future releases: 1. One area relates to Service Agents. Whilst it is possible for Service Agents to capture Time against Projects, the recording of Expenses is not available in the current release. 2. I find the reporting functionality clever and dynamic, but, bizarrely, the SAP ByD ready-made reports are almost too sophisticated for my needs. I need SAP ByD to take a few steps backwards to allow a more dynamic way for me to extract raw data, pre-linking fields at the most detailed level of data entry. For example, SAP ByD allows the User to capture detailed information against each Expense Receipt such as Receipt Date, Receipt Type, Receipt Amount, Tax Code, and Cost Assignment; and to add free-style comments in the Description field. I would like to see a simple report (per User or selection of Users) that displays in a single line in a single table every bit of such detail entered per Receipt ID. The standard User Expense Report Statements will benefit equally from a similar format, rather than splitting details relating to one Expense Receipt ID across multiple datasources. 3. I find the Authorisations / Approval Paths for Employee activities to be a challenge given our organisation operates in a Matrix rather than Hierarchical management structure.
  • 10. 10 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 4. Whilst I like the Help Centre, it would be even better if SAP could add real business working examples to make it all more concrete. I understand the Business Centre offers more specific help, but this is not available to all Users. Perhaps SAP could reconsider access restrictions in this regard. There are ways around all of the above, but given what SAP has provided me with so far, I hope it is just a matter of time before these areas are addressed. DVW has been running entirely on SAP ByD for over a month now. I am excited about the future and what the system still has to offer to me. On a day-to-day basis, I am starting to see how the system is enhancing my management of our business operations. There is a shift towards more value-add activities.  For example, in Finance, validating source entries rather than also duplicating them from one system to the other;  tracking profitability against Projects;  simple things like building up history records to extract with ease and showing dynamic holiday and special leave balances with Time Accounts configured to suit my business. It all adds up to making my life easier! Looking back, the timing was perfect for us to invest in a new system as we prepare for our next growth spurt. If you are planning to implement SAP ByD successfully within your business, I strongly recommend that you ensure that your implementation team is not just a technical team. In fact, with SAP ByD it is critical that your implementation team is predominantly non-technical. You need business people, who understand your business and its processes, making decisions on behalf of the business. Your business users after all need to “own” the system once it goes live. From my experience, it is also essential that you have a person with sound Finance knowledge as part of your core implementation team. Yes, you will need technical specialists to look after your local infrastructure, such as internet connectivity, printers, and other peripherals but the technical aspects of the core SAP ByD solution are taken care of in the cloud by SAP’s technical specialists. At the start of your project, make sure that your SAP ByD Implementation Specialists listen to what you need and want, but do be prepared to listen to them as you may pick up valuable tips and process improvements along the way. Cloud is here to stay as it makes good business sense, especially for “non- techies” like me: 1. You never need to look under the bonnet as SAP takes care of all things technical - your functional knowledge rather than technical knowledge is key; 2. It removes the need for expensive upgrades – SAP does that automatically, so your system is always on the most up-to-date version;
  • 11. 11 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 3. It takes away the stress of system maintenance and housekeeping tasks such as back-ups; 4. You can access it from wherever, whenever you need it, real-time; and 5. You have access to an SAP Support Centre with highly skilled and responsive staff. Finally, to assess if you, as a key business user, are ready for it, I would suggest you first challenge yourself before considering your business case: 1. Am I (not my business!) ready for an integrated solution that is sophisticated enough for large corporations – if not, why not? 2. What are my biggest concerns and are they realistic given what we are making do with at this very moment? Make a list and actively seek out the answers. 3. What are the inefficiencies in my specialists’ roles as a result of our current technical solution? 4. Are my business processes really based on best practice and fully supported by my technical solution or are we having to use make-shift time-consuming manual work-arounds to get things to work?
  • 12. 12 © De Villiers Walton Limited 2014 ABOUT DE VILLIERS WALTON De Villiers Walton is an SAP services partner. We design, implement, and integrate SAP solutions; optimize business processes; and provide strategic business consultation for our customers. We have proven expertise in SAP Business ByDesign, SAP Business Intelligence, SAP Customer for Cloud, SAP Customer Relationship Management, SAP E- Commerce, and SAP HANA. Visit our website: www.dvwsolutions.com Read our blog: http://www.dvwsolutions.com/blog.html Contact us: http://www.dvwsolutions.com/contact-us.html Email us: enquiries@dvwsolutions.com