Posted by: ahmedashfaque | June 19, 2014

SAP support projects: why they are different


SAP implementation projects have their own set of challenges. But what about SAP support projects? What kind of challenges are faced in these projects? Let us have a look.

Users start finding the gaps and limitations after the SAP system is implemented. To their surprise, they find that many transactions go through without proper validations. Many other transactions do not go through when proper validations are performed and are possible to be executed only when some validations are dropped. Yet another set of transactions never get executed at all. To the credit of the implementation team though, some transactions are executed perfectly. And for some more set of transactions, the implementation team had provided some work arounds which work.

If a user of the SAP system is not able to perform everyday transactions then it is a real challenge. The company will find that many transactions are being performed off line and they are never captured in the SAP system. These transactions will end up either in some spreadsheets or on paper. This kind of scenario is a sure disaster for the company as the company managers will never be able to do analysis of all the business being carried out and thus they will also be unable to make proper decisions due to lack of proper data.

The company then decides to go for a SAP support project to straighten things up and be able to use the implemented SAP system properly. The SAP support project team thus finds itself with plethora of tasks for the project. But even here, many times they find the most challenging task. The problems found by the users is not documented properly. So there is no way to start things up right away. So the first thing on the project for them is to document all the problems first. Only after this activity, they can start finding right solutions for these problems.

In some cases, the problem cited by users needs writing some code for validation of transactions. In some other cases, the customization was not implemented properly and customization work needs to be performed again. For yet another set of problems, they find that the user training was not done properly and users were doing transactions in the wrong way. So user training has to be done again. In some other cases, the master data was not populated properly and thus users were not able to perform their transactions.

Once the project team is able to find out the problems, root causes of these problems and find out fit solutions for these problems, only then the support project will be worthwhile. Otherwise, users will still find problems in using the SAP system even after the support project is over.

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