Based on our experience managing hundreds of successful projects, we’ve outlined 6 key roles and responsibilities of the seasoned SAP project manager. Read an excerpt below or download our free PDF handbook here!
While it’s true SAP projects come in different shapes and sizes, a high degree of success can be attributed to being aware of and controlling issues and risks, both external and internal, as well as foreseen and unforeseen. Any SAP project requires quality resources – be it the right personnel, adequate IT or systems, a solid budget, appropriate onboarding materials, etc. A seasoned SAP project manager is one who recognizes these resource needs and sets the process in place for finding and addressing them.
Planning is an essential task for any project, hence the adage, “If you fail to plan, you will plan to fail” holds true. An SAP project manager is someone who notably has an overall view and knowledge of the project on hand and understands the project goals, the business value, the ROI, and the reasons it was approved. They should visualize the end-to-end execution and should be skilled and capable of foreseeing pitfalls and hurdles even before they occur, mitigating them so that they don’t hinder the progress of the project or become barriers to success.
Top 6 SAP Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities
#1: Ensures Compliance
- Ensures the team’s compliance with all accounting, human resources, training, and safety goals, as outlined by the Statement of Work (SOW) and other policies and procedures that exist at the company. Companies require adherence to their internal guidelines for business conduct, ethics, information security, and general safety in demanding work environments. Ensuring all SAP project team members comply with and adhere to the client’s working environment becomes the responsibility of the project manager, lest key resources are asked to leave simply because they haven’t complied with the training requirements in a timely manner and thereby put the project (and client) at risk.
- Manages the timely submission of time and expenses to the client, consistently, to stay on schedule and on or under budget.
#2: Facilitates Success
- Keeps upper management and stakeholders informed about the progress of the project as well as any risks or deviations from the plan. Communication and transparency are keys to the success of a project. As such, the PM should have a process in place to inform management and stakeholders on the progress of the project, risks, and issues, if any, and steps considered to mitigate or resolve them. These could be through status meetings and collaborative tools.
- Schedules and conducts weekly team meetings to ensure the scope of work is clear and that a standard operating procedure is in place so that all team members are on the same page at any given point in time. The quantity and quality of work performed could be impacted by extraneous factors. Ensuring the team has an overall understanding of what is being done and what is expected will help in moving the project along with fewer surprises. Such meetings will also help communicate to the team any policy or procedure changes, change(s) in scope, or new member introductions to name a few. This also offers an opportunity to recognize achievements and thereby boost individual and team morale.
- Plans weekly one-on-one meetings with key team members, often leads, to track progress and address issues or concerns affecting the team, whether those challenges are internal or external. Knowing the progress of each team member and what impedes progress will help the PM to remove barriers. This dialog can also help improve individuals’ efficiency and foster individual accountability.
- Works actively with the product sponsor in developing the product backlog and entering it into the Agile toolset to ensure a seamless implementation. With the advent of newer project methodologies, there’s a paradigm shift in how SAP project planning and execution is carried out. SAP Project enablers, such as SAP Activate, embed an agile/scrum framework to plan and execute projects. These call for developing the product backlog, working with product owners, and sizing and executing them in sprints through short iterative design, development, and testing cycles.
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Contributions from Girish Vasu