Monday, 1 September 2014

'Cut the Cards: making SAP work' - Book review

At first glance you may wonder what relevance this book could have to you. Don't be put off by the title as it is not a book for SAP 'techies'; it is much more and I would view it as recommended reading for anyone on an MBA course or with an interest in PRINCE2. I suspect those who would benefit most though would be those designated as Sponsor of an ERP implementation and those charged with an oversight or scrutiny role.

Donnelly has produced an easily readable book on what could be a very dry subject and his black humor works very effectively. Having said that, assuming there is a second edition, I think the addition of section headings would be beneficial.

In a forensic analysis of public and private sector IT implementation disasters, Donnelly provides a diagnosis of what he believes really went wrong: cash-flow, poor leadership, self-serving partners, poor project management, poor risk management, and poor contract management are all there.  Key lessons for me are the need to modify SAPs standard processes as little as possible, so change management should be concerned with moving from the As-is to the correct SAP process, having the correct governance in place and use PRINCE2 methodology.

Also covered, although indirectly, is SAP's marketing strategy - a good case study in itself.

But what's there for a procurement practitioner? If there's an ERP project the CPO needs to have a seat at the table as part of the business case development, specifying, contract drafting, selection, risk management, change management and contract management. Then the CPO needs to be engaged with Blueprinting the To-Be - I have previously discussed how that should be an opportunity for procurement transformation, yet too often is missed through automating the existing, yes, that still happens!

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