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Steps in SAP Implementation and Change Management

The SAP implementation process defined in this article is a general approach to application deployment and not necessarily a particular application deployment process. It’s based upon case studies and best practices from various academic literature sources and thus presents a comprehensive collection of products and processes which constitute a complete SAP application solution to enable any enterprise to properly plan and implement the entire program.

This article is also geared towards helping the IT department to develop and maintain their SAP expert relationship program, which is necessary to foster collaboration among service providers, developers and other employees. A well-chosen and implemented expert advisor can be critical in providing the competitive edge in an industry. However, the key is to find, select and engage the best provider with proven expertise in deploying SAP solutions to meet your needs.

The first step in the implementation process is the need for a comprehensive test plan. The test plan will address most of the problems that tend to limit the deployment process. One of the biggest problems faced by the SAP expert is the inability to identify the actual problem domain. The key is for the development team to identify the areas of need. Based on the identified needs, the group can go ahead and begin the implementation process.

For large projects, it is usually better to hire a company which has established expertise in dealing with SAP solutions. A good solution stack may take several months to deploy depending upon the complexity of the project. For smaller projects, a simpler implementation plan may be sufficient. However, it’s important to understand how the project plan should evolve and change as the project progresses. A good solution stack should have the capacity to adapt to changing market conditions; it must be robust enough to handle the unexpected circumstances that may crop up.

A good ERP provider will help you avoid the implementation pitfalls that can cause delays and cost overruns. The provider should also help you make use of best practices and the most cost effective ERP system possible. One such ERP solution is to hire an outsourcing firm for SAP implementation. Though this sounds extremely expensive, it has become very popular because the quality of the services provided by these firms is renowned. Besides providing ERP implementation services, these companies also provide consulting services that are indispensable when planning an ERP implementation.

When your project is about to get underway, the first thing that the ERP implementation team will do is go live. This means that the system will be launched without the need for any initial staff training. Most software companies will offer onsite training courses in the initial stages itself. But there are certain systems that cannot be deployed without having some form of training for the end-users.

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