Agile SAP in action: Project Santa, week 2 - Upgrades, resource challenges and snow!

3 December 2010

Philippa Holland

Philippa Holland

Founding Director

The view from the business owner

Project Santa is an ambitious internal project that will incorporate the use of various SAP technologies in order to drive business change. The timescales are pretty tight so we’ve decided to deliver this using agile methodology.

For some background to the project, check out the last two blogs I wrote:

  1. Agile SAP in action: Project Santa – the view from the business owner
  2. Agile SAP in action: Project Santa – the view from the business owner – one week in

Week 2 of the project and we’ve had some of the standard project challenges…and some of the less standard ones! Two members of the project team have jetted off to Chicago for Syclo training, resource is being sidetracked onto other projects, our upgrade is behind schedule and it snowed!!

So what was the impact and how is this being managed considering the fixed timescales and agile approach?

Two members of the project team on training in Chicago

This was pre-booked & incorporated into the plan so is not an issue. The mobile sprint kicks off in Monday and two weeks should be enough time for them to build the required functionality. Everything needs to be ready for user acceptance testing by the 17th December with only a short sprint post Christmas to fix anything major following the UAT.

The upgrade to BW 7.3 is causing us a lot more in the way of challenges

We aimed to do this now because we’d like to use some of the functionality as part of the project and if it's at the start of the project it can be in production before the users need to do UAT. However I believe this was delayed for most of this week due to the download not being available. Then when we thought we could start there was a missing file. There have been lots of high priority requests sent to SAP as well as concerned looking members of the project team.

As the business owner this isn't currently causing me any impact but I can tell from the scrum meetings that it has led to lots of uncertainty as to how aggressively they can start the build.

So why are we even considering this upgrade? Check out a blog written by our Head of Technology, John Appleby for a bit more information on this.  Hopefully the development upgrade will have been completed this weekend otherwise we might be making a business decision on Monday to postpone this until after the project.

Resource is being sidetracked onto client work

As a consultancy company our clients take priority and it’s currently a very busy run up to Christmas. As a result, resources in some areas have been diverted onto other things. The core team are ring-fenced for this project some of the ‘nice to haves’ may need to be de-scoped or moved into the next phase if we don't have the individuals available to do the work.

The snow!

Our project is based at the Bluefin Solutions head office in West London so as a location we weren’t too badly hit by the snow. However it did impact one member of the project team who was unable to make it onsite. We made good use of technology and our OCS solution to include him on the daily scrum. Check out the below picture to see the team at work!

So next week is all about the development side of the project and the team should be full steam ahead building the solution. We will be monitoring the burndown chart (a standard part of an agile project, of which more next week) on a daily basis and hopefully working on a newly upgraded BW 7.3 system by Monday (fingers crossed).

Project Santa Group

Left to right: Bridie Stevens, Neil Bundy, Parpil Popat (on OCS) and Danielle Brannon

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About the author

Philippa Holland

Founding Director

Diversity of people inspires new ideas.  One of the reasons why I co-founded Bluefin was to create a supportive environment where people – client and consultant – can come together to find answers to business and technical problems. 
Since 2002, I have been lucky enough to work with the world’s largest manufacturers such as Rolls Royce and Lafarge-Tarmac, helping clients win by giving them the most talented people in the industry.   Client success starts with our people.
We have won six “best place to work for” awards in just 11 years because we recruit and retain consultants that are passionate about learning and sharing their insights and ideas with clients.  This includes attracting university graduates into our sought-after annual recruitment programme.
When I’m not spending time engaging with our clients and consultants, I enjoy nothing more than socialising with family and friends. For relaxation, I try and take holidays in interesting places and watch a variety of sports, either live or from the comfort of my home.

Bluefin and SAP S/4HANA - welcome to the one horse race

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