Agile SAP in action: Project Santa – the view from the business owner

19 November 2010

Philippa Holland

Philippa Holland

Founding Director

On Monday we’re kicking off Project Santa. This 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.

I’m the project sponsor and business owner and I’ll be blogging regularly throughout the process to give an inside view of the project in action. 

Firstly, here’s a bit of background.

What business outcome are we trying to achieve?

This project is all about driving efficiencies in ways of working. The business objective is two-fold:

  1. To make the lives of our consultants,  project managers and finance teams easier.
  2. To improve the accuracy and timeliness of the information we collect.

How are we going to measure the return on investment?

A series of KPIs are being defined upfront. We’ll measure project success on the improvement of these indicators.

So why did we decide to use agile methodology for this?

In order to determine if this approach was correct, we looked at some key questions:

  • How open to agile methods is the client? As the business owner I want to get as much as possible from the resources and time available. Agile methodology seemed to me the logical choice.
  • Does the client need a signed-off blueprint before development begins? The fixed point here is the timeframe and not the scope so we are happy to work with a flexible blueprint.
  • How tight are the timescales? Very – only 8 weeks from kick-off to go-live.
  • Can the project go-live in small releases or does it need to be big bang? Potentially small releases and we can tweak the requirements as we go along, i.e. move parts out of scope if they can’t be delivered.
  • Is the team based in the same location? Yes.
  • Is business resource full or part-time on the project? Part time but regularly available.

The answers to these questions made me feel comfortable that it was an ideal environment for an agile delivery.

So we have a desired business outcome and an agreed methodology. Next step is Monday’s kick-off meeting.

Can this project meet our business goals? Will it result in a good ROI? And does it feel to be the business owner for an agile SAP project? Watch this space for more....


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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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