Choosing the Right Project Management Approach for Implementing IBP
How to Decide Among Many Flavors, Each of Which Gives a Different Taste to the Process
By Robert Birdsall, Director SCMO2
What project management approach should you use when implementing IBP? It’s a simple question and one we ask every client to consider carefully. There are literally hundreds of “right” ways to implement any given project and SAP IBP is no different. The answer of what is right for you depends on your prior experience, project management maturity, SAP IBP technical expertise, how you plan to use the tool itself and the make up of your team.
We’ll keep this discussion simple and split the population of known approaches into traditional project methodologies like Waterfall, and those that take a more flexible approach, like Agile. All of the various flavors of these two approaches (including Scrum, Lean, Critical Path, Critical Chain, PRINCE2, and dozens more) fall into the spectrum between these two polar opposites. All have varying degrees of process rigor and rigidity.
Waterfall is tried and true, and definitely works but is somewhat inflexible once in flight. Agile focuses on flexibility and adaptation as the project progresses, but can sometimes lack the structure and discipline that makes a project efficient. Of all the options in between, SAP has its Best Practices model, which leverages elements of both traditional Waterfall as well as Agile methodologies. If your organization has its own solid implementation approach, I’m sure it also falls somewhere within this same spectrum and can be just as valid as one of the big names.
SCMO2 shares SAP’s view that a balanced approach allows you the ability to most effectively manage your scope, and then adapt to detailed discoveries as a better understanding of the tool is realized. Our own Sherpa methodology for IBP implementation heavily leverages tools, templates and accelerators to further improve the speed, accuracy and success rate for IBP projects. But, many of these can be pulled in and adapted regardless of what underlying approach is employed.
One way we differentiate from other firms is through our belief in intelligent implementation through methodology and adapting our process to your needs and those of your organization. We assert that your business goals, best practices and objectives—not the technology—should guide the outcome of your project. Just like our thought-leading consultants, our project-leadership team is focused on adding value and bringing a host of time-saving techniques to the table.