Once upon a time, in a land far, far away- there was a perfect project! This project had it all- the requirements never changed, were easy to understand, and easily translated into the system configuration and development objects. No BADI’s, BAPI’s, user exits, or OSS notes were necessary. We were all on the same time zone and spoke the same language. All the necessary skills from the business and technical teams were available in abundance. Cutover and data conversions flew through the system without errors as if on a magic flying carpet. The project came in on schedule and well within the allotted budget. There were no evil step-sisters, kings, princes, queens or trolls to manage. Finally, there was no dragon breathing down your neck trying to burn you to a crisp at every turn.
Why is it that our projects sometimes feel like we are in the land of fairy tales? How can we move from project plans that feel like stories to ones grounded in pragmatism and reality for the complexities we all face? When I first started working with the SAP Centric Financials conference organizers, I wanted to present something different. My day job is implementing SAP solutions- specializing in the cash to cash cycle. I live in the trenches of Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Treasury. When I brainstormed with the conference organizers, I asked to tackle the myth about perfect projects.
The toughest part of this myth is how often it is perpetuated. Somehow we believe we are only ones that ever have challenges! Many presentations we attend don’t have the time to get into the depth and messiness that comes with many projects. It’s difficult to admit there is messiness. The myth becomes like “He who must not be named” instead of just calling him Voldemort and dealing with the consequences.
If we can’t admit our projects are not perfect, we end up like this:
Once we admit projects are not perfect- we can focus the conversation on how to improve our planning for them. We can start to eat the elephant one bite at a time.
In my presentation “There is no perfect project”, I’m tackling this project planning topic. I’m opening up my playbook and sharing what I’ve learned in my 15+ years of working on SAP projects. What has worked, what hasn’t worked, and most importantly why.
As both a certified Project Management Professional as well as systems implementation expert, I will share insights from both perspectives on why projects can be so challenging. Join me if you want to plan and run projects more effectively.