What is the SAP Knowledge Share Group?
The SAP Knowledge Share Group is a collaboration of thought leaders within the Australian SAP domain. The purpose of the group is to share learnings, experience and knowledge to ‘help talent achieve’. The group was founded by Precision Sourcing in April 2016 and is exclusively invite only. To register your interest as a speaker or attendee please get in touch via email@example.com
SAP Knowledge Share Group v.1.6
SAP Knowledge Share Group v.1.5
Precision Sourcing hosted their 5th SAP Knowledge Share Group on Thursday 1st June 2017.
One of the topics that the group had expressed an interest in was ‘how to get the best out of SAP’. Not as a system but as a company. As a senior stakeholder within a SAP run business the sheer size of SAP can be overwhelming when trying to navigate amongst the various Account Directors, Client Partners, etc…. Who do you speak with if you are interested in S/4 Hana, Fiori or simply want to get a quick health check across your architecture.
With this in mind, I was lucky enough to be able to reach out to SAP Australia’s Service & Support Partner for Digital Services – Alex Aitken.
Alex kindly agreed to present to the SAP knowledge share group with the title of his presentation ‘how to navigate the complexity and engage simply with SAP’.
The complexity of SAP internally as an organisation (did you know that they have 350’000 customers in 180 countries and SAP produces 78% of the worlds food as well as 82% of the world’s medical devices)
The SAP networks and account management structure and processes
Some recent case studies and examples of engaging simply with SAP
To summaries Alex explained that SAP has abroad product offering which can at times make engaging with them complex however it is in fact very simple;
If you are interested in purchasing software or licensing then engage your designated Account Executive or Director
If you are interested in purchasing managed services then engage your designated Client Partner
If your query or question is not one of the above then reach out to your Service & Support Partner
The below diagram offers a basic overview of how a typical engagement may look:
Alex then offered 3 great case studies that showed how quickly and efficiently engaging with SAP can be if done in the right way and following the correct process.
Alex explained that a typical SAP customer should involve SAP to get the best out of our products and services. Too often SAP is engaged late or only when something has gone wrong. Ideally, you should;
· Build your strategy and/or identify the issue and involve SAP
· Identify the solution & build a plan and involve SAP
· Execute the plan and involve SAP
To summarise Alex finished by suggesting that the way to get the best out of SAP is to understand who your account team are, engage with them regularly and on specific matters, projects or issue resolution, engage with them as early as possible.
On behalf of everyone that attended the SAP knowledge share group v.1.5 and the team at Precision Sourcing, we would like to say a massive thank you to Alex for his support and commitment to giving back to the SAP ecosystem.
SAP Knowledge Share Group v.1.4
The idea for the topic “What Is Your Project Management Philosophy”? came from a lengthy discussion with experienced Project Director, Richard Arkell, focused on the various subjective approaches leaders adapt when delivering a SAP project.
Richard kindly agreed to present his personal philosophy and share his thoughts with 31 other attendees at Precision Sourcing’s 4th SAP Knowledge Share Group hosted on Thursday 2nd February 2017 in Sydney.
KEY TAKE-OUTS FROM THE PRESENTATION WERE;
- Understand that you should have a philosophy and thinking deeply about what it is, whilst also documenting it, is a worthwhile exercise for any project leader
- A philosophy is very different to a methodology – philosophy explores the difference between what we say we do and what people really do in practice
- Richard abides by 5 key tenets;
- Get the implementation strategy right (understand and challenge business goals and develop a strategy to balance goals and business risk)
- Ensure governance is there to help a project succeed (be open / seek help / be demanding)
- Create a lean project team (projects are supposed to be tough and it is easier to add people than removing them – bottom up plans are inherently wrong to a factor of 2)
- Understand and drive the people on the team (communicate plan as well as deliverables, hold people accountable, reward achievement)
- Collaboration is critical (share problems with all stakeholders and team members so that different brains come out with different responses and any response can become the best solution)
- Insist on the right people being on any steering committee and have someone from the business alongside you as a business PM
- Implement something tangible quickly that has visibility in the business but impacts relatively few users. This demonstrates an ability to deliver and implementing is the hardest thing to do.
“I may not be construed to be a touchy feely person” – Richard Arkell
The second part of the event was a panel discussion. The panel was made up of some of Australia’s foremost SAP project leaders who fielded questions from the audience and the wider SAP community who had earlier submitted questions.
Due to the nature and sensitivity of the panel discussion we are unable to record and communicate every question and answer, however, some of the points made are below.
“Leaders drive culture”
“Define what success looks like and then choose the tools to make it happen”
“The culture within the business and inside the project can differ greatly”
“Leadership from a CEO on a project steering committee is a very powerful asset”
Project Manager John Biggs asked the evenings winning question:
Question: “The expectations and deliverables when compared with the time lines for producing differs greatly at times. How do you deal with stakeholders in terms of setting realistic expectations about what can be delivered in the time lines given? Should you communicate it and to whom?”
Answer: “When you are facing what is looking impossible explain what can be done. Offer a set of steps to achievement and engage the business in the dialogue and decision-making.”
“Communicate here are the options, here is what we can do and the steps to success”.
Bernadette King offered her personal insight and advice for any aspiring female project managers who are aiming to develop in a male dominated field;
· “Hone your craft early in your career – be the best”
· “Understand your strengths and focus on leveraging these”
· “Source some great mentors”
Thank you to everyone that attended including both Richard Arkell and the talented panel. Feedback from all of the attendees was very positive and very much in line with Precision Sourcing’s Purpose of ‘Helping Talent Achieve’.
FEEDBACK FROM THE EVENT
“Thanks, Jay (and the Precision team) for arranging the event. Personally, I found it worthwhile and well organised and am looking forward to the next one.” (Gilmore Wilson, SAP Delivery Manager)
“Thanks for inviting me to the Knowledge Share Group last night. It was awesome and I took away a lot of things out of the session. I could have listened to their advice/experiences all night.” (Tim Wellwood, IT Project Manager)
“Thoroughly enjoyed the event (again). Having worked closely with 3/4 of the panel, I could easily identify with their references. The event also reminded me to think more…” (John Peake, SAP Project Manager)
SAP Knowledge Share Group v.1.3
ON THURSDAY 6TH OCTOBER PRECISION SOURCING HOSTED THEIR THIRD SAP KNOWLEDGE SHARE GROUP IN PARTNERSHIP WITH JOBADDER.
Based out of Jobadders' Sydney offices the SAP Knowledge Share Group brought together 30 leaders within the SAP domain. The group has a particular focus on collaboration and sharing learnings with presentations following a discussion format to generate Q & A. Read more on what the SAP Knowledge Share Group is HERE
SAP Knowledge Share Group v.1.3. was lucky enough to have Dr. Andree Leidenfrost presenting. Andree is a passionate and knowledgeable business and transformation technologist who has worked across a variety of industries and environments throughout his career. Andree is a regular attendee of TechEd in Las Vegas and after visiting TechEd 2016 in September, Andree kindly agreed to present his findings to the SAP Knowledge Share Group.
With a number of technologists present Andree generated an entertaining and fascinating evening with his insight and feedback from TechEd.
Some of the findings from TechEd were;
- Nothing revolutionary, but lots of good evolutionary things
- Use of Open Source & open standards keeps growing (Node.js, Hadoop, Spark, Cloud Factory, …)
- DevOps Architecture/Enablement: XSA, Microservices & Cloud Foundry
- Democratisation (HANA Express)
- UX is king in many ways (Fiori, Build, Run Simple, …)
- Cloud First continues (new features in HCP first, Digital Boardroom exclusive)
- Analytics tools consolidation & becoming more pervasive / embedded
Like any efficient German should Andree finished his presentation on time and the Knowledge Share Group were able to dedicate the rest of the evening to networking and some drinks.
Below is a short video of one of the attendees giving feedback on the SAP Knowledge Share Group. If you have any particular questions about Andree’s presentation or the SAP Knowledge Share Group then get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
SAP Knowledge Share Group v.1.3
SAP Knowledge Share Group v.1.2
Following on from the success of the first event in April, Precision Sourcing wants to bring like-minded leaders together again, within the SAP Sydney community to collaborate, share challenges, successes and knowledge in a relaxed environment. From this, we expect you to learn and gain insight that will add value to your professional development outside of your current employer.
There will be two guest speakers as well as SAP Recruiter Jay Wynter and MD Simon Hair also presenting. At the SAP Knowledge Share Group Precision Sourcing will be presenting the findings from their recent Australian SAP Market Survey. Over 200 SAP resources based here in Australia completed the survey . Precision Sourcing’s Specialist SAP Recruiter Jay Wynter commented “the response was fantastic and some of the data insights we have gained has really surprised us. We will be initially sharing the insights with the SAP Knowledge Share Group before offering to the wider SAP community.
SAP Knowledge Share Group v.1
On Wednesday the 27th April Precision Sourcing are partnering with LinkedIn to host their very first SAP Knowledge Share Group. This event is invite only and brings together a round table of some of Sydney’s most influential and talented within the SAP community.
Precision Sourcing’s Simon Hair commented “the idea for the event came from a discussion with some clients and candidates late last year who complained about the lack of collaboration they get to have with others within the local SAP domain. The conversations got me thinking and we created the SAP Knowledge Share Group with the aim of building a community of like minded SAP talent who can share knowledge, challenges and advice in a comfortable environment. Ultimately the aim is to help each other, learn and build deeper relationships within the SAP field here in Sydney.”
There will be two guest speakers and Precision Sourcing’s Senior SAP Recruiter Michael Church commented “we gained a lot of feedback from our clients on what topics were of interest. From there we asked some knowledge experts to get involved and to present in a format that will generate discussion amongst the group.”
At the SAP Knowledge Share Group Precision Sourcing will also be presenting the findings from their recent Australian SAP Market Survey. Over 200 SAP resources based here in Australia completed the survey . Precision Sourcing’s Specialist SAP Recruiter Jay Wynter commented “the response was fantastic and some of the data insights we have gained has really surprised us. We will be initially sharing the insights with the SAP Knowledge Share Group before offering to the wider SAP community.