Global SAP Upgrade for a Professional Services Company – A Case Study

Global SAP Upgrade for a Professional Services Company – A Case Study

The situation

Our Client, a Global Professional Services Company, uses SAP enterprise software to provide key processes within HR, Finance, Supply Chain and Revenue Management. The existing SAP software suite was on R3 v5, supporting 5,000 users across 26 offices worldwide. An upgrade was essential for support reasons to ensure business continuity. Previous upgrades had been largely outsourced but had nevertheless still depended on a high level of in-house SAP support expertise. Whilst successful, this was viewed as an inefficiency. CCM were engaged to provide strong project management of in-house resources, plus additional external resources, to:

  • Deliver the project at a lower cost
  • Retain closer control of business dependencies
  • Leverage and maintain in-house skills and knowledge
  • Reduce the business impact phase of the project by 25% from four months to three

Our Solution

There were challenges which demanded a highly proactive and creative approach to building the project and close attention to detail:

  • Resources were drawn from Operational Teams, Application Developers, the Testing Team, and a retained SAP consulting organisation. Obtaining and retaining these resources required closely managed SAP portfolio management for the duration of the project.
  • The SAP system had over 50 interfaces to other systems, with control of the interfaces owned by applications owners, operational support, or unassigned. Each of these required analysis, definition, a test plan, and a place in the overall implementation methodology.
  • Numerous other projects and two operational quarterly releases jostled for SAP “air time”, creating a complex project dependency challenge.
  • User Acceptance Testing used a risk based approach, with go/no go gateways negotiated with different user communities. This was a major communications and logistical challenge.


The Business Outcome

  • Our project management delivered a highly successful result, to plan, and inside the budget. A core team of 35 people worked on the project for 7 months, peaking at 60 people.
  • 400 man days of global user acceptance testing ensured a high quality result: only 5 issues were logged during the cut over, and all were swiftly resolved. The project is judged a major ‘win’ for the IT department.

Skills Used

  • Programme Architecture & Design
  • Managing changes to Complex Applications Interfaces
  • Building a team from multiple sources
  • Test Strategy & Planning
  • Managing and Controlling non-project Business Change
  • Dependency, Risk & Issue Management


Global SAP upgrade project – Find out more


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