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SAP S/4HANA—Post-Implementation Review Tips & Tricks

Mar 21, 2019

All too often, implementing a new system (like SAP S/4HANA) is seen as the end of a sprint instead of the start of a marathon. Post-implementation, there’s still work to be done in assessing the new system, evaluating training needs, measuring success, and more. A post-implementation review is a great way to take a closer look at the success of your SAP S/4HANA implementation.

Here’s what you can expect from a post-implementation review of SAP S/4HANA, what it consists of, when you should do one, what questions it should answer, and who should perform it.

What is a Post-Implementation Review?

A post-implementation review (or PIR) is an audit of your system after implementing SAP S/4HANA to better understand how the implementation has affected your company. A PIR is a way for you to evaluate whether your company is more efficient after the implementation, to judge where users need more training to make the most of the new features, and so forth.

What Does a PIR Consist of?

While no two PIRs are exactly alike, you’ll want to ensure that you take a good look at both your enterprise platform architecture as well as your application architecture.

The former is primarily a BASIS audit (although you may want support from a Senior ABAP developer) and analyzes everything from the configuration of the enterprise platform (such as SAP instances, patch levels, applied OSS notes, and so forth) to network connections and deployment of the platform.

Essentially a functional audit, the application architecture analysis is usually performed by consultants skilled in SAP FI/CO and Logistics and covers analyses of transactions, studying module implementation, gap analyses, external system interfaces in modules, and more.

When Should You Perform a PIR?

You don’t want to do your PIR too close to the end of your implementation, because you won’t have a good picture of how well the new system is working for you. The best practice is to wait until the kinks have been worked out and for everyone to get the training they need. (We recommend that you complete at least one full processing and reporting cycle.) On the other hand, if you wait too long after an implementation, inertia sets in and it’s more difficult to make useful changes because people will start developing a routine with the new process in mind, even if it’s not the most efficient one.

What Questions Should Your PIR Answer?

The point of performing a PIR is to better understand how your company is functioning after the implementation of your ERP solution. As such, you’ll use the PIR to answer a number of questions, including:

  • To what extent did the implementation meet your objectives?
  • Can further changes be made to make the system more efficient?
  • Do users still need training? (If so, on what subjects?)
  • What lessons did you learn during this process that could be used on similar projects?

Who Should Perform Your PIR?

A choice you’ll need to consider before performing your PIR is to decide who’s going to be involved in it. People often think it’s a choice between using an internal team or an external one, but we recommend a hybrid approach of an internal project team and a neutral third party of expert consultants.

The advantage of an internal project team is that they will have a better understanding of what problems the implementation was supposed to solve, how things changed after the implementation, whether goals have been met, and so forth, because these are often the same people who were involved in the implementation itself. The advantage of independent consultants is that they’re able to serve as neutral observers who will be able to ask questions or see issues that internal employees might be too close to see, as well as providing expert advice thanks to their working with a variety of companies going through a similar process. Using both of these strategies will ensure your PIR takes advantage of the best of both worlds.

If you’ve recently implemented SAP S/4HANA (or are planning on doing so in the near future), Surety Systems has a wide variety of senior-level, US-based consultants ready to assist you as independent third parties to review how the new solution is affecting your business. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us today.

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