More about Deepak R M
Deepak is an SAP executive who has worked with CIOs, VPs, executive sponsors and corporate executives of several fortune companies to provide leadership oversight to large SAP projects. He has held several executive and leadership positions with SAP consulting companies including 8 years with SAP America. He has two national awards for contributions in science and technology industry. He received a Master of Science degree in engineering from Purdue University.
SAP PROGRAM ADVISOR
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- SAP Program Management
- Independent Quality Validation & Verification
- Project Execution & Governance Advisory Services
- Realization Design & Build Quality Advisors
- Project Leadership Advisor
Short Term Advisory & QA Reviews
- Project Audit & QA Reviews
- Blueprint Phase Audit
- Solution Review
- RICEFW Audit
- Realization Phase Audit Audit
- Overall Project Health Check
- Initial Project Setup Advisors
- Remote Advisory Services (Europe & Asia Pacific)
- SAP Project Failure Review & Revival
Deepak R M
Executive SAP Project Advisor
About our Managing Partner & Executive SAP Program Advisor
Deepak is the founder and managing partner of our SAP project advisory services practice. As the managing partner he leads the practice and also serves customers fulltime at client location as executive SAP program advisor. He has led several SAP projects as an executive program advisor since 2005 providing independent oversight to large and complex SAP implementations including global rollouts. Some of his client projects include Luxottica Retail, Government of Canada, General Mills, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, Rohm & Haas (now Dow Chemicals), Clariant, BASF, EyeMed Vision Insurance and Invista. He has also provided short term executive consultations to CIO, CEO and executive leadership of large corporations in selection of systems integrator, conducting QA reviews and offering strategic advice to resolve complex situations on their projects.
Prior to establishing the SAP project advisory service, he worked with SAP America for 8 years in several project delivery and leadership roles. His area of expertise with SAP include diverse industries such as public sector, manufacturing, retail, insurance, healthcare, chemicals, consumer goods, financial services, etc. Deepak holds Masters of Science in Engineering from Purdue University at West Lafayette.
Overview of Deepak's typical Executive Program Advisory engagement on an SAP implementation
CIO or the business executives engage me right in the pre-planning phase of an SAP implementation. The main goal of having an independent advisor is to minimize the risk of project failure by keeping the systems integrator in check, assessing the overall project execution, assessment of output quality and also ensure that IV&V vendor (if you have one) is using best practices with comprehensive protocols to verify and validate the solution.
Following are some of the key activities I focus on in a typical SAP implementation:
- Business Case: Work with Vice Presidents and business operations executives early on in project pre-planning phase to define a business case that drives the business transformation initiative. Ensure the business case clearly identifies short and long term gains, quantify benefits and establish a matrix to measure performance of the project.
- Pain Points and Risks: Working with corporate stakeholders to identify business pain points and risks that need to be managed and mitigated during the implementation.
- Setup a quick agile process with business process owners and subject matter experts to gather high level business requirements that will drive the scope definition for the project.
- Identify any major risks that could jeopardize the success of the project. Identify who is responsible to mitigate these risks and how the risk mitigation plan will be monitored.
- Systems Integrator Selection: Lead the customer leadership to evaluate all vendors and select the potential systems integrator for the project.
- Statement of Work: Review and provide recommendations to draft a detailed SOW for each phase of the project that will clearly outlines scope, requirements, expected output, timeline, q-gates, RACI, assumptions, quality gates and exit criteria for the phase.
- Signoff and Approval Process: Ensure proper protocol to assess deliverables and sign-off protocols for business process owners and project leadership.
- Perform continuous ongoing 360° audit of the project to assess the overall health of the project using our proprietary project health check tool.
- Develop a periodic Advisory Project Health Assessment Report (APHAR)TM for the CIO, executive sponsor or project leadership with detailed assessment of project health including key findings, strengths and areas of project that need improvements. This report also contains risks and issues as seen from the advisor’s perspective supported with artifacts and recommendations to mitigate these risks. The APHAR report is a key document that provides a real and clear insight into the project performance to the project leadership and corporate executives.
- Recommend improvements, changes and replacements to project processes, personnel, deliverables or technology based on the best practices that we have gained over the years and also from lessons learnt.
- Co-lead project Change Control Board and advise project sponsor to make informed decisions on change requests. Analyze, challenge and identify funding opportunities by simplifying or de-prioritization of project requirements.
- Conduct interviews and select system integrator and third party vendor resources. Adjust or re-align project resources to meet delivery targets.
- Review the blueprint requirements gathering and to-be business process design approach with supporting workshop schedule.
- Ensure appropriate level of staffing for the blueprint phase especially the SAP solution architects, business subject matter experts and resources to support the production of deliverables.
- Verify deployment and management of tools to manage blueprints including requirements database (store business requirements), parking lot database (open items from blueprint workshops), process designer (ARIS or SI proprietary tool), risks & issues manager, solution manager, etc.
- Provide expert advice to define a solid implementation approach, strategy and establish a customized roadmap taking SAP solution offering, customer constraints and other project dynamics into account.
- Verify project document templates and documentation standards for business requirements, process designs, functional and technical designs, etc.
- Ensure proper protocol to assess deliverables for quality and completeness. Establish deliverable sign-off protocols for business owners and project leadership
- Establish client resources cross training and skill development plan to build in-house SAP competency center.
- Conduct independent review of business requirements in the requirements database for level of detail and clarity. Ensure business SMEs have reviewed and accepted each business requirements.
- Verify business process requirements & design (BPRD) and master data requirements & design (MDRD) documents that need to be produced for each business process and master data business object.
- Conduct in-depth analysis of SAP software fit-gap review document and lead fit-gap challenge reviews with solution architects where needed. For large and/or complex gaps that represent missing SAP core solution, arrange secondary analysis from SAP to evaluate any parallel solution that may suffice business needs.
- Work with PMO, solution architects, project and program managers to estimate work effort for realization phase and develop staffing model. Ensure alignment of resource skills and staffing with the RICEFW inventory.
- Verify that the phase exit criteria have been successfully met prior to formally declaring the completion of blueprint phase. Executive Program Advisor will provide a formal recommendation to project leadership to exit the blueprint phase in the APHAR report that is produced towards the end of blueprint. Conditional approval, if given by the project leadership to exit the phase with or against executive advisor recommendation will be clearly documented in APHAR report with associated risks to project.
- Verify the RICEFW development strategy and realization phase roadmap. RICEFW development should include sequencing of RICEFW objects so that core objects and objects with high degree of dependency are developed before the other objects.
- Review the functional specifications and technical design documents. Executive Advisor will review certain business critical objects and will oversee QA reviews of each of remaining RICEFW objects to be done by IV&V vendor.
- Conduct ongoing review of updates to integrated SAP solution architecture with representation of RICEFW objects into the document.
- Verify the business SMEs and SI business teams have documented comprehensive test plans so that integration cycle, UAT and assembly tests can be conducted with true representation of production system business scenarios.
- Conduct periodic review of organization change management strategy, expectation management plan and communication protocols to ascertain that business is ready for the change.
FINAL PREP & GO-LIVE
- Review cutover and go-live checklist. Work with PMO and leadership to monitor checklist activities.
- Oversee mock conversion activities and ensure successful testing of business operations using the new converted data.