The significance of S/4HANA Resources and Impact on the project!

Assignment of Project Resources

There are two stages whereby resources get assigned to the projects, either before the project start or at a later stage of the project. This is mainly triggered by the need for more specific expertise, realizing that one more resource that is assigned does not have the very specific knowledge or complex challenge encountered at the analysis or realization phase. If the client is lucky to have signaled this need as early as possible, this unexpected resource shortage will have minimum impact. However, it is most often not like this. The recognition and acceptance that leads to a search for the resource(s) happens quite late and leads most often to additional resources or replacements. Starting this whole process of finding additional/replacement resources takes, at such a key phase, valuable time. In most cases, this leads to delay and blocking the activities impacted by this need. Shortly, waste of valuable time and money!

On the other hand, in some cases, the clients do not accept or are not aware of the fact that there is a need for additional expertise and continue moving forward with the current team setup. In the big picture, this leads to delay in the project, exceeding budget, and more importantly an ineffective implementation of the solutions.

The significance of S/4HANA consultant expertise

Especially with S/4HANA projects, there are challenges on both the client and resource sides. This is related to the fact that it is a relatively new technology, hence a lack of knowledge and expertise. From a client perspective, they would like to benefit from this new technology and therefore need to upgrade their legacy system(s). I will not touch on the topic why on how to upgrade to S/4HANA, because there is already a lot of information about this available on this website. I rather would like to share my experience related to project and resourcing issues.

With all projects and especially with S/4HANA there is a need for resources that have the right S/4HANA product knowledge and experience to utilize new functionality (e.g. Fiori, Reporting, optimized business processes, etc.) and the skill-set to feed the client with enough information. This is on both process designs so the client will benefit as much as possible from this great technology. This is the part where the challenge starts, due to lack of experienced lead S/4HANA consultant clients cannot benefit fully from the new technology. Therefore, during the resourcing activity, there is a need for significant attention for having a recruiter that understands the specific need in relation to the project and the processes that will be implemented. Therefore, the client should be giving the recruiter enough information regarding the role and the project itself. Any issue with this has an impact on the whole process and the project. Next to this, in the case of an international project, international experience and mindset play also a very important role. I personally have had several international projects whereby I had to replace the project managers not due to their project management capability but mainly for issues with dealing with the local business culture. Therefore, this is besides content-wise experience, a very important skill set that is needed!


Impact of the Recruiting Partner

Resource search starts with profile definition either by the project manager itself or with the support of external resourcing partners. Therefore, it is crucial that the recruiter that will start searching or contact potential consultants for this request should be relatively knowledgeable about what profile is needed for the particular project. I personally get contacted by recruiters regularly. What I see in most cases is a complete mismatch in profiles. This is the result of not knowing your client's wish list and must-have criteria. On the other side, when I worked with recruiters as a project owner, maybe 75% of the profiles did not even match while they claimed that they already filtered them specifically. This leads again to a waste of time or either you choose the best candidate that you have got on the table. Again, choosing the best from what you have been offered may lead you to work with someone that will have a negative impact on your projects.

My experience is that clients should work with multiple resourcing partners that are content-wise capable, has a broad network, and pay attention to the quality of the candidates they offer within a specific (fast) time frame. Last but not least, the recruiting partner should check from time to time the progress of the resources they have contracted with the client!



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Posted Date: 
Wednesday, December 22, 2021