Management and controlling of your risks, during your SAP projects

When you talk about risks in ERP projects in general, it is the risks of affecting the quality, the time (resources), or the price of the project. But it is not only limited to the project, the risks also concerns the impact on the business and on the future earnings.
Risk management is a very important part of the project management.

Identify your risks
To be able to mitigate your risks, you have to identify and acknowledge that you have them, and then you can do something about them.
Typical risks in an ERP project are for instants
  • lack of resources, for instants if your resources are participating on several projects or on daily processes at the same time, or simply under estimation
  • the scope or the assumptions for the business blueprint or the project are changing during the project
  • insufficient or missing education and training
  • unexpected illness of key persons
  • lack of motivation
  • unrealistic time plan
  • missing alignment of the time plan with other activities
  • the impact of other projects running in the same period
  • missing or wrong communication to the stakeholders                 
Assess your risks
When all risks are identified, they have to be assessed, and one way to do this is:
  • to measure the risks impact on the project, how serious will an incident be from 0-10
  • to estimate how likely the risks, in percents, are to happen
You can get the overview of the estimates/score if you align the results in a simple plot.                              
The diagram, below, helps you to prioritize your effort of your mitigations.
Evaluate your risks
It is necessary to be realistic in your assessments and to evaluate your risks regularly.
To be updated on possible risks, it is necessary to have current action list of open and known
  • gaps, and how, who and when to solve them
  • known issues, and how, who and when to solve them
  • other ‘to do’s that are important for the progress and the result
Control and monitor your risks
Risks are always a matter of limits or thresholds and in the end, money. During a project the picture can change many times, but if the risks are controlled and monitored regularly as above described, they are in an order that makes it possible to prioritize and act for the management/steering committee/other stakeholders. And this will limit the risks through your projects and ensure stakeholders overview.
The success criteria in any project are,
  • Communication, is important for all stakeholders in any project. Do as you say, and say as you do.
  • Constructive attitude is necessary, even if the situations are under huge pressure
  • Commitment and ownership is a MUST from all stakeholders. Make the necessary moves to make it happen
  • Common understanding of the goal is necessary to meet milestones and deadlines
  • Clear escalation route(s) is necessary in your project organization, if you want to ensure progress
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