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SAP Quality Awards 2022: The Winners

The winners of the 2022 SAP Quality Awards have been announced.

Speaking at a live virtual event, Sven Mulder, SAP Germany’s managing director congratulated the fourteen finalists, in three categories: Business Transformation, Rapid Time to Value, and SAP Ariba Solutions.

The finalists were selected from a shortlist of one hundred eligible projects by the SAP Quality Management team in Germany, including nominations by SAP partners

Irini Kalamaris, quality director in MEE at SAP and head of the team judging the competition said that any type of SAP project could be successful in the competition, regardless of the size of the implementation.

“We… evaluate the answers of the participating projects based on the nominating questionnaire, and on jury discussions with the customers. There it is necessary to show to what extent the project meets the proven ten quality principles.”

We will discuss the SAP Quality Principles below in some detail after a quick look at the winners from the SAP Quality Awards 2022. The SAP Quality Principles are key to planning and performing a successful business transformation on time and in budget: so are essential reading for any SAP professional. Consider them a map for SAP success. Now here are the winners from this years competition.

Business Transformation Category

The following winners distinguished themselves for projects which the jury felt demonstrated excellence in ambition and quality.

Sycor GmbH, realised its comprehensive cloud strategy on SAP S/4HANA, SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Sales Cloud, and SAP Analytics Cloud, as well as SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Concur solutions with partner Walldorf Consulting AG.

PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH WPG, implemented an end-to-end solution for engagement management and financial processes with SAP S/4HANA Cloud software.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, excelled in migrating more than 250 SAP systems to SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, covering 90% of its global SAP systems. The partner was SAP Consulting.

CLAAS KGaA, projected all processes for warehouse logistics with partner LogiPlus Consulting GmbH and implemented them with a global rollout based on SAP Extended Warehouse Management

CANCOM SE, realised the development of a future-oriented, modern, flexible, and comprehensive digital business platform with SAP S/4HANA as the digital core with partner SAP Consulting.

AUDI AG, implemented processes of E2E logistics and component production of batteries for the latest all-electric vehicle on SAP S/4HANA with partner SAP Consulting.

Sycor GmbH was named the grand winner of these six German projects. Sycor displayed thoroughness and consistency testing their existing processes for the cloud, as well as excellent methodology and project management.

Rapid Time to Value Category

The following winners in the Rapid Time to Value category were smaller projects in which either the SAP application itself or context of the application was innovative.

DMK Group, used SAP Integrated Business Planning for demand and implemented sales and operations demand planning for optimised marketing of dairy products with partner Implement Consulting Group.

FingerHaus GmbH, achieved comprehensive planning and control of marketing and sales activities with partner B4B Solutions using SAP Sales Cloud with B4B add on Double-Opt In Service, SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Business Technology Platform, and its connection to construction portals as well as integration with ERP and DMS systems.

Lapp, which implemented SAP Cash Application software with partner SAP Consulting using machine learning technology to integrate its financial processes on an SAP platform for the future.

The state of Rhineland-Palatinate, relied on SAP S/4HANA, SAP Integrated Business Planning, and SAP Analytics Cloud to create a centralised logistics and supply chain process for 32 vaccination centres, a main warehouse, and mobile teams with partner SAP Consulting.

SABO-Maschinenfabrik GmbH, which migrated its existing SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA Cloud with partner B4B Solutions GmbH on the occasion of a spin-off.

DMK Group was named the grand winner for their excellent project management and measurable business value. DMK Group also impressed the jury with their enthusiasm for marketing behalf of their cooperative participants.

SAP Ariba Solutions Category

There were three winners of the SAP Ariba Solutions Category, which is a new section of the competition introduced this year.

Uniper SE, completed the last building block of its SAP Ariba strategy in purchasing through contract management with SAP Ariba Contracts for Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, and the Netherlands, in collaboration with their partner SAP Consulting.

KUKA Deutschland GmbH, collaborating with their partner Apsolut GmbH ,achieved a new digital supplier management process with SAP Ariba Supplier Lifecycle and Performance, and integrated this with KUKA’s own MDM Business Partner process in the SAP S/4HANA system.

BITZER Kühlmaschinenbau GmbH, introduced SAP Ariba Buying and guided buying capability, also with partner their Apsolut GmbH, and achieved a new material group G/L account structure, the mapping of a service order process, including entry sheets, and the mapping of OPEX and CAPEX ordering processes.

The jury picked Uniper SE as the grand winner for its analytical and consistent approach: achieving the most extensive implementation of its own requirements in the new solution. In this project Uniper was able to set the final building block of the SAP Ariba strategy and complete the SAP Ariba solution suite.

SAP Quality Principles

So what does it take to create an award winning SAP implementation? What are the criteria by which SAP judges quality in implementing SAP systems, and more importantly how can we use these principles to govern the design of our SAP architecture and implementation methodology?

The SAP Quality Principles are a means to define best practice in SAP implementations. They are based on the experience of tens of thousands of organisations that have successfully implemented SAP software solutions. Let’s examine the SAP Quality Principles as the foundations of a “philosophy” of SAP system implementation.

1 Anchor Business Value Firmly In Your Project

The primary function for the SAP implementation is to improve the transparency and efficiency of business operations. All considerations of software architecture and function should be subordinate to this main aim. It is easy for the technological aspect of a project to be over-emphasised in discussions as this is the means by which goals are achieved, but it is always secondary to the businesses needs.

Objectives defined in the business case should be tracked during and after the go-live to ensure they are met.

2 Start Scoping Early

The scope of the project should be appropriate to the needs of the business. This is best achieved by defining these needs and the extent of the implementation early, based on the analysis of the existing system and business process.

The analysis of the current state of the business and IT environment can then be compared with best practices so that areas where improvements can be made will become clear. This makes the decisions about the aims and extent of the project more objective.

All parties involved in the project will then be in agreement and working together on a clearly defined path, and they will also know when these aims have been achieved successfully.

It is natural and appropriate for adjustments to the scope and aims to occur during the course of an implementation as new issues may be revealed as part of that process, but this is much easier to justify when the path has been clearly defined from the beginning.

3 Cooperate with Stakeholders and Use a Governance Model

A roadmap for the completion of the project must be agreed between all team members, as well as other stakeholders before commencing the implementation. By defining the roles and responsibilities everyone involved will have a clear understanding of the channels of communication and who should make decisions during the project as they become necessary. A strong team leader at the head of a well defined hierarchy will assume responsibility for the success of the project and this role will involve assessing progress reports and reiterating the criteria for success, and also checking the compliance from both a regulatory and business perspective.

4 Ensure Timely Delivery and Effective Tracking

Information about the available resources and necessary length of time to complete the project should be gathered prior to the implementation phase. When all parties are clear on the schedule for the project as well as the scope then it will be obvious when the project is lagging and it will be easier to redefine and justify any necessary extensions to key phases. By tracking progress with pre-agreed key performance indicators and making this information available to the whole team project managers will be able to maintain momentum.

5 Staff Project with Sufficient, Competent and Motivated People

The implementation team should be appropriate to the scope and schedule of the project. Project partners should be able to demonstrate the ability to achieve both technical and business goals. Team members must have early training and guidance on their role as well as the overall objectives and scope of the project. They must also receive regular updates on their own performance and on the advancement of the project as a whole. Special attention to communication with remote workers is important.

6 Apply Appropriate Methodology and Plan for Quality

The project roadmap should consist of guidelines and an established implementation methodology which is based on best practices, but also adjusted to be correct for the context of the project. Managers must facilitate an efficient working environment for all team members which allows them to work to defined standards of quality. Each member of the team must understand the means by which this measure of quality is assessed.

By creating a quality plan at the beginning of a project all members of a team will have an opportunity to assess the level of their own contribution and adjust it accordingly to make sure they meet and surpass basic standards and criteria. The quality plan can also be used at a later stage to refer to in order to measure the success of a project.

7 Identify and Manage Risks Throughout the Project

Project plans are fundamental but it is natural for circumstances to deviate from the best laid plans, so it is a good idea to identify and analyse the potential for risks to develop during the course of a project before it begins. A formal risk management process should begin early in the project and guide the implementation methodology. This process of risk analysis and management should continue throughout the project so potential problems can be minimised before they become worse. Risk management requires the input of all parties to ensure it is transparent and effective, so all team members should be consulted on this aspect of the implementation, and asked for their recommendations.

8 Employ Standard Functionality and Best Practices

As a rule, standard implementations and templates which have been successfully used elsewhere should be adopted to avoid the complexities of customisations. Where these are necessary for a business, this should be applied only with the approval of the designated project manager, who will assess these suggestions against the requirements of the business.

The methodology followed by the implementation team should preferably opt for smaller changes rather than entire architectural overhauls in order to minimise the cost and timescale of the project. Implementations can tend toward further and greater expansion in time and resources: towards an ideal but unsustainable system, if not kept in check by a manager who prioritises the pre-agreed project definitions and roadmap.

9 Achieve Production Readiness

The application lifecycle management approach should plan for the cutover, data migration and validation, and system administration and access management of the live software, minimising business interruption.

Prior to the go-live, technical and support staff should be trained in readiness to maintain and support the use of the software environment. Support and service-level agreements must be in place and understood by the support team and administrators.

Backup and recovery strategies must also be functional and understood by support staff, along with upgrading procedures, and feedback on the quality of support should be an ongoing process.

10 Use Organisational Change Management

Organisational change management can help to ease the impact of the adoption of the business solution on users like employers, suppliers, customers and managers. By identifying the extent of this impact ahead of the go-live and putting in place training sessions to mitigate this impact: providing support ahead of time to end users, the organisation change managers can reduce this temporary effect on business results.

After the Transformation

In reality, the process extends beyond the go-live. Teams should assess that the transformation has achieved the desired and expected results. Analysing the new business environment may reveal yet further room for improvement which needs to be addressed now the circumstances have changed. All stakeholders can be asked to provide feedback on the new system.

Quantities vs Qualities

So there are the ten principles: a useful set of values which can determine your approach to designing and implementing an SAP system. The important thing to take away from these ideas is that the emphasis is on quality.

The reason why quality is emphasised, and the reason for the existence of the SAP Quality Principles, and also the SAP Quality Awards, is because our IT services industry, and the businesses and industries we cater for, have a cognitive bias toward certain types of knowledge: those things which can be quantified. In this way higher, logical, categorical and strategic thinking can get lost in a sea of details. The qualities are an anchor and a compass.

Creating IT systems which themselves create business value requires measurement of every conceivable feature of the system so that quantitive analysis can determine whether it is running efficiently and effectively, but in the end these are interpreted by another set of categories: qualities.

The qualities determine the methods we use as listed above, and they are determined by observing trial and error over a long period of time, resulting in a set of best practices: or high quality implementation practices. They can be used to define the parameters, methodology and even work ethic expected of a SAP implementation project.

In this way the SAP Quality Principles represent the distilled experience of hundreds of thousands of working hours and consequently can be said to describe “good quality” SAP practices: A map for success.

Are you interested in reassessing your position in the SAP ecosystem? If you want to redefine your criteria for success then our team at IgniteSAP can help, so get in touch.

Read more: SAP For Small To Medium-Sized Businesses