In the drive to go live, quality management often gets short shrift during implementation projects. Sometimes what passes for “quality management” is really nothing more than a post-project review and some earnest words about what can be done better next time. But the price for not actively managing quality during a project can be high, resulting in costly escalations, loss of credibility with the customer, and added stress for project team members.
That’s why SofOS, an SAP Silver Partner based in Latin America, has taken a decidedly different approach for quality management in its SAP customer projects: it builds in quality management from the start to improve customer satisfaction and drive profitability. Through its participation in the SAP Active Quality Management (AQM) partner accreditation program offered by the SAP Partner Service Delivery (PSD) – Partner Quality Hub, SofOS has created a strong framework based on SAP quality principles that maximizes the benefits and mitigates the risks of each implementation. For more information on the SAP AQM partner accreditation program, watch this video or read the SAP.info article, “Partners Focus on Quality”.
With projects throughout Latin America, SofOS relies on SAP-supplied resources from the PSD partner quality hub – including the AQM Partner Kit of tools and templates, dedicated Partner Quality Advisors for project guidance, and remote Quality Workshops – to unify its project quality standards and delivery methodologies. As standard practice since joining the AQM program earlier this year, SofOS now also creates a quality plan for each of its projects.
SofOS Quality Portal guides projects
One way SofOS has showcased its dedication to continuous quality standards improvement is through the newly created SofOS Quality Portal. This portal incorporates the standards of the SofOS project management office, formulated on the key quality principles of the AQM framework. This means that all project managers follow a standard methodology and quality and risk management approach across all projects. The first project that followed the SAP AQM quality principles available in the SofOS Quality Portal went live successfully in September.
SofOS Practices Director Javier Ortiz notes the positive impact of joining the AQM partner quality program, saying, “The AQM program has encouraged SofOS to develop a quality management strategy and the dedicated Partner Quality Advisors guide and monitor the progress of this development.”
Partner quality hub drives business
Begun in 2010 as part of SAP Partner Service Delivery, the partner quality hub is designed to help SAP partners provide more predictable, profitable implementations through unified quality standards and procedures. As the hub’s programs gain momentum, success stories from partners such as SofOS showcase the impact of their participation in terms of new deals and delivering projects with higher customer satisfaction.
Samir Bains, global head of the partner quality hub at SAP, believes that through offerings like the AQM partner program, the hub gives focused support to SAP partners that directly impacts their ability to drive better business. “We enable partners to build up a robust risk and quality management framework, and provide suggestions on how to manage project risks or escalation issues,” says Bains. “Partners are therefore able to improve their competency in bid and delivery management, and bring in more SAP business.”
Quality workshop kicks off project
SofOS recently won a large deal to implement SAP ERP at Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI), a corporation with sizable divisions in renewable energy, milling, fast-dining restaurants (Pollo Campero), livestock operations for poultry and pork (Division Industrial Pecuaria or DIP), real estate (Multi-Proyectos), and financial services (Finance). Headquartered in Guatemala, CMI operates throughout Central America in an environment that is characterized by a high level of business and organizational complexity. Therefore it should come as no surprise that its goals for its new software include standardizing business processes across all divisions, consolidating information seamlessly at the corporate level, as well as enabling Pollo Campero to gather and analyze data from its more than 200 restaurants.
To meet these goals, SofOS plans to implement SAP ERP baseline scenarios in Finance, Controlling, and Purchasing; SAP business intelligence solutions; SofOS Smart Solutions for Poultry and Pork (an SAP-certified All-in-One solution) in DIP; and SofOS Smart Solution Retail at Pollo Campero. The project, currently in the blueprinting phase, is scheduled to take just over two years.
To ensure the successful delivery of this challenging project, SofOS joined the SAP PSD partner quality hub team for a one-day remote Collaborative Quality Workshop (CQW) in November. Workshops of this type are designed to proactively support partners in critical or high-risk implementations. Together, SAP and the partner project team conduct a joint risk assessment that results in a comprehensive quality plan to help drive the success of the project. After the workshop for SofOS, Ortiz provided positive feedback, saying, “The CQW was a unique opportunity to obtain expert advice and guidance from SAP to build our project quality and risk mitigation plan.”
He added, “I think the AQM program, particularly the CQW, is a big part of what SofOS as a partner needs from SAP in providing support for our projects.”
With the AQM framework in place, SofOS is already on its way to a successful implementation, even in this highly complex project.