SAP Partner Embeds Quality in 7 Steps


BluLeader, an Australian specialist SAP consultancy focusing on customer management processes, has achieved accreditation from SAP’s Partner Quality program, offered by SAP Partner Service Delivery – Partner Quality Hub.  BluLeader was awarded the certification for its structured approach to implementing quality management processes in all client projects.

As a certified SAP partner specializing in SAP ECC and SAP CRM, BluLeader’s approach to quality is based on the 10 SAP quality principles from SAP PSD Partner Quality Hub APJ. The BluLeader Project Governance Framework, known as ‘The BluWay,’ makes certain that these quality principles are delivered as part of its services to customers, and its consultants are all trained in this methodology (read more about the BluWay methodology here). Using this framework, BluLeader ensures that all customer engagements are delivered to specification, on budget and on time.

“BluLeader’s quality management framework is underpinned by principles of transparency and openness, and working in a partnership,” says BluLeader consultant John Bussey.

The BluWay in action at Australand

The BluWay Methodology was recently used to guide a successful SAP CRM project for Australand, an Australian property development company.

Completed in April 2012, the 18-month project was a greenfield implementation of SAP ECC, SAP BusinessObjects, and SAP CRM, with BluLeader completing the CRM component.

To ensure this implementation delivered the necessary outcomes, BluLeader created a structure and governance model that involved the business integrally right from the beginning of the project. Business process owners were also consulted very early in the process, which helped staff to get on board. A business steering committee, headed by a senior business person working full-time on the project, also operated alongside the project steering committee.

“Matters relating to requirements and design were managed in a separate group from matters relating to quality, scope, cost, and schedule. That allowed us to maintain the integrity of the business expectations, separate from the commercial aspects of the project’s times and costs,” Bussey says.

Having the business make decisions around solution design kept them involved and focused on the project.

Next page: World-first integration of SAP CRM with SAP Real Estate Management

While BluLeader did apply its ‘simple and standard’ philosophy to this project, the nature of the property development lifecycle meant that some customizations to the sales, marketing, and service modules within CRM were necessary.

As part of the solution design, BluLeader also undertook a world-first integration of SAP CRM with SAP Real Estate Management. With Australand’s stock register held in SAP ECC, the Opportunity Management component of SAP CRM was linked to this register via a custom-developed interface.

Tool tracks progress

From a quality perspective, a critical success factor was the approach taken to milestone measurement during the project. A tool was created to inform the software build and support the solution post-go live. By using this to track progress, the team had a more objective view of where the project stood and any issues that were arising.

“We controlled the project at the lowest level – what we were building, the configuration and development, and the security roles down to that level. We measured exactly where we were with each of the individual objects and items, rather than managing at the higher process level, which is what teams usually do,” Bussey says.

“By doing that, we could embed our quality control and procedural controls at that level. Quality was therefore an integral part not only in terms of standards and practices, but the way people worked and the way we measured progress.”

The project was also characterized by a collaborative and open management style, which also helped to ensure that BluLeader delivered a quality solution which met the business’s requirements.

“We had weekly stand-up meetings, which were open and frank, with information shared across the entire team,” Bussey says. “People were then able to make informed decisions, and that ethos was carried across to the business’s approach to the project as well.”

Next page: The BluWay project methodology

“BluLeader has done a very good job. We are satisfied with their qualified service and will keep the cooperation with them in the future,” Ashwin Ram, general manager information technology, Australand. “Based on the impression of and experiences with the other competitive software solutions, SAP solution brings benefits to us.”

As a result of this approach, when the solution went live, Australand had exactly what they had asked for and it was delivered to the agreed time and budget.

BluLeader and the BluWay Project Methodology

BluLeader has its headquarters in Sydney, Australia. Founded in 2007, today it has over 20 employees. It specializes in SAP CRM, SAP NetWeaver, SAP ERP, Business Process Management, Change Management, and Project Management.

The BluWay framework includes the following processes and elements to ensure quality is managed throughout customer projects:

  • Business requirements are linked to solution design, with regular reviews undertaken during the project to ensure these remain aligned.
  • The roles and responsibilities of all those involved in project delivery are clearly defined and documented.
  • BluLeader works closely with the customer to involve all relevant internal staff, and consult with all affected stakeholders during the course of the project.
  • Comprehensive change and training analyses are undertaken and strategies put in place to assist staff to manage change.
  • The BluWay Methodology builds on the fundamentals of the ASAP methodology to implement SAP solutions quickly and cost-effectively.
  • A formal risk workshop is undertaken at project commencement and during follow-up reviews to agree with the customer how risks will be identified, logged, and managed.
  • ‘Simple and standard’ is the overriding design principle. Each solution design reviewed internally by a BluLeader solution architect and deviations from SAP standard functionality are only adopted when customer requirements cannot otherwise be met.