An Accelerated System Application Product (ASAP) Project Management Road-Map for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria

Seminar Paper, 2018

13 Pages

Free online reading


The main goal of this paper is present project management knowledge application road map as effective to for successful small business development in Nigeria. The article focusses on using the Accelerated System Application Product (ASAP) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system implementation in large firms with small and medium-sized enter- prises (SMEs) in developing countries. Understanding the applicability of this road map t can help business owners effec- tively implement any type of project ranging from small scale to industrial using an ASAP-ERP to improve the success rate of their projects. Major problems facing small business in Nigeria ranging from resource allocation, finance, and oth- ers where also analyzed in the road map. The article concluded by recommending small business owners to equip them- selves with Project Management skills applicability and to use the skills ASAP to implement their project goals.

Keywords: SAP-ASAP, Enterprise Resource Planning, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Project Management for Developing Countries

1.0 Introduction

Small Scale Ventures are extremely vital to the advance- ment of a nation's economy, particularly nations like China, India, Nigeria and so on. Business enterprise is sine qua non to national improvement, neediness annihi- lation and work age. It is the bedrock of any country's in- dustrialization. Entrepreneurial advancement is an impe- tus for monetary, social and modern improvement. Little and Medium Undertakings (SMEs) in Nigeria need in- formation of venture administration devices, strategies and systems. This outcome to disappointments of ven- ture conveying on account of poor planning, particular and due dates of undertakings started. The essential test of undertaking administration is to accomplish the ma- jority of the task objectives and goals while respecting the biased imperatives. The essential requirements are extension, time, quality and spending plan. The optional and more eager test is to improve the distribution of es- sential data sources and coordinate them to meet pre- Actualizing project management techniques enables as- sociations to be more proficient, powerful, and aggres- sive in a moving, complex, and eccentric condition. Nu- merous venture administration considers explore the basic achievement elements to ventures and venture dis- appointments. As indicated by Turner and Muller char- acterizes venture administration an association of human materials and monetary assets novelty, to embrace an ex- ceptional extent of work, of given, inside limitations of cost and time, characterized by quantitative and subjec- tive goals to accomplish a helpful change. Undertaking Administration is the reach of arranging, sorting out, persuading, and controlling assets to accomplish objec- tives. A Project is a brief undertaking with a character- ized starting and end (ordinarily time-obliged, and regu- larly compelled by financing or expectations), embraced to meet novel objectives and targets, commonly to achieve gainful change or included esteem. The brief idea of undertakings remains interestingly with the same old thing (or operations), which are monotonous, lasting, or semi-perpetual practical exercises to create items or administrations. Practically speaking, the administration of these two frameworks is frequently very unique, and in that capacity, requires the advancement of unmistaka- ble specialized abilities and administration systems.

1.2 Project management problems in Nigeria

Projects can include innovations, new product develop- ment, product, process improvement and implementa- tions of new processing technology. Implementing pro- ject management allows Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to be more-efficient, effective, and competitive in a shifting, complex, and unpredictable environment. Project management problems associated with SMEs in Nigeria includes Organizational Structure, Finance, plan- ning, Project Management Knowledge and Environment.

Project involve multiple and interwoven tasks that must be performed under a set of conditions. Scheduling these tasks is a critical component of project planning, execu- tion, and control. Schedule overruns or delayed comple- tion of projects is common experience in Nigeria. Delays which can result in increased cost of projects can result from a variety of causes and may include both controlla- ble and uncontrollable factors. Controllable factors could come from planning, estimates, resources, technologies, scheduling, management and control, client factors and so on.

1.3 Objective

The objective of this paper is to present a project man- agement road map for affective delivery of start-ups business using ASAP in Nigeria.

1.3.1 What is ASAP

The ASAP methodology framework v8 builds on solid foundation from ASAP 7 that includes transparency of value realization through consistent business case reflec- tion. Efficient guidance for SOA, BPM and traditional implementation projects through the entire project life- cycle from evaluation through delivery to post project solution management and operations. And it delivers re- vised content in all the traditional areas needed for effi- cient project teams project management, solution man- agement, organizational change management, training, blueprinting, configuration, testing, cutover planning and execution, and others.

1.4 Benefits and Implementation Road Map of ASAP

The methodology for implementation is a phased, deliv- erable-oriented methodology that streamlines implemen- tation projects, minimizes risk, and reduces total cost of implementation. The article takes a disciplined approach to project management, organizational change manage- ment, solution management, and other disciplines ap- plied in the implementation of SAP solutions. The meth- odology supports project teams with templates, tools, questionnaires, and checklists, including guidebooks and accelerators. The goal is to empowers companies to ex- ploit the power of the accelerated features and tools al- ready built into SAP solutions.

Benefits of ASAP include:

- Faster implementations with streamlined and fo- cused methodology
- More reliable projects, thanks to proven tools, accelerators, and best practices Lower risk
- More efficient use of resources Reduced costs

1.4.1 Implementation Phases

The ASAP methodology delivers the following phases:

1. Project preparation:

In the project preparation phase, the project team de- fines project goals, a high-level scope, and a project plan. Executive sponsorship is secured, and the project standards and organization are set up. The implementa- tion strategy is defined and approved. At the same time, the project procedures, standards, organization, and staffing are finalized. Roles and responsibilities of the entire project team are agreed upon and documented.

The objectives of the project are validated, and all initia- tion activities are documented in the project charter.

- Effective project management based on Project Management Institute standards

2. Business blueprint:

During this business blueprint phase, solution and tech- nical designs are documented in the business blueprint. Lead by solution and industry experts from the SAP Consulting organization, a series of structured process workshops are planned and executed to arrive at the “to- be delivered" SAP enterprise solution. All available doc- umentation for standard, delivered support for SAP busi- ness scenarios and all relevant preconfigured support for best practices are reviewed and discussed with SAP ex- perts. All functional and technical requirements, coupled with project issues and gaps, are documented in the SAP Solution Manager application management solution.

3. Realization:

In the realization phase, the SAP software system is configured and tested in many cycles. Initially, the base- line configuration, which represents the core business process settings, is performed, tested, and confirmed. This is followed with a series of configuration and de- velopment cycles, to implement the entire end-to-end so- lution. The solution is tested in many cycle tests and in a focused end-to-end integration test. Configuration is documented in SAP Solution Manager. All development such as enterprise services, interfaces, data conversion programs, reports, and any required enhancements are built and documented in SAP Solution Manager. Legacy data conversion programs are created and tested. The production system is installed during realization.

4. Final preparation:

Within the final preparation phase, all systems are known to function correctly following the approved inte- gration test. Technically, all integration issues should now be resolved. Detailed transition and cutover plans are created. The customer support organization is put in place. The production system is set up with transports and customer data. At the end of this phase, the produc- tion system is switched on and business operations start in the new environment.

5. Go-live support:

The purpose of the go-live support phase is to move from a preproduction environment to live production op- eration. An easily accessible production support organi- zation must be in place to support the end-user commu- nity, not just for the first critical days of production op- erations, but also for long-term support.

6. Run:

The primary goal of the run phase is to ensure the operability of the solution. Operability is the ability to maintain IT solutions in a functioning and operat- ing condition, guaranteeing systems availability and required performance levels to support the execution of the enterprise’s business operations. The rec- ommended starting point of the phase is an assess- ment of solution operation after the go-live support phase to identify the relevant SAP standards or solu- tion operations to be established or improved in the phase. The central operation platform is SAP Solu- tion Manager, with the documented solution based on the transferred project documentation.

Work Streams

The ASAP methodology is structured around the key project work streams that are outlined in the picture be- low. For each work stream, the methodology lists the number of deliverables that are to be produced in each phase of the project.

The deliverables in later phases leverage or build upon deliverables completed in earlier stages. The roadmap is structured as a work breakdown structure (WBS) that represents a complete list of deliverables that need to be completed by the project team.

The ASAP methodology for implementation projects represents a standardized work breakdown structure that ASAP methodology contains a standard set of templates, provides the foundation for defining implementation samples, accelerators, guidelines, and checklists for use project work in a deliverable-oriented, hierarchical man- by project teams in effectively managing and completing ner and managing the project work to completion. SAP solution implementation projects.

2.0 Project Preparation


The project preparation phase provides initial planning and preparation for the project. Although each project has its own unique objectives, scope, and priorities, the deliverables outlined below assist in completing the initiation and planning steps in an efficient and effective manner.

Work Streams

- The major work streams for this preparation are: x Project management
- Organizational change management (OCM) Training x Data management
- Business process management
- Technical solution management Integrated solu- tion readiness

2.1 Project Management


The purpose of the project management phase is to provide essential methodology for the requirements planning for and execution/controlling of an SAP soft- ware implementation project.

Team Identification, Allocation, and Coordination

During subsequent phase start-up activities, the project manager coordinates the allocation of resources identi- fied for the project phase using the project schedule and the resource plan. This ensures the proper timing of re- source assignments needed to complete project work. The project manager validates the participation and on- going commitment of the steering committee members at the phase start-up.

Kickoff Meeting

The scale of this task varies with project size and com- plexity. For small, low-risk projects, the kickoff meeting may be an informal review of the process by the project sponsor and the program or project manager. For larger projects, you should consider a formal kickoff of the project to achieve a common understanding of the objec- tives of the planning process and to clarify the various participants’ roles. The project manager clearly defines the objectives of each phase kickoff meeting and designs the agenda to achieve that objective. Consider conduct- ing the following types of meetings:

- Team-focused meetings should be focused on the team to ensure alignment around the work (definition and approach for outputs) to be per- formed during the phase.
- Communications-focused meetings should be focused more on communications across the or- ganization, bringing the project sponsor and key stakeholders together to reinforce commitment to the project and raise awareness across the or- ganization. This type of kickoff could be an im- portant part of the project’s organizational change management approach.

The project manager balances these different types of kickoff meetings to ensure that stakeholder time is opti- mized, and project communications needs are met - both at a team level and an organizational level.

Project Schedule

The project manager expands and updates the project schedule. At a minimum, the schedule should include the following components:

- Phase deliverables and tasks
- Estimated effort (work) and duration
- Task dependencies such as predecessors and successors
- Scheduled start and finish dates for each task, based on dependencies
- Task constraints such as must-start-on date, must-finish-on date, and so on Resources as- signed to each task

The project manager uses a “rolling wave” approach to schedule development to allow the completion of the schedule for the entire project.


Project management is relevant to the entire phase and should start only when the previous phase has been signed off.


Deliverables of this deliverable group are:

- Phase start-up
- Executing, monitoring,
- controlling of results
- Project management plan completion
- Phase sign-off

2.1.1 Phase Start-Up


The purpose of the phase start-up deliverable is to co- ordinate the setup of an appropriately sized team and to prepare the team for the activities within the phase. This deliverable ensures the involvement and commitment of the team and other key resources to the project schedule. It also examines the approach for the specific project phase.

Note: The phase start-up for the project preparation phase also includes a handoff of information gathered in the pre-implementation project activities.

The phase start-up involves:

- Identifying, allocating, and coordinating re- sources for the team and phase activities
- Creating, expanding, and updating the project schedule for the phase (consider using a “rolling wave” approach to schedule development)
- Preparing for and conducting a phase kickoff meeting and starting the phase project work
- Completing the handoff of information gathered in pre-implementation project activities (only applicable to the project preparation phase start- up)


The inputs for the phase start-up include information from any previous phase sign-offs.


The project management phase start-up generates these deliverables:

- Allocation of resources to the project team to specific phase.
- Updated detailed phase schedule
- Completed phase kickoff meeting
- Handoff of the checklist from pre-project activi- ties (only applicable to the project preparation phase) Definition of Project Organization, Roles, and Responsibilities


The purpose of this activity is to define the organiza- tional structure, roles, and responsibilities of the project team. To complete this activity:

- Review the project charter and scope
- Identify the project and business process areas to be addressed as part of the project and get a feel for the size of the team
- Determine the project team structure
- Review the project team structure with the pro- gram manager for approval Define roles and skills required for team members


The inputs to this task are:

- Handover information from the opportunity management phase
- Work breakdown structure with role assign- ments from the ASAP methodology roadmap

Sub deliverables

The deliverables from this task are defined project or- ganization, roles, and responsibilities. Phase Resources Allocation


The purpose of phase resources allocation is a confir- mation of resource availability for the phase. The re- source plan and schedule detail the resource require- ments, but in the start of each phase you need to ensure the proper timing of resource assignments needed to complete project work. Assignment of Roles and Responsibilities


The purpose of this deliverable is to identify and select global company and external resources for the project in accordance with the required roles, skills, and responsi- bilities specified in the preceding task. The assignment of people to roles should also consider their qualifica- tions and availability for the whole project time frame.

Care should be taken to fill these positions with the most capable people in the company to assign roles and re- sponsibilities:

Matching company and consulting resources to roles Company personnel need to fill roles on business pro- cess teams. The ratio of company staff to consultants used will vary depending on the availability of company resources, program management’s strategy on the use of consultants, and funding considerations. During a start- up phase of a global program, the development project typically employs one consultant for every three to four company resources. As the program progresses and knowledge transfer occurs, fewer external resources should be required.

External resources are ideally suited to functions that need specialized business process and configuration skills for short durations. Unless IT management is out- sourced for strategic reasons, it is advisable to have cli- ent IT personnel in the SAP project (see also SAP Cus- tomer Competence Center). Otherwise, it is difficult for the corporate enterprise to properly evaluate different IT strategies and technologies. Setup of Project Logistics and Infrastructure


The setup of project logistics and infrastructure activ- ity ensures that the physical project environment is in place before you begin the project. It provides suitable physical (work), technical, and administrative environ- ments including IT access, telephones, voice mail configuration, and physical security. It clearly defines the procedures for conducting project administration op- erations. At project start, you must complete the project logistics and environment checklist.

In addition, in the case of a virtual project team, best practices for working remotely should be reviewed and included in the project logistics and infrastructure.


The inputs to this activity are:

Resource assignments to roles and responsibilities SAP best practices for virtual teams

Sub deliverables

This activity generates a defined project logistics and in- frastructure Team On boarding


The purpose of this activity is to prepare the on boarding package for external consultants from SAP and partner companies.

The triggers for this activity are:

- Defined milestone plan
- High-level project schedule
- Organizational chart for the project, showing both internal and external resources Definition of the existing SAP landscape
- Determination of possible premises for the con- sultants
- Travel policies and other project guidelines, if available


The inputs to this activity are assigned roles and respon- sibilities.

Sub deliverables

The sub deliverables from this activity are:

Handover project guidelines (company overview, con- sultants guidelines, project timeline, and project scope, for example) On boarding package Phase Kickoff Meeting


The phase kickoff meeting helps ensure the involve- ment of the team and other key resources and their com- mitment to the project schedule. The meeting is also used to examine the approach for the specific project phase.

The scale of this activity varies with project size and complexity. For small, low-risk projects, this may be an informal review of the process by the project sponsor and the program or project manager. For larger projects, consider a formal kickoff of the project to achieve a common understanding of the objectives of the planning process and to clarify the various participants’ roles.

The project manager must clearly define the objectives of each phase kickoff meeting and design the agenda to achieve that objective. Consider conducting the follow- ing types of meetings:

Team-focused meetings should be focused on team members to ensure alignment around the work (defini- tion and approach for outputs) to be performed during the phase.

Communications-focused meetings should be focused more on communications across the organization, bring- ing the project sponsor and key stakeholders together to reinforce commitment to the project and to raise aware- ness. This type of kickoff could be an important part of the project’s organizational change management ap- proach.

The project manager balances these different types of kickoff meetings to ensure that stakeholder time is opti- mized, and project communications needs are met -- both at a team level and an organizational level.


The inputs for the phase kickoff meeting include infor- mation from any previous phase sign-offs.


As more business continues to spring up in Nigeria, the concept of Project management is an inevitable know- how for an effective future success of the venture. It is therefore advisable for SME’S and business owners to adapt their project management techniques using ERP systems as ASAP which is increasingly being used in project management practices. The ASAP Methodology is just a project implementation methodology given by SAP itself. In ASAP methodology, project is broken down in 6 phases. This provides ease in completion and


gives easy focus for project management team and the organization at large such that if vigorously followed the risk of losing out on the constrains highlighted to mili- tate against small businesses will be highly mitigated.

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An Accelerated System Application Product (ASAP) Project Management Road-Map for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria
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accelerated, system, application, product, asap, project, management, road-map, small, medium-sized, enterprises, smes, nigeria
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Ijiwoye Olaitan (Author), 2018, An Accelerated System Application Product (ASAP) Project Management Road-Map for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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