Are they skills and methodology? Are they consulting experience and thorough testing? Are they change management and integration? Well, those are all important and failing in any of them will seriously damage your project. But there are two that rise above all those: Leadership and Execution.
Many of us have been on projects that lack effective leadership, at upper levels, lower levels, or all through the organization. It is crippling. And it’s not an easy requirement to work-around, develop or in-source. If it isn’t present in the organization prior to the project, then good luck – plan your project for the lack of it.
But why is it so important? Because so many of our SAP SuccessFactors projects have a fair amount of uncertainty and process change. Leadership is essential for pulling us through those times where we aren’t quite sure about the future. Leadership calls the team to a larger cause, it focuses effort and it aligns the organization. Want to increase your chances of a successful project? Make sure you have good, effective leadership through all the levels of your project.
Execution is the ability to get things done. Without the ability to execute on tasks and decisions, a project will get bogged down with missed deadlines and work-arounds. And it doesn’t mater so much what technology you are working with, if you can’t get the work done then the project will struggle.
So – leadership and execution. We know when they are good, enabling and affirming. And we know when they aren’t. If you want your SAP SuccessFactors project to succeed, work first on improving leadership and execution. Or at least be aware of the shortcomings so that you can plan for the delays and issues that will arise. Yes, product and business knowledge are still very much needed, project management is a must-have, and technical skills are essential. If needed, you can buy those. Leadership and execution, not so much.