Don't Undercut Your

  • by Tom Rodden, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting
  • October 1, 2004
A well-developed cutover plan can mean the difference between the success and failure of your SAP implementation project. In a recent engagement, the author transformed a list of development objects into a comprehensive cutover plan. He shares his expertise by pointing out areas you should concentrate on in your cutover plan and offers tips and ideas on what to watch out for.
Key Concept
While there is no strict definition of what to include in a large-scale cutover plan, you have the best chance for success if you include these five key elements: data conversion and validation, contingency planning, managing system downtime/blackouts/freezes, and dual data maintenance.
Recently, I found myself thrust into the role of co-lead of a major SAP implementation cutover from the development phase to go-live at a large consumer products manufacturing company. My supply chain team and I had heard nothing about the project's cutover plan and had not been asked to contribute to the plan until very late in the process. With six months before go-live, it was my job to develop the cutover strategy and plan, which I did successfully.

My success was due in part to what I included in the plan — and what I left out. When creating a plan, some activities such as those unrelated to the final production cutover do not need to be included. Others need to be in your plan but not in detail. These activities can be summarized so the plan doesn't become unmanageable. Conversely, certain tasks must be included along with key points. Regardless of where you end your plan, for example, you must begin with data conversion and extend out from there.

I will provide you with definitions and examples that you'll need to develop your own cutover plan based on five key elements. As a result, you'll have a cutover plan built on a solid foundation that prepares you for the inevitable surprises.

Tom Rodden

Tom Rodden is a senior manager with Deloitte Consulting with over 19 years of business experience including nine years of consulting experience focused on large-scale ERP implementations. Prior to consulting, he was director of logistics for GE Lighting Europe, overseeing an organization of 300 people in warehousing, transportation, and manufacturing planning and forecasting. Tom’s process focus has been on the supply chain, in particular physical distribution and manufacturing operations. He has led projects that include greenfield ERP implementations, acquisition/integration projects, spin-offs, factory sales to contract manufacturers, and recently several RFID assessments.

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