BPG’s remit was to provide assurance support during the Procurement, Due-diligence & Detailed Solution Design, Configuration/Implementation and Go-live stages of the SAP project. At the start of our assignment, we worked with the client to ensure they had a clear articulation (and internal agreement) on the outcomes/benefits they wanted to achieve from the SAP implementation. Clear articulation of these expectations and benefits makes it much easier for the supplier to understand what level and scope of due diligence it needs to undertake so it can advise the client on what it can achieve, what it cannot and the consequential impact on the project of the latter.
Our approach, outlined below, helped establish an open and honest relationship, transparency of any material compromises and encouraged joint working to achieve a successful implementation on time and to budget.
- Reviewed the procurement process, providing recommendations to increase likelihood of solution being fit for purpose and minimise financial and contractual risks
- Reviewed the requirements to reduce ambiguity or potential misunderstandings
- Assured the Terms of Reference for the Due Diligence/detailed solution design stage
- Structured key contracting principles, inputting into the contractual terms and outlining what will work for and against the client to achieve a fit-for-purpose solution
- Recommended operating governance to drive good collaborative behaviour (taking into account the solution provider’s “Expert Responsibilities” and its “Duty to Warn”).
Due-Diligence & Detailed Solution Design Assurance
- Assurance that this stage aligned to the agreed Terms of Reference (to ensure fitness for purpose of the proposed solution)
- Assured the outputs ensuring the supplier’s delivery process was contractually aligned to client expectations
- We reviewed supplier reports, using our experience to identify gaps and challenge broad-brush claims of ‘everything is going well’, knowing what to look for to establish a more realistic picture – making recommendations to the client on how to address issues
- Maintaining visibility of the supplier’s “Expert Responsibilities” and “Duty to Warn”, so that any attempts to apportion blame to the client, when an issue was as the result of the supplier not asking the right questions during due diligence, were addressed in a constructive manner.
- Assurance that governance provided a 6-monthly reshaping process which incorporated client feedback into piloting additional functionality to improve operating effectiveness.
Throughout our involvement we facilitated weekly dialogue with client and supplier to head off any misunderstandings, keep the relationship strong and prevent unexpected issues arising or delays in the project.