Chief value officer Chakib Bouhdary joined SAP in 2001 - just after the dot-com bubble burst, and at a time when organisations were questioning the value they had obtained from investments such as Y2K rectification. Most were unable to answer such questions, he said, as they had no programs in place to measure it.
SAP started to address this issue in conjunction with its US user group, identifying best practices and setting benchmarks for functions including human resources, finance and procurement. Although this was, Bouhdary believes, one of the biggest projects of its kind, the company has not previously discussed it publicly.
Some 3000 customers are already involved, with 50 to 70 joining each week.
SAP recently internationalised the program with activities in five continents, and is now taking its value lifecycle management model to a wider audience.
While organisations have in general overcome previous project management and change management problems and are now delivering projects on time and on budget, they still aren't getting full value from their investments. Only 4 percent of SAP customers look at full business value and hold people responsible for delivering value, Bouhdary told iTWire.
Part of the problem is that value comes from the business side of things, not from the IT operation. So it is important that business and IT collaborate to realise that value, he suggested.
In order to derive significant value beyond the original business case for a project, Bouhdary believes you need to have a budget for optimisation, to hold the business responsible for deriving full value, and to be prepared to fine tune a project.
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