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January 28, 2015

Use of Iterative Methods and Testing Strategy as key differentiator for Project Execution

Use of Iterative Methods and Testing Strategy as key differentiator for Project Execution

For SAP Consultants, testing is one of the phase in overall implementation, change management or support projects. Testing can play a very vital role to make first time right impression on the client.

Various models in Testing are :

1.       Waterfall Model à  It goes sequential

2.       RAD (Rapid Application Development) Model  à  To deliver project in short span and create testing strategy related to overall delivery schedule.

3.       Iterative Model  à Where development and testing goes hands in hand and multiple iterations are made.

4.       Agile and Scrum à Extension of iterative model where overall Project is broken into multiple individual areas and multiple integration areas and overall delivery plan is made. 

 

 

We say we are following ASAP methodology for delivering a SAP Project which has

1.       Requirement Gathering

2.       Blueprinting

3.       Realization

4.       Cutover Activities

5.       Go Live and initial support

Here we are following Waterfall or Sequential model for overall testing strategy where bulk of our testing goes in realization phase.

 

Instead of this if we use Agile and Scrum methodology then we can break each phase in ASAP methodology into an Iterative Method and Testing Cycle and can do multiple iterations to come out with final Results.

For Example :

Requirement Gathering :  Break into multiple areas where we foresee Business expectations. Align to standard industry practices. Do multiple iterations in each area separately with business to come out with best fitted requirements.  Similarly we should do multiple iterations on the integrations areas in requirement analysis and see best fitted methods for integrations.

When all individual and integrations areas are finalized, a single process (having branches) catering to multiple requirements can be formulated.

 

Same methodology can be applied to other phases of ASAP method. This makes us pretty confident that no area within the solution is untouched while delivering final solution to client. It makes sure also that we do not find surprises after solution goes live.

 

Though in practice we find difficult to go through iterative processes due to time constraints, it's always better to even include Iterative Methodology and Testing Strategy with Agile and Scrum in our efforts estimation and highlight our process as one of the key differentiator in our Proposal Response.

 

Siddhant Metkar

Lead Consultant

January 16, 2015

Why incorporating sustainability in purchasing is investing in "green equity"

Is sustainable purchasing all about meeting regulations and compliance or does it has any larger objectives as well? To put it simply, is it all about obligations or about genuine social responsibility, which encompasses care about environment and the people.
The answer to this question determines the long term rewards and returns for pursuing sustainability practices. Depending upon the viewpoint, companies adopt their approach to sustainability. A short sighted approach means it becomes only a cost controlling tool. It is looked upon as a mere overhead to meet regulations, rather than an enabler for securing future markets. However, companies which see this beyond meeting regulations are taking a more strategic view of sustainability and developing integrated plans to invest in this process.


Yes, it does cost more to incorporate a greener product or substitute in the supply chain, but it gets rewarded in long term through increased customer loyalty, reduced risk and overall increase in profitability. As per recent surveys, more and more consumers prefer products that are more environment friendly and reduce carbon footprint. In the new age, being viewed as a socially and environmentally responsible company is pivotal for market success.


Purchasing is a critical function influencing implementation of sustainability practices. The primary job of purchasing still remains to minimize cost, but it needs to optimize it with respect to impact on environment. This would entail devising a purchasing strategy to look for alternate suppliers, product substitutes and maintaining a track record of suppliers in sustainability performance.


When it comes to devising a purchasing strategy around sustainability, size does matter. It would really depend upon the size of the company and the type of product business. However a common approach would be to start slow instead of a big bang approach. Otherwise it risks becoming too lofty a vision to be realized. Aim for realistic improvement by identifying non-critical inputs like packaging materials, MRO items etc. as potential candidates for 'quick wins' . Develop new breed of 'green' suppliers by actively promoting and engaging them. This would entail a new supplier onboarding strategy driven by a strategic policy of encouraging 'green' suppliers. Monitor supplier performance by measuring KPI's related to sustainability. Build external intelligence network to capture indicators of various regions to identify risks proactively.


To support these changing purchasing processes, a solid supplier management tool is a must, which would help not only in managing the basic and operational metrics but also cover the strategic metrics concerning the sustainability parameters. It needs to track the performance of suppliers and help purchasers with informed decision on when to phase out and develop new suppliers.


For SAP customers, the recent SAP SLC product from SAP fits the bill by offering a comprehensive supplier management functionality. It features a dedicated scorecard functionality to create sustainability scorecards and ratings. Being integrated into SAP ECC and SRM environment, it provides easy adoption to operational procurement processes.


Overall a successful purchasing strategy incorporating sustainability practices would need commitment from top. Driven by a strategic plan combined with investment in right tools would reap dividends in long run.

January 7, 2015

Infosys thought leader to shed new light on leading simplification within business on VoiceAmerica

As we enter the New Year, companies are brainstorming on the best path to chart through the year. In this age of digital, where there is an overdose of information, creating a strategy that is simple and breaks down complexity is foremost on the minds of business leaders.


But why keep it simple? According to the Boston Consulting Group, companies that effectively manage complexity see at least a 25% increase in profit margins.


In order to reduce complexity in your organization, as a leader, you must undertake two initiatives:

(1) Change the mindset and behaviors of employees; and

(2) Identify and remove the structural complexity in business processes, systems, and strategy.


The big question is what behaviors, skills and strategies do leaders need in order to drive a culture of simplification within their company? Infosys thought leader and other panel of experts discuss and share their thoughts on the topic - Leaders 2020: Leading Simplification within Your Business.


Panelist Appointment with Program Details

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015

LIVE: 7 - 8 AM Pacific / 10 AM - 11 AM Eastern


Tune in to be part of an informative and enriching session.


Happy new year.







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