French companies show way in SAP Quality Awards

French companies led the way in the SAP Quality Awards that were presented today (20 May) at the Sapphire event.

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French companies led the way in the SAP Quality Awards that were presented today (20 May) at the Sapphire event.

Bouygues Construction won the global implementation award and EDF, the energy company, won the new solutions category. Other winners were Standard Bank of South Africa in the large company sector and the UK-based project management company Davis Langdon in the SME category.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres won a special commendation for its Spanish arm’s deployment of SAP to control financial processes between its headquarters and field operations, which are almost invariably in very difficult circumstances.

The hallmark of all the winners was that they understood that delivering quality involved more than simply having highly effective project management, said Svan Lembke, who leads the SAP Quality Programme in Europe. Effective quality required collaboration - from the CEO to the end users, methodology and feedback mechanisms that ensured issued were identified early and rectified rapidly.

SAP introduced its Quality Awards to spread best practice and improve the standard of implementations after a number of high profile implementation failures around the millenium.

Bouygues is building a global reporting tool covering 6,000 users in 60 countries, as part of a major business process transformation project. It combined exemplary methodology with a real collaborative approach, Lembke said.

The project was championed at the highest level of the company and was told quality was the highest project priority, followed by time and then cost.

It made strong use of tools to audit quality and tracked quality through external audit reviews and through a user acceptance testing of the full solution.

In the first pilots more than 10% of the final number of users were involved in testing.

EDF built a global management tool to deliver financial transparency to the markets as part of the process of preparing the company for a shift from the public to the private sector. At the same time its IT and business teams had to cope with the liberalisation of energy markets.

The project team showed a comprehensive approach to training that involved a tracking and monitoring methodology that not informed rapid change where needed as the project rolled out, but also, through the creation of a “barometer” could predict future problems, so they could be mitigated.

Standard Bank of South Africa is involved in a major overhaul its core banking system and its project combined a clear understanding of the business requirements of the organisation which allowed the team to anticipate future needs and through tight reporting to the CEO, deliver the support required. This was combined with strong training and a skills retention policy.

Davis Langdon, in the SME category, demonstrated a strong project management and governance structure, including hiring an external quality director with previous experience of major SAP implementations.

Other finalists, from 100 entries were, Eurovia (France), Philip Morris (Switzerland), Evonic (Germany), AMUE (France), Birmingham City Council (UK), Adva (Germany), Ecotricity (UK), Gaz de France (France), Oxford University Press (UK) and United Utilities (UK).

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