How hard is it to get a major project approved by management these days? Hard enough, if the experience of SAP users is anything to go by.
Talking to the SAP Australian user group (SAUG) chairperson Carlo Terribile last week, I asked what training courses were proving popular with members.
As might be expected, there was huge demand for courses on NetWeaver and business analytics, he said.
However, the other type of help SAUG were looking to provide to members was not necessarily SAP-specific.
"The challenge our members are facing now is migration and writing business cases," he said.
"People are struggling to write a compelling business case."
Many members were saying, "We need more information so we can get to senior executives and get approval," Terribile said.
Asked if this was due to today's senior managers being more suspicious of IT projects, or if it was more reflective of perceived problems with SAP software, Terribile said there was truth in both.
Senior management was not easy to get past, and a business case had to be well written in order to please them.
"A lot of business executives want to know the capital outlay of this [sort of project]," he said.
On the other hand, there weren't always compelling reasons to migrate from R/3 to mySAP.
"In some cases, there may not be a lot of new functionality to be gained," Terribile said.
What are your experiences? Are senior management too hard on IT projects today? Do SAP projects receive extra scrutiny?
Or, are there few IT professionals who can write a proper business document?