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Are your SAP reports useful?
Nick Coburn14-Mar-2022 15:32:143 min read

Is your SAP S/4HANA Programme Reporting making you lose your HAIR?

So, here’s the bald truth.

Without HAIR (Honest, Accurate, Insightful Reporting), how do you really know the status of your programme?

Are your teams really on track to hit the next stage gate? Should that risk be escalated or is it really under control?

As a Programme Director, you are reliant on the information provided by your Project Managers who, in turn, rely on accurate and timely information from their team leads.

When these strands break down, you start to suffer from HAIR loss.

More often than not, you start the programme with healthy HAIR and it starts to recede along the way. Before you know it, you are getting no value from the weekly status reports your team is preparing. They just become a weekly chore that nobody really pays attention to.

When that happens, how do you really know the status of your projects and your work streams? How do you know what to focus on? How do you know what to report to the steering committee and the programme sponsors?

If you’re not getting value from weekly status reports, why have them? It doesn’t mean you don’t need reporting, just that you need different reporting.

And, what you certainly want to avoid is a cottage industry within your PMO where they spend hours each week updating reports on behalf of your Project Managers, so they are of better quality before you see them. Again, is that value add?

What you really need is good quality HAIR and if you’ve started to lose yours, don’t worry, it can be regained.

Honest Reporting on SAP S/4HANA Programmes

If your team feels it can’t share an honest perspective on current status then you have a real problem.

They don’t need to sugar coat it, it shouldn’t be what they think you want to hear. It needs to be their honest assessment of status.

You need to encourage this and use status meetings to discuss and share perspectives. But, of course, if they have concerns, then you expect these to backed up by appropriate Risks and Issues in the RAAIDD log.

Accurate Reporting on SAP S/4HANA Programmes

It’s linked to honesty but accuracy is more specifically about the detail, particularly where it is measurable.

How are we progressing with UAT?Is there a burn-down chart or glide path where you can see progress? Is this accurate, up to date and reflective of the current position and progress made? If not, why? Are you really getting an honest update?

Insightful Reporting on SAP S/4HANA Programmes

This is absolutely key to ensuring reports are useful. As a Programme Director, what do you really want to know about? Are you really interested in the minutiae of the teams inner workings and everything they have done this week? Do you really benefit from a 'copy paste' from last week's report with a couple of words changed? If the status is Green and everything is on track, perhaps you don’t need to know any more, assuming that’s an honest and accurate reflection.

What you really want to understand is what are the major risks and issues and how they can they be mitigated? Where does the team need your help and support to remove a blocker? What may require escalation to the steering committee or at least a heads up in advance of the next meeting? What’s brewing, perhaps hidden right now but with the potential to really become a significant issue? They are the updates you need from your team. Meaningful, insightful and action driven.

If you have started losing your HAIR, what style should you be looking for? My advice…keep it short, keep it simple and keep it easy to maintain.

So, if you’re in need of a fresh trim, some styling tips or advice on HAIR products, book a consultation with us. We promise not to serve coffee in a glass mug or ask about your holiday plans.