Risks in an S/4HANA Migration Project

S. Vignesh Barani - 8 Minute read


Risks and issues are always part of any project but for something like an S/4HANA migration, it kind of weighs like the entire planet. The risks faced in an ERP Project like S/4HANA must be handled in the bud itself, because they have the potential to collapse the entire project and ruin the business transformation plan of the enterprise. So, what exactly are these risks?

1. Frequent delays in deliverable completions

Is your project going through a rough patch with critical paths going beyond control? This is one common risk which all enterprise projects face - delayed submission of deliverables and improper phase closure documents, thereby missing deadlines. This can lead to unwanted Project Overruns. This is due to improper cost effort estimation and inadequate skills from the system integrator side. Drafting a project plan with clearly defined milestones and a work breakdown structure can help provide visibility on what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and by whom it has to done.

  • Weekly Progress Tracking for the nearest milestone deliverables
  • Balance of skilled resources

2. Ineffective, rigid and political project leadership

In large SAP projects, the project leadership generally cuts across the organization. Several C level executives may also be involved in the project. Business decisions and sign offs require quick paced decision making and the issue needs to be resolved in an expedited manner. However, the hierarchy flow to the top level sign off can be delayed and cumbersome due to slow decision-making process and a political environment. The escalation matrix also requires to be more flattened. The entire objective of the team is to not just finish the project but with minimum cost. Communication is the key to resolve these issues and a lot of communication frequently gets buried in the mail trails. Issues that pose a serious threat need a careful attention and follow-ups.

An Anonymous suggestion box is an option that can be set by the project team to express concerns.


Challenges in System conversion from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA

Read more

3. Offshoring: Is it cost saving or risk doubling?

Offshoring is a critical strategy that System Integrators take to avoid project cost, but they also pose a threat on the quality of delivery. But the risks and the challenges are not known to the customer team or the onsite team as well. One could be: Major discrepancies between actual progress to the one presented during the weekly meetings. Balanced Onsite Offshore model, Interview based selection and independent verification of project deliverables.

4. Lack of Communication between Project Teams

Most SAP projects contain huge project teams, right from Infra team, BASIS, Technical Team, Functional Team, Testing Team, Project Governance Team, Data Migration Team, Management Team, and Business users, working together in different places, hence communication gap is a major concern when it comes to the different streams of work happening together. While this is the case, the information required by one team actually resides with the other. The most common channel to gather this information would be through a common mail loop. But the information gets buried over a period of time. This is when the lack of communication platforms could post a serious threat to the S/4HANA Project. This could be mitigated by using powerful platforms like KTern, where the collaboration forums will allow message passing as separate threads.

5. Ineffective Project Management Office with poor project delivery, deliverable tracking and issue risks.

This is the one area where people cannot think of compromising. PMO should serve as the truth of the project and provide the accurate project status at any point of time. It should provide full visibility to project status by presenting the clear picture of work activities, tasks and deliverables progress. A highly effective PMO is the one that deploys, monitors and enforces the proper usage of tools and methods and properly manages the time spent by project resources to deliver the tasks as per the plan. PMO should ascertain that all project risks and issues are logged into risks and issues management tools and ensure resolution of these items in a timely manner as set in the project charters.

Curious to learn more about KTern and SAP S/4HANA Conversion? Please do go through our articles and on-demand webinars at your convenience. To learn even more, do schedule your direct 60 mins express session on KTern along with a demo of the product at at

If you would like to know more about the SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessment program, kindly get in touch with us

Connect with Product Manager

As an existing SAP ECC customer, if you want to know more about the project or about KTern and the SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessment program, please get in touch with us through our contact form or connect with our product manager on or through .

Experience the features in action

Get started for free. No credit card required!

Start now