Risks in an S/4HANA Migration Project

DXaaS Jul 21, 2021

Table of contents

S/4HANA Project Risks

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.

Our Suggestions :

  • Draft a Project plan with clearly defined Milestones .

  • Weekly Progress Tracking for the nearest milestone deliverables.

  • Defining a clear work breakdown structure - that answers the What,Who and When questions. (i.e)

    * What is the work that needs to be done
    * Who needs to do the work
    * When is the work due to be completed
  • 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 w 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 to finish the project but finish the project 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.

Our Suggestion :

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

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 Major one could be: Major discrepancies between actual progress to the one presented during the weekly meetings.

Our Suggestions :

  1. Balanced Onsite Offshore model
  2. Interview based selection
  3. 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.

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.

Our Suggestion :

This could be mitigated by using powerful platforms like KTern, where the collaboration forums will allow message passing as separate threads.

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


5. Ineffective Project Management Office

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.

Comprising in PMO can lead to Poor Project delivery, Poor deliverable tracking and issue risks.

Our suggestion

  • A good PMO should ascertain that all project risks and issues are logged into risks and issues management tools

  • Ensure resolution of these logged items in a timely manner as set in the project charters.

Risk Management with KTern.AI

Features Description 
Early Risk Identification
Proactive risk mitigation 
Real-time Monitoring
Track project progress 
Effective Communication 
 Teams collaborate seamlessly
Compliance Assurance    Adhere to industry standards
 Improved Project Delivery Enhance project outcome 

Schedule a guided demo for an express session on the role and value of KTern for SAP S/4HANA Conversion and a demo of the All-in-One SAP S/4HANA Conversion Accelerator.


Edson Frainlar

Mission-driven Full-stack Developer with a passion for developing KTern, Dev Collaboration, and teaching. Curious to explore Quantum Information and Computing.