Welcome to another episode of rambling thoughts from yours truly

A couple of weeks ago, I was at an international Rugby 7’s tournament (basically, it’s American Football without the pads). It was a real mish-mash of countries playing, from Fiji to Russia to the U.S. (Yes, the U.S. has a rugby team!). What struck me was how there was no single individual that stood out in any of the games. Of course, there were occasions of individual skill and flair, but the players worked together as a whole. The team that won the tournament (not England to my chagrin, that honour fell to South Africa) was just a great team who played well together. They supported each other, ran tirelessly for each other and dealt with difficult situations created by the opposition. And, in adversity (they were trailing at half time), they managed to pick themselves up and refocus to win the game. Impressive, given that by the final they had played 6 very physically and mentally tough games.

“What,” I hear you say, “has this got to do with SAP HCM?” A good question to ask, though I think my point is obvious. Our projects consist of a Project Team – each member of which has an important role to play in the success of the project – or, conversely, its failure. Yes, of course, there are occasions when ‘special teams’ are needed within the Project Team to deal with certain situations or individuals that show skill and flair, and, occasionally, a reserve has to be brought in to bolster the team in some way. But, the Project Team is only as good as the sum of its parts – and it is incumbent on all members (especially the Project Manager) to ensure that everyone gives 100%, stays focused on the task, and helps those that, at various times, will struggle over the project’s duration. This is particularly important (as our South African rugby friends know) when things are not going exactly according to plan. Often projects go wrong because in these situations, the Project Team falls apart. By pulling together and persevering, supporting each other through difficult times, projects can be put back on track and succeed.

Next week I am off to Amsterdam to attend the HR2011 SAP HCM conference there. In my next blog I will give an overview of the conference and some of the themes that are prevalent in Europe in SAP HR.

Andrew Hodges
Partner, Europe

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