03 Apr

Young hybris Partner

Author: 
Time2Know
Young hybris Partner

 

“ Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.” 
~
Aristotle
This article is a precious part of the hybris Project Patterns series.

The hybris SAP company has a strict policy of admitting a company as a hybris partner. Various trainings and regulations are a part of the partner-enabling program. After the acceptance process, a young hybris partner could potentially take on a project.

Nevertheless, it has been proven that training and certification are not sufficient to start implementing a serious e-commerce solution, even if it is based on the late hybris Accelerator prodigy or the core hybris modules.

There are more factors that play decisive role for becoming a successful and effective partner.

Problem

"Young" hybris partners often fail to build robust hybris solutions due to lack of real-life hybris experience and a structured project setup, suited for hybris implementations. This leads to bad modeling practices, low quality code, and budget-bleeding projects. The final result is: unhappy Business Client and broken business relations.

Guideline

Establish a proper guiding process by seeking help from the hybris Company or a more experienced Partner.

Related patterns

Client, Overall Consulting Guidance, hybris Functional Consultant, PIM Awareness, Workshop, Domain Methodology, Software Methodology, Glossary, Requirements Gathering, Communication, Business User Enablement

 

Note of Attention

In the context of this pattern, “Young” does not refer to a “small” or an “under-developed” firm. Rather, it is a reference to a company with limited or no practical experience in hybris implementations. 

We have seen cases of large multinational companies, which make serious investments in developing hybris skills.

However, in terms of hybris project maturity and real-life expertise, those companies are still toddlers. And being a toddler is not a problem, when you have a proper guidance.

The challenge is: “How to start?”

 

It is noticeable that inexperienced hybris partners, tend to initiate their hybris projects with a traditional development setup – employing limited understanding of the underlying platform.

“ We’ve done software projects before, so we can do it here as well 

As experience shows, that mentality is inadequate to manage a project, which requires specific knowledge in hybris and the related business domains, like digital commerce, B2C, B2B and Product Information Management (PIM).

Furthermore, if a young partner fails to realize their lack of knowledge and skills, soon they face the bitter lessons of a cripple project. Still, they would not know how much they don’t know yet, because – if they lack expertise – they cannot envision the whole complexity. Consequently, they would have hard time to recognize when to start looking for help and what help that might be.

There are also cases where a young partner has already the awareness of their moderate hybris expertise. Then, the company habitually has concerns like:

Are we able to make a solid sales pitch around hybris, if we don’t master the platform yet?

Can we accomplish quality results if we don’t posses qualitative experience?

We have brilliant tech people, but can they develop in hybris?

How can we estimate a budget (on the first place), when we’ve never developed such a solution with hybris?”

Are we able to offer reference of our hybris work to our clients, when we have no previous experience?

The proven answer to those anxieties lies in a proper Guiding Process.

Depending on the business model, the guiding can be fulfilled by:

  • the hybris Company, as part of the partner-enabling program or
  • another, more experienced, hybris Partner

 

Start with Confidence

You have won a hybris project. Now is the time to get started.

Here is a checklist of steps on how to commence and be confident that you have the skills to perform:

  1. Identify your Core Team
  2. Select your Domain Methodology
  3. Select your Software Methodology
  4. Select your tools
  5. Propose an initial plan of approach how to handle a hybris project
  6. Engage hybris Professional Services for consulting and reviews

Depending on the business model, the guiding can be fulfilled by:

  • the hybris Company, as part of the partner-enabling program or
  • another, more experienced, hybris Partner

Most of those activities are described in dedicated patterns. Here, I would provide brief summaries of each.

Step 1: Identify Your Core Team

The Core Team is crucial for the stability of the project.

A Project Manager, a hybris Functional Consultant and a hybris Technical Consultant are the ultimate core team – they will ensure uniformity and structure in the project. Moreover, they would be the ones to take the next important steps from the checklist and serve as mentors to the rest of the team. 

   

 

The Project Manager will drive the overall project in a structured and steered manner, being aware of possible pitfalls and risks. 

A hybris Functional Consultant will guide a project with specific hybris functional expertise and a sense of business value.

hybris Technical Consultants will devise the architectural design and realize the implementation of the project, by using the most of the underlying hybris Suite.

Moreover, a Principal Consultant, who can act as an overarching mentoring power for the project, can also support the core triplet – especially in situations when the core team has limited experience with complex e-Business projects.

   

~ An elaborated comparison table of the main consulting profiles, can be seen in the online book "hybris Project Patterns", chapter "Young hybris Partner".


 

Step 2: Select Your Domain Methodology

The Domain Methodology would give you an organized set of processes and practices related to the project theme – e-commerce, PIM, Mobile, Telco, Retail, Insurance, and so on. Likewise, it will recommend a certain prioritization of requirements, and their related complexity.

A word of caution: Do NOT start your project without a Domain Methodology. Knowledge and experience in the business domain is imperative for the success of the project.

If your company does not posses knowledge of certain domains, make sure that you find elsewhere knowledge expertise and apply it from “day one”.

For example, if the project requires e-Procurement functionality, ensure that you furnish such expertise for the project – right from the beginning.

 

Step 3: Select Your Software Methodology

Your company has already developed a great number of software projects, following a certain software methodology. Regardless if you embrace Agile, Waterfall or a corporate-owned methodology, make sure you use one such approach in the project.

The selected software process will dictate the phases of the project and the related deliverables.

Avoid commencing a project without a clear vision about which software process the teams would follow.

Professional people come with difference backgrounds and expertise, so do not assume that everybody has the same level of knowledge of how to build software. 

Instead of guessing and hoping, better take the lead and select a single software-creation strategy for the project, which suits the culture of both the Client and your organization.

Remember, a Software Methodology comes with certain practices. If you allow people to use different methodologies, soon you will have chaos of myriad practices and no harmonization between them whatsoever. Code built under those conditions is unreliable and fragile – when you put all things together, you might be “enjoying” the next software Frankenstein …

 

Step 4: Select Your Tools

Tools help you do your job. Tools cannot do your job. However, without tools we would not have high production. Tools come in various flavors for editing, building, documenting, planning and managing the project. 

Everybody knows tools. Nonetheless, select tools, which your team masters and are in common use. This will enable the team to construct with comfort and efficiency.

Tools need to support the daily work, and also to guide team members in processes and techniques.

Few examples:

  • Employing a suitable Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool will aid the team to follow a preferred Software Methodology, structure the requirements, plan the work and trace overall progress.
  • Having a solid Continuous Integration (CI) environment will guarantee the right construction and quality of the produced software. 
  • Establishing a common Collaboration platform will enable your team to communicate with ease, preserve deliverables and capitalize the good practices.

 

Step 5: Propose an Initial Plan of Approach (PoA)

The initial plan defines the rules for engaging the project teams. It establishes responsibilities, priorities and expectations for the complete project. For prioritization, the plan should be inspired by the preferred Domain Methodology. Planning the phases of the delivery process should follow the selected Software Methodology.

Here is an approach that the initial project plan should consider:

Start with the core data models and integration points. Next, build the solution’s foundation on standard hybris features. Further, extend the default features with high-value custom features. Continuously build new features until the end. Indicate a Testing Strategy and Code building strategy. Involve in the planning supportive activities like Content Creation, Change Management, User Enablement and a Roll-Out policy.

Looking at common guidelines for a successful project, like the Agile Manifesto, it is recommended to define the plan in such a way that it ensures:

  • Creating working software from each development iteration
  • Engaging the Client’s users in each iteration for validation and feedback
  • Keeping it as simple as possible
  • Having a clear backlog of development and other tasks
  • Working as a team and performing daily status meetings
  • Building code continuously
  • Allowing for changes and adapting accordingly

 

Step 6: Engage hybris Professional Services for Consulting and Review

For a young partner, it is strongly recommended to engage the hybris Professional Services for consulting and evaluation. The expertise provided from the “kitchen” is important when the project requires high-level of customization and assessment of architectural decisions.

Concept- and code-reviews are common demands from the Business Client. Those activities can also be handled by dedicated hybris personnel.

Involving the hybris Company does not need to be only during the project.

It can be done before the start, as well. During the pre-sales cycle, a consulting session with the hybris Company can evaluate the potential of the Partner to take on a project. After the evaluation of skills and competence, the partner can select a course of action that would lead to success and avoid pitfalls.

 

Additionally, a proper training program – for that particular Partner – should be considered, which corresponds to the upcoming project challenges. For example, if you expect to use certain e-Commerce B2B features, make sure your team follows the matching hybris training.

 

Your Next Steps

You are not done … The previous activities merely set the foundation for a project. Once you establish this foundation, continue working with the teams on a daily basis to inspire and support them.

Here are few tips how to proceed:

  1. Select the rest of your project team, based on your corporate style and contract agreement with the Client.
  2. Introduce Workshops or other forms of organized collaboration activities
  3. Identify the Communication channels – internally and with the Client’s teams
  4. Introduce templates for your deliveries – specifications, inventory of items, processes, artifacts, visual design- and code-guidelines, and so on.
  5. Initiate a Project Glossary, to ensure a common vocabulary among the teams
  6. Start with the Requirements Gathering and System Architecture
  7. … and so forth …

Those steps should allow you to continue the project with confidence.

Remember, that climbing a wall does not mean that you will achieve great results: you need to climb the right wall, using the right way of climbing.

Therefore, as a hybris Partner, make sure you have a strong approach towards the specifics of hybris projects. If needed, seek a proper guidance and excel with each step, in every single day...

 


~ Read the full article in the online book "hybris Project Patterns".

 
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