SAP Implementation Assignment: Research Methodology

This is a solution of SAP Implementation Assignment: Research Methodology which is second part of SAP Implementation Assignment: An Introduction.

Discussion of Data Required

1.1 Data collection method

The data regarding the challenges faced in SAP implementation process would be collected in order to analyze the SAP implementation process and to generate a framework for the SAP implementation process so that such framework can be followed in future for the successful SAP implementation process (B.W., 1991). The data collected through primary and secondary methods highlight the current and past SAP implementation methodology for the industrial companies.

Data collection methodology will be a combination of both the approaches i.e. the quantitative data and qualitative data. The Qualitative data collection process will take into consideration the various methods of data collection such as the historical data collection techniques which will be done with the help of various literatures pertaining to the topic of SAP implementation in industrial companies. Also another method for qualitative data collection process would be with the help of case study which will analyze the SAP implementation in small industrial companies. The Case study will highlight the various practical issues confronted by the firms hence those issues can be highlighted and can be taken as a part of the data collection.

Read about SAP Implementation Assignment: An Introduction
The topic is of immense interest since in SAP implementation process is a huge cost for the companies and most of the times SAP implementation process results into failure and needs lot of efforts for the successful implementation. Identifying the challenges faced in SAP implementation process will help the various organisations and consultants in future for the SAP implementation so that they will take care of such challenges and will develop solution for such problems (Tanner,  2009). The development of framework for SAP implementation will allow the SAP users to implement and analyze the process of SAP implementation.

1.2 Utility of the topic

This topic is mainly useful for the companies planning for SAP implementation and the consultants which help the companies to implement the SAP. Knowing the impacts of SAP implementation and problems faced will help the companies and consultant to develop the solution for the problem faced during SAP implementation and the success rate for SAP implementation would be able to go up (Nemec JR, 1999).

1.3 Research Questions

The research questions which will be explored in the study are as follows:

  • How technology infrastructure poses challenge in SAP implementation?
  • How communication issues pose challenge in SAP implementation?
  • What role does top management have in successful SAP implementation?
  • How IT department is involved in SAP implementation?

1.4 Role of literature review

The Literature review presents lot of important aspects which help the process of data collection requirement for the study. Literature review done for the research helps in identifying the SAP implementation process followed in the companies and also various components of the SAP implementation process in any organisation. Literature review provides details about the components such as change management, IT infrastructure and leadership qualities from the top management required for the successful implementation process (Burn, 1994).

1.5 Need of quantitative or qualitative data

The study aimed at finding out the challenges faced by the organisation in implementation of the SAP system in organisations. For knowing the experience of IT people, consultants and other high level managerial people in organisation qualitative data can be collected from these officials (Davenport, H. 1998). The Data collection can be both qualitative as well as the quantitative one. This data collected from these officials will help in identifying these challenges faced by organisation in SAP implementation.

2 Discussion of alternative methods of data collection

2.1 Data collection method

The Data collection method used for the research is collecting data through filling the questionnaire. Since the study collects the data on SAP implementation in organisation which is very different for different organisation. Hence the every consultant and mangers have their different experience and so as they have identified various challenges in SAP implementation process. So the questionnaire method can be used in order to collect the data from these people (Swanson, D. 1998). Other than questionnaire method focused interview can be collected from the top officials of the company in order to know the problems faced in SAP implementation plan.

The Data collection process will also include the collection of secondary data which would be done through the case study method. The Case study will be used in order to analyze the process is SAP implementation in the industrial organisation. The Case study will highlight various factors about SAP implementation plan such as: SAP implementation process, critical success factor in SAP implementation, barriers in SAP implementation process and solution to various issues encountered during the SAP implementation process in industrial organisation.

2.2 Reason for choosing the method

The Questionnaire method and in depth interview method provides easy way to presents the findings of the survey for SAP implementation process. Questionnaire method helps the researcher to study SAP implementation process in organisation and it allow researcher to explore information from the respondent in order to make the decision on the given problem.

3. Discussion of the question content and data required

The Questionnaire designed for collecting the data for the study contains questions about the problem faced by the implementation team while implementing the SAP and how they approach to the problem. The Questionnaire would be unstructured in nature and will contain the both open ended and closed ended questions in order to collect the information about the SAP implementation plan.Read about offers provided by Us.

Literature reviews which have been done initially will be helpful in identifying the SAP implementation process which is followed in organisation.

Data collection process only collects the data from limited number of individual since keeping into mind the time and cost constraints it is not possible to collect the data about so many number of customers (Hoepfl, M. 1997). Hence the data collection has been limited to only 30 individuals. The interview process is carried out with the 20 respondents which are top officials in companies and have been involved into the SAP implementation team of the company.

4. Discussion of the format of the questionnaire(s)/interview(s)

Questions are presented in predefined order of the questionnaire. Initially relaxing questionnaires are asked to respondents which do not require any kind of information to be impacted by respondent in order to make him relax. After that lead questions are asked which requires some extensive information from the respondent side. Then objective questions are listed which try to identify the different implementation problem in SAP implementation. After that a set of open ended questions are present which gives more explanation of respondents view (Hofstede, G. H. 1991). And lastly name and contact details of the respondents have been taken.

Research design is exploratory in nature which explores the SAP implementation process and need to gain the primary survey data from the customer survey. Hence the design helped to collect the data which will explore more about SAP implementation process.

5. Discussion of the phrasing of the questions

The Designing of questionnaire takes care a lot about phrasing the questionnaire. The Questions are phrased in such a way that the respondents can provide with important information detail which researcher can find useful for the research. Initially respondent is involved into the survey by asking objective and interesting questions. Once the respondent start taking interest into the survey, than after objective questions more explanation is collected from the respondents by asking the open ended questions (Bond, 1988).

6. Discussion of the response formats

Different response format used in the questionnaire are open ended and close ended. Open ended responses are used in order to identify various challenges faced by respondents in SAP implementation process.

The Advantage of the close ended questions is that they can easily get the desired information and also it is easy to analyze the information collected through closed ended questions (Hofstede, 1984).

While Open ended questions have advantage in terms of collecting the information in correct manner and more in depth information can be collected through the open ended questions.

7. Discussion of data collection method

Interviews were conducted with the sample size in order to get in depth knowledge from the customers. Interviews were conducted face to face with respondents in which respondents were asked about their experience in SAP implementation process. Specific incidents were mentioned from the respondents and the responses from the respondents were recorder as the unorganised information which will be further analyzed with the help of the content analysis method. Sample for conducting the interviews was selected from the friends and relatives according to convenience sampling (Holland, 1999). Each interview lasts for about 30 minutes.

Questionnaires were distributed among the target respondent group and relative by individually contacting them and with help of them questionnaire got filled. Questionnaires were collected back by me after they have filled the questionnaire. In case of any difficulty they contacted me and filled the relevant responses.

8. Discussion of sample

Market research involves collecting the primary data from the respondents in order to collect the information about the research topic. But in order to collect the information from the every individual it is not viable keeping in minds the time constraints and money constraints. Hence in order to represent the whole population for which we want to collect the data we represent the whole population through a number of particular respondents called samples (Carpendale, 2008). They represent that whole group of population and the data collected through these small samples is assumed to be applicable on whole population to which this sample represent. Learn about Innovation Management

The Sample units consists the employees which are from the KJO as well as from other small industrial organisation who have either participated in SAP implementation. The Sample units of the survey would be well qualified and would be having the proper knowledge about the SAP implementation process.

Hence samples are the small groups which are selected based on particular criteria in order to represents the whole population for which we want to collect the data. This particular theory is referred to as the sampling theory. Sampling is very important to research design since through sampling we can do the research for small number of respondents and apply results for the whole population hence the research design become convenient and achievable due to sampling process since without sampling process it is not viable to survey every respondent.

There is various sampling method which can be termed as follows:

  1. Random sampling: It is the sampling method in which equal probability is given to every member of the population in order to get selected. This method has advantage that it doesn’t include any kind of biasness in the data (Han J, 1996)). Disadvantage of this method is that, it is not viable to access each and every member of the population under study.
  2. Systematic sampling: It is modified random sampling method in which population is divided into small number of groups and from each group of sample one particular sample unit is chosen. This method is helpful in removing biasness from the data while it doesn’t guarantee to reach every sample selected.
  3. Stratified sampling: In this sampling method whole population is divided between small strata and among these strata some samples are chosen in order to avoid the biasness in the data and it is disadvantageous that it doesn’t provide equal opportunity to all members of the population.
  4. Quota sampling: In quota sampling whole population is assigned some quota and each quota is selected as the sample size for the research.
  5. Convenience sampling: Convenience sampling provides the levy to select the samples according to the convenience of the researcher but the main disadvantage of the method is that it is not able to avoid the biasness into the data.

For doing the survey convenience sampling method has been used. convenience sampling method has been used since the method allows access of respondents at ease and less time and cost is incurred in the process of data collection. But the main disadvantage with the method of convenience sampling is that it allows biased data.

Convenience method has been chosen due to the ability of the method to reduce the cost and time for the researcher (Carpendale, S. 2008)). Also since the researcher has full access to the respondents so in depth information can be achieved from the respondents which can be getting in other sampling method since sometimes respondents do not show interest into the research.

Size of sample for conducting the research has been determined with keeping in mind the time and cost part of the research since the time do not allow to research many respondents so sample size has been kept small. And also since the research allows multiple ways to collect the data like questionnaire, interview and focused group discussion hence the sample size has been kept small keeping in mind cost and time to complete the research.

9. Note on data analysis technique

The Data analysis part would be done as per the data collection method used in order to collect the data about the SAP implementation in the industrial companies. In order to analyse the data which is collected from the qualitative technique such as the interview and other literature review methods content analysis method would be used. The Case study would be explored for the various issues faced in SAP implementation and how the management of the company handled those issues.

The data analysis has been done with help of statistical as well as with the help of manual tools. The Statistical tool used for the analysis of the questionnaire is done with MS-excel  which is mainly for the quantitative data while for analysing the qualitative data content analysis method have been used which will help to analyse the data collected from the interviews as well as for the qualitative data gathered from questionnaire. For analysing the questionnaire computer analysis has been done while for analysis of interview manual work has been done (Lee-Ross, 1998). From computer software package Microsoft excel would be used which will help to draw charts and tables in order to represent the data in more presentable form.

The data collected through primary and secondary collection method will be analysed through analysis tools. For analysing secondary data content analysis will be used and for analysing the primary data statistical tools as SPSS and Excel would be used and data will be represented by bar diagrams and pie charts.

The results will summarise the key findings from the primary research that reconfirm the trends from secondary research and conflicting findings (if there are any). The primary research will also be tied back to secondary research to see if it is reliable and reflects the findings from past literature (Tanis, 1999). Based on primary and secondary data, the paper will be concluded by the conclusions and recommendations section. The last section conclusions and recommendations will summarise all the research findings for managerial implications and reiterate the facts revealed by the research. Recommendations would include the issues faced in SAP implementation in small industrial firms and suggestions would be provided in order to improve the SAP implementation process.

10. Review of the methodology used for the research

Secondary data collection might pose some challenges as data about challenges faced in SAP implementation process is available however specific data regarding SAP implementation in industrial organisation. Extensive research of literature would be required to dig out this information if it exists. In addition, primary data collection might not be reliable due to the small sample size (Rossman, 2006). To be able to draw out trends extensive surveying of the industry and would be required. In such a case, research would require information collected from respondents, which are top organisation official and consultant which help in SAP implementation process.

11. Steps to solve the problem

To solve the problem presented in the study following steps would be followed in order to solve the problem:

  1. Deciding the research objective
  2. Developing the hypothesis based on the objective of the research
  3. Clarifying research questions
  4. Developing methodology to carry out the research
  5. Sampling issues
  6. Designing instrument for data collection
  7. Data collection
  8. Data analysis

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