In the last article in this series we looked at the causes of Implementation failure and Critical Success Factors, in this article we will look at making the Project a success by following best practices, methodology and strong governance processes.
We will follow the Accelerated SAP (ASAP) Implementation methodology following the suggested best practice of ‘Process Driven SAP’ using the Tools from Software AG, SAP AG and HP in different phases of Project Lifecycle.
As per ASAP methodology the project lifecycle consists of the following stages:
We will use the following tools:
Software AG’s ARIS:
ARIS is the Business Process Analysis Suite from Software AG, it is the market leader in this space and offers complete Process Lifecycle Management. It enables flexible, model driven process design, implementation, execution and support within and across business applications.
Along with the tool it also provides a framework and methodology for managing processes and systems implementation, complete with robust Governance.
It will be used to manage requirements, design business blueprint, define integrated test cases, User Acceptance Testing and Business user training.
SAP AG’s Solution Manager (SolMan):
SAP’s Solution Manager provides its customers with a tool which has the content and functionality to support the implementation, operation and ongoing use of SAP Solution.
During the introduction and upgrading of SAP systems, Solution Manager provides valuable reference content and documentation, as well as support for project management, configuration and pre-implementation testing of processes.
The support infrastructure ensures smooth operation of the system landscape, including solution monitoring and change management functionality.
It will act as the central console to manage the entire project: preparation, SAP configuration and documentation management (Knowledge management), Issue Management.
HP’s Quality Centre:
Quality Center is a Testing tool from HP, it offers software quality assurance, including requirements management, test management and business process testing for IT and application environments.
It will be used to perform functional tests and defect management.
The scope of the project is defined in this stage and the project is defined in SolMan, which consists of defining the system landscape: selecting the SAP components that will be in scope of the project.
In parallel, high level business requirements are captured in ARIS, which will form the basis for defining detailed business requirements and business rules in the next phase of project- Business Blueprinting.
In the Business Blueprinting stage, detailed Business requirements are elicited from business stakeholders. We then leverage on the proven Industry processes provided by SAP as a reference to design the To-Be business model that satisfies the requirements.
The reference processes called Business Process repository (BPR) is provided in SAP SolMan, it can also be found online at https://implementationcontent.sap.com/bpr# :
The BPR is used to select the standard SAP scenarios or processes in scope of the project, the selection is based on the SAP landscape defined in the previous stage of project setup.
The SAP BPR is synchronized into ARIS, where the standard content is redesigned based on the detailed requirements to form the To-Be business processes, which is called the Business Blueprint. The Business Blueprint has to be officially signed off by the Stakeholders to exit this project phase-gate. Once sign off is received the To-Be content is synchronized back into SAP SolMan and acts as the basis for system configuration in the Realization phase.
In the realization stage the Blueprint in SolMan is used to configure the SAP ECC server as per the requirements and business rules captured in ARIS in the previous phase. The standard BPR has links to the IMG objects and Documentation needed to configure the SAP ECC Server and it can be found in the configuration tab of the project:
Configuration Reference Documents and IMG Objects are assigned to Process Nodes in Standard SAP BPR and describe the configuration settings that have to be maintained for execution of a process successfully. Plus, it takes the consultant directly to the node in SPRO where the setting has to be maintained on ECC server. This adds great value in realization phase of the project as the consultant does not have to remember and navigate across the entire structure to find the correct configuration node.
The SAP consultant configures the system as per the requirements and carries out unit testing to ensure that the configuration meets the business needs.
In case there are changes required during the realization phase either because the business scenario has changed or the system behavior does not match the requirements, detailed change impact assessment is carried out and a change request is raised and escalated as per the proper channels following the set governance processes. The design changes to the To-Be business processes are carried out in ARIS under full version control, so that there is complete audit trail for future reference. Once the changes are signed-off they are then re-synchronized into SolMan for re-configuration of the system. This ensures complete transparency, traceability and a single version of truth, i.e.:
Documented and signed off process = Implemented process.
We will continue this subject further and explore the test and go-live stages in the next article in this series of Think Science.