SAP Implementation Life Cycle

SAP Implementation is the whole of processes that defines a complete method to implement SAP software in an organization. It is based on best practices and case studies from various literature sources and presents a collection of processes and products that make up a complete implementation method to allow any organization to plan and execute the implementation of SAP (ERP) software The SAP implementation process is made up out of four main phases, The project preparation where a vision of the future-state of the SAP solution is being created, a sizing and blueprinting phase where the solution stack is created and training is being performed, a functional development phase and finally a final preparation phase, when the last tests are being performed before the actual go live.

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2003) All documentation related to planning. the functional test cases and all the other documents a new end-user of SAP requires and the various tools and approaches used to manage change by the TSO. (Anderson. (2) building consensus among customers and stakeholders on specific changes designed to better meet their needs. (www. and behaviors within an organization that support new ways of doing work and overcome resistance to change. 2003) CHANGE MANAGEMENT CHANGE MANAGEMENT DOCUMENTATION Determination of where and when the costs are inquired within COST OF OWNERSHIP the context of the SAP solution stack and ongoing operations. attitudes. preparing and executing cutover. testing. e. Concept Definition ***Activities involved in (1) defining and installing new values. (www. preparing the TSO for its new role and rolling out the SAP graphical user interface to all future end users. and (3) planning. (Anderson.The data table below provides a summary of all the concepts addressed in the process-data diagram. 2003) A data center is a facility used for housing a large amount of electronic equipment. ANALYSIS The analysis addresses all internal and external costs.gov) All documentation that is required and being delivered whilst performing change management. norms. describing how to lock down the system from a technical change management perspective. and implementing all aspects of the transition from one organizational structure or business process to another. 2003) CUTOVER The process of transitioning from one system to a new one (Anderson.wikipedia. typically computers and communications equipment. both one-time as well as recurring (Anderson.gao.org) CUTOVER PLAN DATA CENTER .g.

various OPERATIONS MANUAL installation and operations checklists and how-to process documents. a rack requirement. The head office is in Walldorf.wikipedia.wikipedia. a product or service. 2003) HIGH AVAILABILITY (HA) REQUIREMENT INSTALLATION DOCUMENTATION The collection of current state system documentation.g. (www. a network infrastructure requirement or a requirement to the network server.org) Requirements that describes the amount of time that the system needs to be available to satisfy the needs of the users.org) A comprehensive project plan that contains all products that are delivered whilst performing an SAP implementation project (Anderson.org) A list of all vendors that deliver the products that make up the SAP solution stack (Anderson. Germany.DATA CENTER REQUIREMENT A requirement for the SAP data center. SAP was founded in 1972 as Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung ("Systems Analysis and Product") by five former IBM employees in Mannheim. (Anderson. 2003) FUNCTIONAL TEST CASE A set of conditions or variables under which a tester will determine if a certain business process works (www. i.e. 2003) SAP SAP IMPLEMENTATION PROJECT PLAN SOLUTION STACK SOLUTION STACK PARTNERS LIST SOLUTION VISION . (Anderson. 2003) DISASTER RECOVERY Requirement that focuses on downtime that lasts many hours to (DR) REQUIREMENT days or even weeks (Anderson.wikipedia. 2003) SAP AG is the name of the biggest European software company. (Anderson. 2003) A vision of the future-state of the SAP solution (Anderson. (www. day-to-day and other regularly scheduled operations tasks. Germany. 2003) All documentation related to the installation of an end-to-end SAP solution (Anderson. e. a physical requirement like power requirements. 2003) Set of software subsystems or components needed to deliver a fully functional solution.

skills. tailored according to the learning preferences and prior knowledge of the trainee.ece. (www.uk/) Technical Support Organization.wikipedia. to sketch a design that meets both business and financial requirements.STRESS TEST PLAN A test plan that is focused at determining the stability of a given system or entity. These activities will be described with more detail and elaborated with examples in the rest of this entry.hw. in how much time the test will take place.eps. (Anderson. often to a breaking point. Design and staff the key positions of the SAP Technical Support Organization (TSO). It involves testing beyond normal operational capacity. (Anderson. who will do the testing. and attitudes as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relates to specific useful skills (www. The people that are committed to implementation and management of SAP.wikipedia. in order to observe the results.org) A detail of how the test will proceed. (IEEE 829) The acquisition of knowledge.org) Consisting of training units.ac. (www. a training plan is the result of hierarchical decompositions of a training goal. Activity Sub-Activity Description Refine and communicate a SOLUTION VISION of the future-state of the SAP solution. the organization that is Craft solution vision Project preparation Design and initially staff the SAP TSO . what will be tested. A plan is the means by which the trainee satisfies the goal. The focus should be on the company’s core business and how the SAP solution will better enable that core business to be successful. 2003) A chart that depicts the structure of the TSO. 2003) TEST PLAN TRAINING TRAINING PLAN TSO TSO CHART Activity table The following table provides a summary of all of the activities that form the SAP implementation process. and to what quality level the test will be performed.

high availability specialist and network specialists and train the end-users to give all the required SAP knowledge and skills Sizing and blueprinting Staff TSO Execute training Build a new SAP DATA CENTER facility or transform Setup SAP DATA the current data center into a foundation capable of CENTER supporting the SAP SOLUTION STACK Perform installations Install the (My)SAP components and technological foundations like a web application server or enterprise portal. i. Perform cost of ownership analysis Perform a COST OF OWNERSHIP ANALYSIS to determine how to get the best business solution for the least money i. Train the various members of the SAP TSO. like data center specialists. implementing and supporting the SAP solution. e. to plan what to do with disaster recovery later downtime of the SAP system requirements Engage SAP solution stack vendors Select the best SAP hardware and software technology partners for all layers and components of the SAP SOLUTION STACK. fill the positions that directly support the near-term objectives of the implementation. to determine where and when the costs are incurred within the context of the SAP solution stack. designing. based on a side-by-side sizing comparison Staff the bulk of the TSO. roles that Round out support relate to help desk work and other such support providing for SAP work.g. which are to develop and begin installation/implementation of the SAP data center.e. .e.charged with addressing. Identify and staff the remaining TSO roles. Identify high Determine all HIGH AVAILABILITY and DISASTER availability and RECOVERY REQUIREMENTS.

Create a foundation for the SAP systems management and SAP computer operations. execute and monitor SAP STRESS TESTS. to see if the expectations of the end users. by executing functional tests to ensure that business processes work. by creating a CUTOVER PLAN that describes all cutover tasks that have to be performed before the actual go-live Turn on the SAP system for the end-users SAP functional development Address SAP systems and operations management Perform functional. The objective is to maximize the collective efforts of all people involved in the change and minimize the risk of failure of implementing the changes related to the SAP implementation. will be met. script. integration and regression tests Perform systems and stress tests Final Preparation Prepare for cutover Go Live . prepare and execute the CUTOVER. by creating a SAP OPERATIONS MANUAL and by evaluating SAP management applications. Plan. defined in service level agreements.Address Change Management Develop a planned approach to the changes in the organization. Test the SAP business processes. Plan. integration tests to ensure that the organization’s business processes work together with other business processes and regression tests to prove that a specific set of data and processes yield consistent and repeatable results.

e. to make a setup for the TSO and to define a solution vision. Figure 2: Project preparation phase Design and initially staff the SAP TSO Figure 3: TSO chart example . focuses at two main activities.Implementation processes Project preparation The project preparation phase. depicted below. These activities allow an organization to put in on the right track towards implementation. i.

Next to that.The first major step of the project preparation phase is to design and initially staff an SAP technical support organization (TSO). the high-level project team and SAP professionals like the senior database administrator and the solution architect. the focus should be at staffing the key positions of the TSO. security. database administrators. test teams. manageability and scalability of the SAP system. e.g. the shortcomings of the current systems should be described and short but clear requirements should be provided regarding availability (uptime). a vision of the future-state of the SAP solution. etc. this is the time to make decisions about choosing for internal staff members or external consultants. This can be programmers.e. The main focus within the vision should be on the company’s core business and how the SAP solution will better enable that core business to be successful. project management. which is the organization that is charged with addressing. . Craft solution vision The second project preparation job is to define a so-called solution vision. The phase is illustrated below. implementing and supporting the SAP solution. i. The image at the right shows a typical TSO chart. Next to that. designing. At this point. Sizing and blueprinting The next phase is often referred to as the sizing and blueprinting phase and forms the main chunk of the implementation process. where it is important to address both business and financial requirements (budgets).

The image at the right depicts the essence of a delta analysis. Next to that. Parts of the stack are for example the hardware. there should be taken a look at recurring costs like maintenance costs and downtime costs. where only the differences between solutions (stacks) are identified and analyzed. Instead of performing a complete TCO analysis for various solution stack alternatives that would like to compare. which form the acquisition costs. operating system and database.Figure 4: Sizing and blueprinting phase Perform cost of ownership analysis Figure 5: Solution stack delta analysis This phase starts with performing a total cost of ownership analysis (TCO analysis) to determine how to get the best business solution at the lowest costs. This means to compare SAP solution stack options and alternatives and then determine what costs each part of the stack will bring and when these costs will be incurred. it can be wise just to do a so-called delta analysis. Identify high availability and disaster recovery requirements .

network infrastructure experts. like HP. fill the positions that directly support the near-term objectives of the implementation. caused by e.g.e. Staff TSO The TSO is the most important resource for an organization that is implementing SAP. before moving to SAP’s technology partners/SAP vendors. application failures or power outages. There are many ways to find the right people within or outside the organization for all of the TSO positions and it depends on the organization how much time it wants to spend on staffing. It should be noted that it is very important to calculate the cost of downtime. In a previous phase. so staffing the TSO is a vital job which can consume a lot of time. Examples are: data center experts. It is therefore very important to train the end users but especially the SAP TSO: the people who design and . security specialists and database administration experts. so that an organization has a good idea of its actual availability requirements.The next step is identifying the high availability requirements and the more serious disaster recovery requirements. A simplified solution stack is depicted at the right. i. Sun Microsystems and IBM. hardware failures. Note the overlap with the OSI model. Very few people within an organization are SAP experts or even have worked with SAP software. The most important factors that are of influence here are the estimated numbers of (concurrent) users and batch sizes. This means selecting the best SAP hardware and software technology partners for all layers and components of the solution stack. showing the many layers for which software and hardware has to be acquired. This is to plan what to do with later downtime of the SAP system. based on a side-by-side sizing comparison. Training One of the most vital stages of the implementation process is training. At this point the organization should staff the bulk of the TSO. A wise thing to do is to involve SAP AG itself to let them create a sizing proposal stating the advised solution stack. which is the next step. the organization should already have staffed the most vital positions. which are to develop and begin the installation/implementation of the SAP data center. Engage SAP solution stack vendors Figure 6: Simplified SAP solution stack A true sizing process is to engage the SAP solution stack vendors.

The most important factor when designing the data center is availability. Setup SAP data center The next step is to set up the SAP data center. The high availability and disaster recovery requirements which should have been defined earlier. To define how much SAP training every person needs. Data center requirements can be a: • • • • Physical requirement like power requirements Rack requirement Network infrastructure requirement or Requirement to the network server. give a good idea of the required data center requirements to host the SAP software. to a state ready for business process configuration. With this matrix. a company can make use of a skillset matrix. by defining the height of expertise with a number between e. Many people within the TSO need all kinds of training. i. to manage and plan training. all of the technology layers and components (SAP software products) in a productive SAP installation. Examples of SAP components are: • • • • • R/3 Enterprise .implement the solution.g.Customer Relationship Management mySAP KW – Knowledge Warehouse mySAP PLM . This means either building a new data center facility or transforming the current data center into a foundation capable of supporting the SAP solution stack.e. prepare the database server and then start installing SAP software. Here it is very important to use installation guides.Transaction Processing mySAP BI . 1 and 4 for each skill for each employee. which are published for each SAP component or technology solution by SAP AG. The most vital sub steps are to prepare your OS. Some examples of these positions: • • • • • SAP Network Specialists SAP Database Administrators SAP Security specialists Documentation specialists Et cetera All of these people need to acquire the required SAP knowledge and skills or even SAP certifications through training.Product Lifecycle Management .Business Information Warehouse mySAP CRM . Moreover. people need to learn to do business in a totally new way. a manager can identify who possesses what knowledge. Perform installations The following step is to install the required SAP software parts which are called components and technological foundations like a web application server or enterprise portals.

e. e. Figure 7: Functional development phase Address change management The next challenge for an organization is all about change management / change control. it is most important to create a solid project team dedicated to change management and to communicate the solution vision and goals of this team. This phase is depicted below.g. To fight this. where it is all about change management and testing. Functional development The next phase is the functional development phase.• mySAP SCM . i.Strategic Enterprise Management • mySAP SRM .Supplier Relationship Management Round out support for SAP Before moving into the functional development phase. the organization should identify and staff the remaining TSO roles.Supply Chain Management • mySAP SEM . roles that relate to helpdesk work and other such support providing work. This team should be prepared to handle the many change issues that come from various sources like: • End-user requests . to these changes. The objective here is to maximize the collective efforts of all people involved in the change and to minimize the risk of failure of implementing the changes related to the SAP implementation. The implementation of SAP software will most surely come with many changes and an organization can expect many natural reactions. denial. which means to develop a planned approach to the changes the organization faces.

since there is often a large. integration and regression testing Testing is very important before going live with any system. it is vital do to many different kinds of testing. Functional. Important types of testing are: • Functional testing: to test using functional use cases.e. Both requirements as well as quality parameters are to be tested. Before going live with an SAP system. a set of conditions or variables under which a tester will determine if a certain business process works • Integration testing • Regression testing All tests should be preceded by creating solid test plans. various installation and operations checklists and how-to process documents. Final preparation The last phase before going live can be referred to as the final preparation phase and is depicted below. The manual is a collection of current state system documentation. by creating a SAP operations manual and by evaluating SAP management applications. i. day-to-day and other regularly scheduled operations tasks. complex infrastructure of hardware and software involved.• • • • Operations Data center team DBA group Systems management SAP systems and operations management Next thing is to create a foundation for the SAP systems management and SAP computer operations. Figure 8: Final preparation phase Systems and stress testing .

Again. to see if the expectations of the end users. because there are many known projects that failed because of a lack of support and SAP knowledge. Examples of cutover tasks are: • Review and update all systems-related operations procedures like backup policies and system monitoring • Assign ownership of SAP’s functional processes to individuals • Let SAP AG do a GoingLive check. More information on this topic: • Product Software Adoption: Big Bang Adoption • Product Software Adoption: Parallel Adoption • Product Software Adoption: Phased Adoption Critical success factors In order to successfully implement SAP in an organization. First it is very important to get the support from all the people that are involved in implementing SAP.. there are several things that are of great importance. . i. will be met. Prepare for cutover The final phase before going live with SAP is often referred to as the cutover phase.e. It is also the moment where product software adoption comes into play.Another vital preparation activity before going live with SAP is systems and stress testing. by creating a cutover plan that describes all cutover tasks that have to be performed before the actual go-live. to get their blessing to go live with the system • Lock down the system.. Go-live means to turn on the SAP system for the end-users and to obtain feedback on the solution and to monitor the solution. which is the process of transitioning from one system to a new one. so that everybody within the organization knows why SAP is being implemented. to benchmark the organization’s configurations against configurations that have been tested by SAP’s hardware technology partners. This can be done with SAP’s standard application benchmarks. Third and last it is very important to test the SAP hardware and software rigorously and to ensure that the end-users are ready to use SAP before going live. This means planning. defined in service level agreements. prepare and execute the cutover. Second it is essential to create a solution vision at the beginning of the implementation track. do not make any more changes to the SAP system Go Live All of the previously described phases all lead towards this final moment: the go-live. a test plan should be created at first. but also the people that will actually use the SAP software. executing and monitoring system and stress tests. The organization needs to plan. scripting.

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