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ASAP Accelerated SAP Project Implementation Checklist

Phase 1: Project Preparation Phase 2: Business Blueprint Phase 3: Realization Phase 4: Final Preparation Phase 5: Go-Live and Support

Phase 1: Project Preparation


Phase 1 initiates with a retrieval of information and resources. It is an important time to assemble the necessary components for the implementation. Some important milestones that need to be accomplished for Phase 1 include A Milestone 1 Obtaining senior-level management/stakeholder support 2 Identifying clear project objectives 3 Architecting an efficient decision-making process 4 Creating an environment suitable for change and re-engineering 5 Building a qualified and capable Project Team 6 Senior-Level Management Support One of the most important milestones with Phase 1 of ASAP is the full agreement and cooperation of the important company decision-makerskey stakeholders and others. Their backing and support is crucial for a successful implementation. B Project Objectives Be concise in defining what your objectives and expectations are for this venture. Vague or unclear notions of what you hope to obtain with SAP will handicap the implementation process. Also make sure that your expectations are reasonable considering your company's resources. It is essential to have clearly defined ideas, goals, and project plans devised before moving forward. C Decision-Making Process One obstacle that often stalls implementations is a poorly constructed decision-making process. Before embarking on this venture, individuals need to be clearly identified. Decide now who is responsible for different decisions along the way. From day one, the implementation decision makers and project leaders from each area must be clearly defined, and they must be aware of the onus placed on them to return good decisions quickly. D Environment Suitable for Change and Re-engineering Your team must be willing to accept that, along with the new SAP software, things are going to changethe business will change, and the information technology enabling the business will change as well. By implementing SAP, you will essentially redesign your current practices to model more efficient or predefined best business practices as espoused by SAP. Resistance to this change will impede the progress of your implementation. E Building a Qualified Project Team Probably the most important milestone early on is assembling a Project Team for the implementation. Your Project Team must be a representative sample of the population of your company. If you are implementing the Materials Management and Plant Maintenance modules in ECC, for example, you need to include people from both of these departments, as well as from your Information Technology department, on the team. The team should also represent management as well as nonmanagement or "functional" personnel. Sometimes management is less aware of the dayto-day functions of an organization, including how implementing SAP will tactically influence those functions.

Phase 2: Business Blueprint

SAP has defined a business blueprint phase to help extract pertinent information about your company that is necessary for the implementation. These blueprints are in the form of questionnaires that are designed to probe for information that uncovers how your company does business. As such, they also serve to document the implementation. Each business blueprint document essentially outlines your future business processes and business requirements. The kinds of questions asked are germane to the particular business function, as seen in the following sample questions: 1 2 What information do you capture on a purchase order? What information is required to complete a purchase order? AcceleratedSAP Question and Answer Database The Question and Answer Database (QADB) is a simple although aging tool designed to facilitate the creation and maintenance of your business blueprint. This database stores the questions and the answers and serves as the heart of your blueprint. Customers are provided with a Customer Input Template for each application that collects the data. The question and answer format is standard across applications to facilitate easier use by the Project Team. Issues Database Another tool used in the blueprinting phase is the Issues Database. This database stores any open concerns and pending issues that relate to the implementation. Centrally storing this information assists in gathering and then managing issues to resolution, so that important matters do not fall through the cracks. You can then track issues in the database, assign them to team members, and update the database accordingly.

Phase 3: Realization
With the completion of the business blueprint in Phase 2, "functional" experts are now ready to begin configuring SAP. The realization phase is broken into two parts: Your SAP consulting team helps you configure your baseline system, called the Baseline Configuration. Your implementation Project Team fine-tunes that system to meet all your business and process requirements as part of the Fine Tuning Configuration. The initial configuration completed during the Baseline Configuration is based on the information that you provided in your blueprint document. The remaining approximately 20% of your configuration that was not tackled during the Baseline Configuration is completed during the Fine Tuning configuration. Fine Tuning usually deals with the exceptions that are not covered in Baseline Configuration. This final bit of tweaking represents the work necessary to fit your special needs. Configuration Testing With the help of your SAP consulting team, you segregate your business processes into cycles of related business flows. The cycles serve as independent units that enable you to test specific parts of the business process. You can also work through configuring the SAP Implementation Guide (IMG), a tool used to assist you in configuring your SAP system in a step-by-step manner (covered in detail later in this hour). During this configuration and testing process, it becomes necessary to send your Project Team to Level 3 SAP training. This in-depth instruction provides your team members with SAP componentspecific expertise that they can map to the business' unique requirements. Knowledge Transfer As the configuration phase comes to a close, it becomes necessary for the Project Team to be selfsufficient in their knowledge of the configuration of your SAP system. Knowledge transfer to the configuration team tasked with system maintenance (that is, maintenance of the business processes after Go-Live) needs to be completed at this time.

In addition, the end users tasked with actually using the system for day-to-day business purposes must be trained. Level 1 and Level 2 training should therefore begin in earnest for the people for whom the SAP system is being deployed. This is also a good opportunity to send the implementation Project Team to additional functional Level 2 and Level 3 training in the areas upon which they want to focus post-Go-Live.

Phase 4: Final Preparation


As Phase 3 merges into Phase 4, you should find yourselves not only in the midst of SAP training, but also in the midst of rigorous functional and stress testing. Phase 4 also concentrates on the finetuning of your configuration before Go-Live and more importantly, the migration of data from your old system or systems to SAP. Workload testing (including peak volume, daily load, and other forms of stress testing), and integration or functional testing are conducted to ensure the accuracy of your data and the stability of your SAP system. Because you should have begun testing back in Phase 2, you do not have too far to go until Go-Live. Now is an important time to perform preventative maintenance checks to ensure optimal performance of your SAP system. At the conclusion of Phase 4, take time to plan and document a Go-Live strategy. Preparing for GoLive means preparing for your end users' questions as they start actively working on the new SAP system.

Phase 5: Go-Live and Support


The Go-Live milestone itself is easy to achieve; a smooth and uneventful Go-Live is another matter altogether. Preparation is the key, including attention to what-if scenarios related not only to the individual business processes deployed but also to the functioning of the technology underpinning these business processes. And preparation for ongoing support, including maintenance contracts and documented processes and procedures, are essential. Fortunately, a wealth of information and additional resources are available. Turn to Hour 24, "Additional SAP Resources," for more details.

Source: Sams Teach Yourself SAP in 24 Hours, Second Edition By George Anderson, Danielle Larocca 2005

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