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ASAP stands for Accelerated SAP.

Its purpose is to help design SAP
implementation in the most efficient manner possible. Its goal is to effectively
optimize time, people, quality and other resources, using a proven methodology to
implementation.
ASAP focuses on tools and training, wrapped up in a five-phase process oriented
road map for guiding implementation.
The road map is composed of five well-known consecutive phases:
• Phase 1 Project Preparation
• Phase 2 Business Blueprint
• Phase 3 Realization
• Phase 4 Final Preparation
• Phase 5 Go-Live and support
In today's post we will discuss the first phase.

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
• Obtaining senior-level management/stakeholder support
• identifying clear project objectives
• architect an efficient decision-making process
• creating an environment suitable for change and re-engineering
• building a qualified and capable project team.
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-makers - key stake holders
and others. Their backing and support is crucial for a successful implementation.
Clear 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.
An efficient decision making process:
One obstacle that often stalls implementation 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 aware of the onus placed on them to return good decisions
quickly.
Environment suitable for change and re engineering:Your team must be willing to
accept that, along with new SAP software, things are going to change, the
business will change, and 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.

ASAP- Second Phase- Business Blueprint
SAP has defined a business blueprint phase to help extract pertinent information
about your company that is necessary for 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) What information do you capture on a purchase order?
2) What information is required to complete a purchase order?
Accelerated SAP 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 blue print. 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 the issues in database, assign them to team
members, and update the database accordingly.

ASAP Phase- 3 - Realization:
With the completion of the business in phase 2, "functional" experts are now ready
to begin configuring SAP. The Realization phase is broken in to two parts.
1) Your SAP consulting team helps you configure your baseline system, called the
baseline configuration.
2) 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 base line 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.

Knowledge Transfer:
As the configuration phase comes to a close, it becomes necessary for the
Project team to be self-sufficient 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.

ASAP Methodology - 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 fine tuning 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 at your SAP system.
At the conclusion of phase 4, take time to plan and document a Go-live strategy.
Preparation for Go-live means preparing for your end-users questions as they
start actively working on the new SAP system.
ASAP - Phase 5 - Go-live and Support:
The Go-live milestone is 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 technology underpinning these business processes and
preparation for ongoing support, including maintenance contracts and
documented processes and procedures are essential.