SAP Change Management – a brief overview

Overview… Background Change within SAP Migrating Change SAP Change Management Overview SAP Change Management Challenges SAP Change Management Needs


SAP defined… SAP AG is the world’s largest ERP software company and 3rd largest largest software company overall. 56,000 installations 10 million users 18,800 organizations 120 countries across the globe What is SAP? SAP R/3 is the main ERP system Full range of application modules (eg FI, SD, MM) Pre configured ‘Industry Solutions’ eg. IS Oil


6 Most recent… 4. Other versions since… 4.1. APO etc Many organizations use SAP R/3 and one or more New Dimension Products 4 .5 and 4. 610 and 620 (Enterprise) What is SAP? continued New Dimension Products (NDP’s) address discrete functional BW. 4. CRM.version 3.7.SAP versions and products… SAP R/2 SAP R/3 .0.

Background Change within SAP Migrating Change SAP Change Management Change within SAP SAP Change Management Challenges SAP Change Management Needs 5 .

Sources of change… Configuration Enhancement Bug fixes Hot Packs Change within SAP Version upgrades Projects SAP change is always occurring to a greater or lesser degree… 6 .

Change team and stakeholders in SAP change… Senior Management Operational Management Project Managers and Team Leaders Functional Experts Change within SAP Configurers Developers (ABAP programmers) Basis Team Quality Assurance (Medical and Pharma.) Training Help Desk Change Team 7 .

SAP Systems… Generic SAP ‘Landscape’ DEV Change within SAP 100 Customizing and Development QAS 200 Quality Assurance PRD 300 Production 8 .

Development systems (DEV)… Changes to the standard SAP “off the shelf” product are made in the DEV system… DEV Change within SAP 100 Customising and Development Some basic testing may occur in this system. 9 . Rarely contains large quantities of realistic business data.

10 .Quality assurance systems (QAS)… Rigorous testing of changes occurs in the QAS system… QAS Change within SAP 200 Quality Assurance Often contains an amount of realistic business data to facilitate realistic testing.

Production systems (PRD)… PRD is the “live” version of the system… PRD Change within SAP 300 Production Changes should be moved into this system only after they have been thoroughly tested 11 .

SAP environment… SAP landscapes can be very complex… DEV Change within SAP GLD QAS USQ PRD USP R/3 HKQ HKP R/3 BWD BWQ BWP BW 12 .

The ‘client’ concept… A single SAP system may have multiple clients.. Client-dependent effects all clients 110 Unit Test 120 Sandbox 13 . Changes can be client dependent or client independent DEV Change within SAP 100 Customising and Development Client-independent effects some clients.

and to delete clients. to build or copy clients. copies and deletions affect the location of configuration.System restores. and client copies and deletions… It is possible to restore or copy entire systems. Eg QA System "refresh" is a common occurrence Periodical copying across of a complete version of the production system Change within SAP QAS PRD Restorations. development and other changes … 14 .

Overview… Background Change within SAP Migrating Change SAP Change Management Migrating change SAP Change Management Challenges SAP Change Management Needs 15 .

table entries.SAP Transport Request… All SAP change is associated with a “Transport Request” – eg source code. etc. table definitions. ‘Transport Requests’ are ‘released’ into the ‘Transport Directory’ (Exporting) Migrating change Transport requests are released as data files which contain information about the changes associated with the request DEV Transport Directory 16 .

Typical representation of how changes move through a SAP landscape Migrating change DEV QAS PRD DEV QAS PRD More accurate representation of how changes move through a simple SAP landscape (show role of transport directory) Transport Directory 17 . weeks or even months after the export.SAP Transport Directory… The changes exported from one system may be imported into another system minutes.

or only particular clients. 210 Conversion Test 220 End user training 18 . Migrating change 200 Quality Assurance May affect… all clients (client-independent change).SAP importing… The target SAP system reads the relevant data file from the transport directory Runs a series of special programs that implement the changes within the importing system.

Failed imports… SAP provides a series of ‘Return Codes’ to report on the outcome of the import. Migrating change An import that "fails" can nevertheless cause significant unwanted change to occur in the importing system. For serious errors. a Basis person may report that the import "gave a bad return code" or "failed". 200 Quality Assurance 210 Conversion Test 220 End user training 19 .

Sequencing and dependency… Once released. perhaps not the whole object… Migrating change Transports must be imported in sequence Second and subsequent requests "depend" on their predecessors Version 3 Third import Second import First import DEV Version 2 Version 1 QAS 20 . a transport cannot be added to or changed… The new transport request may contain only part of a complex object.

When does migration occur…? New production system migration Migrated in one "big bang" Mature production systems. or upon request. Migrated on a regular schedule. Migrating change QAS system migration Frequent migration − eg hourly. DEV QAS PRD DEV – QAS Frequent schedule or upon request QAS – PRD Saved for a single bulk or regular schedule 21 . daily.

Overview… Background Change within SAP Migrating Change SAP Change Management SAP Change Management SAP Change Management Challenges SAP Change Management Needs 22 .

Purpose of Change Management… Primary purpose is to ensure that only authorised change is made to the SAP system and is implemented… Rapidly Changes are available quickly SAP Change Management Effectively. and Business needs are met Safely. System continues to operate effectively 23 .

when. track location of changes. change history Documenting SAP Change Management Documenting the who. where and why of change Document control Communicating Workflow within the change team. between IT and the business Risk management Rules and processes.Change Management … SAP user organisations introduce systems and methods for… Tracking Record changes. testing procedures and authorizations SAP Change Management systems range from paper forms or email through to dedicated approval-tracking systems. what. 24 .

SAP Change Management High Stringent Control Zone Consequence of damage Low High Likelihood of damage 25 . Approval (or migration) strategies are developed accordingly.Change Management … Major consideration of SAP Change Control systems is change type and potential system impact.

Overview… Background Change within SAP Migrating Change SAP Change Management SAP Change Management Challenges SAP Change Management Challenges 26 .

a real risk exists that the production system may be damaged.Protecting a vulnerable production system… If changes to an SAP landscape are not managed carefully. Damage may occur with… Out of sequence Transport Request migration Inadequately tested change SAP Change Management Challenges QAS PRD Safe implementation of change is not guaranteed and ‘undoing’ damaging change is difficult… 27 .

The business finds it difficult to manage and control changes it has authorised… SAP Change Management Challenges 28 .Maintaining a sense of control… There is no mechanism in SAP that relates these technical transport requests to a particular business requirement.

and given. how and why a particular problem occurred 29 . SAP Change Management Challenges Inadequate audit trails make it difficult to discover. for all transports becomes very challenging.Maintaining an accurate audit trail… There are often many iterations of testing and development before a change is ready to be migrated into a production system Keeping track of all the approvals required. after the event.

SAP Change Management Challenges DEV version a version b version a version b 2 1 QAS a a b 4 PRD version a version b a b 3 b 30 .Preventing inadvertent parallel development… Overtaking and overwriting can cause major system damage and be difficult to trace and repair. Controlling the location of all ‘open objects’ can be very challenging.

Understanding the location of changes… Some system changes are client-dependent. and affect only particular clients. Other changes affect all clients in a system. SAP Change Management Challenges 200 Quality Assurance 210 Conversion Test Client copy Transport Directory 220 End user training Maintaining a completely accurate picture of which changes are in which parts of the landscape is a challenge… 31 .

Managing abandoned changes… Many changes never make it to production and cause quite some damage if inadvertently migrated through at a later date… SAP Change Management Challenges 200 QAS Transport Requests Transport Requests not moved into PRD Keeping track of abandoned change in order to deal with it appropriately is difficult to effect… 32 .

Progressing change speedily… Authorising change is the responsibility of the Business Changing the development system is allocated to configurers and developers SAP Change Management Challenges Migrating these changes to other systems is allocated to members of the Basis team. DEV QAS PRD Transport Directory Third party involvement introduces change delays and additional margin for error… 33 .

Projects and System upgrade challenges… Completing Projects and performing system upgrades can take many months to complete. Performing regular development during such periods is a challenging task. SAP Change Management Challenges DEV QAS PRD UGD UPQ UGP Many organizations put a development "freeze" in place whenever they perform such projects. as complex interdependencies may exist .… 34 .

Overview… Background Change within SAP Migrating Change SAP Change Management SAP Change Management Needs SAP Change Management Challenges SAP Change Management Needs 35 .

when where and why Document control Communicating Workflow Transparency – IT / Business 36 . what.SAP Change management system requirements… Types of change Varying potential impact on production Varying stakeholders Risk management SAP Change Management Needs Rules and processes Testing procedures and authorizations Tracking Capturing and recording all changes Tracking location of changes Reporting Documenting Tracking who.

A goal of change management is establish the correct balance. SAP Change Management Needs Both deny the business the competitive advantage it seeks.It’s a balancing act… Controls should facilitate achievement of business objectives efficiently… Excessive controls are going to cause delays while insufficient controls increase risk of things going wrong. 37 .

Appendix I – Scale of change… Length of project Medium-sized project: Project workforce Medium-sized project: 25 − 100 people 35% 5 − 10 systems 25 − 50 per week 100 − 250 per week 400 − 2.000 per week 38 Workforce turnover during project lifetime Medium-sized project: Number of SAP systems involved Medium-sized project: Medium-sized project: Transports created Medium-sized project: Transport movement (imports) Medium-sized project: Distinct business requirements (issues) 6 − 18 months Appendix 1: Appreciating the scale of change .

com (E) info@dimensionconsulting.This paper has been produced as an educational service for the SAP community by: Dimension Consulting Services Inc. For information on how Rev-Trac can help manage SAP change control issues as outlined in the paper please contact us through the following… (P) 719 579 0803 (W) SAP and SAP R/3 are registered trademarks of SAP AG 39 .

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