Methodical project management for your path to SAP S/4HANA Cloud

Your company can benefit significantly for ERP system-supported processes and analyses by introducing or migrating to the SAP S/4HANA cloud platform. The new generation of SAP’s ERP system with the SAP HANA in-memory database enables significantly faster data processing with parallel read and write processes and analyses in real time. These direct potential benefits in day-to-day business in particular, as well as the upcoming end of maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 (with SAP ERP 6.0) in a few years, speak in favour of switching to the S/4HANA platform.

Our project management experts specialise in providing you with methodical support during the implementation of your SAP S/4HANA cloud system. To this end, we use the agile SAP Activate methodology developed for the introduction and expansion of business functions in SAP systems. In addition to this framework, we also draw on our practical experience in the recording, optimisation, digitalisation and automation of business processes. Together with you, we lay a robust process foundation on the basis of which your S/4HANA system will support your long-term focus on innovation and improving your competitiveness.

SAP Activate Project Management

We manage the project or provide methodical support for the project management of your S/4HANA Cloud implementation (brown/greenfield) and its transition to a stable operational organisation.

Your advantages:

  •  You can focus on your technical requirements for business processes in your future ERP system
  • You benefit from our extensive experience in IT project management in the automotive industry and especially in SAP projects within the logistics environment

Applied Best Practices:

  • Consistent application of SAP Activate resources and our PMO toolkit of effective tools for IT project management by consultants with relevant experience
  • Sound experience in setting up and operating IT services in accordance with ITIL best practices

Process modelling

We record and prepare your business processes and workflows in accordance with BPMN and prepare them for use in SAP.

This offers you the following advantages:

Process transparency enables you to identify and eliminate inefficiencies and bottlenecks

Process transparency facilitates governance to meet compliance requirements and minimise risk

A detailed understanding of processes is a prerequisite for successful digitalisation and automation

Facilitated process mining as a link between process modelling and reality

We apply our best practices:

  • Our facilitators bring in frameworks and best practices to structure discussions and visualise changes in Signavio
  • Communication with systematic involvement of stakeholders and finding a ‘common language’ for the description of business processes
  • Interactive approach with regular review and adaptation of process models
  • Process models for your S/4HANA Cloud implementation are presented clearly, comprehensibly and precisely using BPMN 2.0 notation
  • Use of a collaboration hub as a central platform for knowledge exchange and feedback

Moderation

To enable you to focus on the content aspects, we take care of the management and assessment of workshops, meetings and discussions to analyse, improve or redesign your business processes as part of your S/4HANA Cloud implementation project.

Your advantages:

  • You can concentrate on the content because we take care of the methodology and structure based on established frameworks and best practices
  • Promotion of collaboration through neutral and independent external moderator role
  • Stringent documentation approach for the agreed business requirements towards new or updated processes, for example by mapping them in SAP Signavio
  • Promoting consensus building through stakeholder engagement in order to incorporate their perspectives, needs and requirements into process design and optimisation

Our best practices:

  • Organisation and thorough preparation of process workshops (objectives, participants, agenda)
  • Establishing clear communication rules and promoting open and constructive communication
  • Dealing constructively with conflicts to ensure effective results
  • Mediation of consensus-based solutions
  • Documenting results, follow-up and planning the next steps

Test Management

Our ISTQB-certified consultants organise the design and implementation of tests, from unit tests and integration tests to user acceptance tests, to ensure that all the business requirements to be implemented for your project are met.

Your advantages:

  • Early detection of errors to reduce rectification costs
  • Transparent and traceable test evidence for your system: criteria, scenarios and results

Our best practices:

  • Coherent, systematic structure of the test description & test documentation
  • Consistent tracking and archiving of test documentation

Our approach in SAP environments follows the SAP Activate framework

01.

Discover Phase

Firstly, we want to understand the initial situation of your S/4HANA cloud implementation project:

  • Your current ERP system and its strengths & weaknesses
  • Goals and barriers in connection with the project
  • Composition of the process participants and their interests

The Discover phase of the SAP Activate Framework serves to develop your understanding of the functions of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and the resulting added value potential for your business.

Here, we manage the following activities:

  • User management on trial system
  • Solution scoping using the SAP Digital Discovery Assessment tool
  • Value discovery

At the end of this phase, we will have worked out the following parameters together so that the implementation project can begin:

  • Implementation scope
  • Timelines for the overall project
  • Target solution model
02.

Prepare Phase

This phase is used for the initial planning and preparation of your project. The project is launched in this phase. This also includes drawing up plans and putting together the project team to ensure an optimal start to the project.

We manage the following activities for this purpose:

  • Definition of project objectives, a project plan and a high-level overview of the scope
  • Identification and quantification of business value objectives
  • Ensuring executive sponsorship for the project
  • Establishing project standards, organisation and governance
  • Define implementation & upgrade strategy and obtain approval
  • Define roles and responsibilities for the project team
  • Validate project objectives
  • Establish mechanisms for project management, tracking and reporting of value delivery
  • Start self-enablement
  • Kick off the project
03.

Explore Phase

The purpose of the Explore Phase is to conduct a Fit-to-Standard Analysis to validate the solution functionalities in the project scope, and to confirm that the business requirements can be fulfilled with it. Any identified configuration value deltas are to be added to the backlog of the Realize Phase (04).

The Explore Phase contains the following activities:

  • Project management: implementation, monitoring and controlling
  • Empowering your project team
  • Fit-to-standard analysis
  • Configuration definition
  • Confirmation of integration requirements
  • Preparation of the solution extension
  • Preparation of the data load

In this phase, our solution experts lead a series of structured show-and-tell workshops and solution design workshops. The aim of these workshops is to review the best-practice functionalities in the SAP solution, identify any additional delta requirements and derive the target configuration of your SAP Cloud solution.

04.

Realize Phase

The core of the Realize phase is the incremental development and testing of an integrated business and system environment based on the process requirements that were identified in the previous phase and recorded in the backlog. During the Realize phase, the project team loads your data into the system, plans activities for adopting the solution and prepares the cutover plan and the operating concept for the solution.

Activities during Realize Phase:

  • Monitoring of project activities
  • Incremental configuration of the solution in the development system using a timeboxed iteration cycle
  • Simulation of the solution in the test environment
  • Data migration in preparation for tests
  • Execution of end-to-end tests of the business processes in the test environment
  • Carrying out training for the project team and key users
  • Setting up the production environment
  • Finalising training materials and documentation for end users
  • Planning of cutover activities
  • Tracking and reporting of value delivery

During this phase, the project team performs a series of iterations to incrementally configure, test, validate and document the complete end-to-end solution and import data. The project team will work closely with your business stakeholders to ensure that the solution built is a good fit for your needs. During this phase, the project team will release several iterations to the business users to achieve a faster time to value and enable early access to finalised functionalities.

05.

Deploy Phase

In the deploy phase, the production system is set up and it is checked to confirm your company’s readiness to deploy it. Cutover activities are then carried out and your business processes are transferred to your new S/4HANA cloud system.

Activities during Deploy Phase:

  • Finalisation of the solution and business processes for the productive go-live of the system
  • Resolution of all critical open defects
  • Carrying out system tests
  • Carrying out cutover activities including data migration
  • Implementation of changeover & cutover plans, as well as associated Organisational Change Management (OCM) plans where applicable
  • Completion of all scheduled end user training
  • Tracking and reporting of value delivery
  • Hypercare
  • Development of the post-go-live support plan
06.

Run and Adoption Phase

The Run and Adoption phase serves to further optimise and automate the operability of your SAP solution. This is defined as the ability to maintain the system in a functioning operational state at an availability and performance level that meets the business process requirements of your company.

The SAP Activate Framework lists the following activities here:

  • Ongoing operation of the system
  • Continuous change management
  • Continuous learning
  • Continuous improvement
  • Cyclical releases

Our consultants cover a broad spectrum of activities for these activities. We are happy to supplement the following activities with additional best practices in the form of an efficient and integrated DevOps operating organisation for your SAP solution that incorporates active support from our South African subsidiary bulheller consulting PTY LTD.

Maintenance and improvement:

  • Management of regular updates and patches to ensure security and performance
  • Customisation of SAP S/4HANA to specific business processes and requirements of your company
  • Requirements management and test management for incremental improvements and enhancements to your S/4HANA system
  • Implementation of customising in the EWM module

Our contacts are at your disposal

Valentin Knechtel

Senior Consultant
_________

E-Mail : 
v.knechtel@bulheller-consulting.de

References

Project management for rollouts of SAP business function templates in automotive OEM production facilities

SAP cutover and test management

Project management support for the implementation of the IT environment for the production of engines, transmissions, traction batteries and automobiles

Conception and further development of master templates for SAP business functions in the automotive industry

Hypercare and lifecycle management for SAP business functions using Cloud ALM’s predecessor system SAP Solution Manager