At SAP, we know that business process availability is not merely a function
of the underlying technology. Availability hinges on how that technology
is first implemented and then supported, day in and day out. Functional
and technical project teams must work in concert (not in a vacuum, and
certainly not at odds with one another!) and so should in-house technical
teams and outside consultants, including those from SAP. The new SAP Solution
Management Roadmap offers a methodology for getting various operational
issues to work in lockstep - issues like procedures, best practices, definitions
of roles and responsibilities, integration and hand-off procedures between
functional and technical teams, integration with SAP and partners, service
definitions, and so on.
Tight integration among these operational
concerns is more relevant today than ever before. Why? Consider for a
moment the core business processes in your own company. How many software
components, systems, and interfaces do you need to run your business processes?
How many organizations, whether in-house or external, are involved in
the implementation and maintenance of your business processes? This might
include hardware vendors, software providers (SAP and non-SAP), network
providers, third-party product providers, and technical and functional
implementation partners. Now consider that the implementation team is
generally not the same team that will be running and supporting the solution!
This makes communication and coordination among all parties involved absolutely
critical. The overriding need for a single, common methodology that
can effectively govern these numerous operational concerns was the motivation
for the SAP Solution Management Roadmap.
Some Observations on Implementation - Does This Sound Familiar?
It's probably not surprising that in many implementation projects
the technical and functional parts of the implementation operate as
two separate projects. In fact, we find again and again that:
Clearly SAP has a vested interest in
ensuring that every customer can successfully implement SAP-provided
business processes. So SAP has taken steps to define a clear, shared
methodology for both the implementation of the technical infrastructure
and the ongoing management of the solution.
- The technical and functional parts of a typical implementation
project are nearly equal in terms of complexity, effort, and expended
- The functional and technical implementation teams have different
target groups: the operational organization and functional units,
- In many cases, the functional and technical implementations
are delivered by different professional service organizations
and by separate project teams operating with separate budgets.
- Most customers do not have a formal plan in place to guide
the hand-off from the implementation team to the support organization.
The SAP Solution Management Roadmap clearly
defines all these critical points of operational integration. It is a
resource for the technical project team, the customer's support team,
SAP technical consultants, and SAP partners alike.1
Solution Management Objectives and Key Deliverables
The SAP Solution Management Roadmap provides a clear methodology for
the implementation of the technical infrastructure and for the continuing
operation of the solution. This methodology includes:
- A unified view of the technical implementation of mySAP.com solution
- Procedures and SAP Best Practices2 to ensure
the successful implementation of your technical infrastructure and your
- Clear statements regarding the roles and responsibilities of SAP
and all the parties involved
- Integration and synchronization points between the functional and
- Integration and hand-off procedures between the project team and
the support organization
- Definition of the services that are provided by SAP, as the solution
provider, to ensure the successful implementation of business processes
Figure 1 introduces you to the scope
and deliverables of the SAP Solution Management Roadmap project. As you
can see, the Roadmap is designed for use during the Discovery & Evaluation,
Implementation, and Operations & Continuous Improvement stages, and
is targeted at customers, partners, and SAP's technical consulting organization.
The Roadmap is easily accessible via the
SAP Solution Manager and the SAP Service Marketplace (www.service.sap.com).3
||Scope and Deliverables of the SAP Solution Management
Checkpoints Along the Way to Safeguard Your Business Processes
To ensure successful implementation of your business processes and smooth-running
operations, we have devised a series of checkpoints, shown in Figure 1.
Once a major milestone has been reached in the implementation, SAP's support
organization checks the most important deliverables of that phase. For
example, before you go live, SAP ensures that your production environment
has been properly set up and that everything is in place.
In mapping the roles, checkpoints, and
deliverables for all parties involved - the customer, partners, and SAP
- the SAP Solution Management Roadmap includes a model for a collaborative
approach to preventing problems, the SAP Collaborative Safeguarding program
(see Figure 2). In this model, the customer and implementation
partners implement the solution, and SAP checks and supports the implementation
||The SAP Collaborative Safeguarding Model
A Unified Methodology to Bring Together the Functional and Technical
For business processes to work effectively, the functional and technical
facets of the implementation and ongoing operation of a business process
must work hand-in-hand. For this reason, SAP provides a unified framework
for the implementation of any mySAP.com solution. From this general methodology
you also are referred to solution-specific Best Practices. In effect,
you get the best of both worlds: a guiding set of general, overarching
principles and solution-specific content (such as Best Practices) that
fit into that generic unifying framework.
The SAP Solution Management Roadmap consists
of the five phases shown in Figure 3. Each phase contains work
packages that consist of a collection of activities, with tasks and procedures
to be performed during each phase. To ensure synchronization among all
the parties and processes, the Roadmap defines project milestones
needed at the completion of the deliverables in each phase, and describes
the services SAP provides to assure the quality of the project implementation.
||Five Phases of the SAP Solution Management Roadmap
For example, the major deliverable of "Technical
& Integration Design" (Phase 2) is the Technical Design document
- your blueprint for establishing the technical infrastructure, including
software components, servers, network infrastructure, output devices,
and so on. To complete this work package, a number of activities and tasks
need to be performed. Once completed, SAP reviews the feasibility of the
Benefits of the SAP Solution Management Roadmap
With the SAP Solution Management Roadmap, you don't need to reinvent
the wheel when it comes to managing the people, procedures, and practices
involved in your implementation. The SAP Solution Management Roadmap:
- Speeds up the implementation of your technical infrastructure
by using a standard methodology
- Provides Best Practices on how to implement specific aspects
of your solution management
- Provides recommendations for the communication process between
your technical and functional teams
- Offers standard procedures for the transition from your project
teams to your support organization
- Provides clear statements regarding the roles and responsibilities
of SAP and the parties involved
- Provides a clear definition of the services provided by SAP
to ensure a successful implementation
To Learn More...
Integrating the functional and technical implementation with the ongoing
operation of complex solution landscapes is one of the big challenges
in achieving high availability for core business processes. This methodology
is designed to do just that.
Look for the first version of the SAP Solution
Management Roadmap at the beginning of 2002, available via the SAP Solution
Manager or the SAP Service Marketplace.
For the latest on the SAP Solution Management
Roadmap, visit the SAP Service Marketplace at www.service.sap.com.
The SAP Solution Management Roadmap complements the SAP Implementation
Roadmap, which uses the Accelerated SAP methodology. However, it is designed
to be used with any functional implementation methodology.
more on SAP Best Practices, see "Empower Your IT Team with SAP's
Best Practices for Solution Management" by
Ute Rueckert-Daschakowsky in this issue of SAP Insider.
The SAP Solution Manager is the tool provided by SAP to support you during
the evaluation and implementation phases. It serves as a communications
platform and a central pillar of the new SAP service infrastructure. It
also supports you in the successful technical implementation and management
of your mySAP.com solutions with respect to core business processes.
more on the SAP Collaborative Safeguarding
program, see "Preventing
Problems Before They Can Disrupt Your Business
Processes: The SAP Collaborative Safeguarding
Program" by Rüdiger Fries in
this issue of SAP
Vivian Luechau-de la Roche began working with SAP software in 1993 as a
Basis Consultant. She joined SAP in 1999 and is currently an SAP Support
Architect in the Technology Center of Expertise located at SAP Australia