This Project Management tip comes courtesy of Michael Pytel of NIMBL, who spoke at our Projects 2010 event. Determine the role SAP Solution Manager plays before, during, and after any SAP Business Suite upgrade project,
Why Do We Need SAP Solution Manager?
Become more agile and responsive
Enable cost-cutting initiatives
Infrastructure is more complex
Budgets and resources are stretched
Standardize IT tasks
Enhance customer service (a.k.a. support)
Required for all SAP NetWeaver® landscapes
As of EHP4, SAP Solution Manager builds the input file for the Enhancement Package Installer
SAP Solution Manager’s Role in Your Landscape
- Central component for the implementation, maintenance, and support of your SAP landscape throughout its life cycle
Basic Requirements for Any Project Tool
- List project tasks to be completed
- Maintain assignment of tasks to project team members
- Store documentation associated to the project tasks
- Track progress of project tasks
- Support custom-defined statuses of tasks and project documents
- Enable project team members to collaborate on documents
- Reusable for future projects
- Support project reporting by task, person, team, or keywords
- Enable project issue tracking
What Is Project Administration?
- Built to support SAP’s ASAP methodology as a project implementation tool
- Facilitates end-to-end project delivery and support
- Includes tracking and metrics capabilities
- Tight SAP product integration with Project IMGs, Service Desk, Test Workbench, etc.
- Documentation repository
- Common SAP tool and platform
Not only useful for upgrades, but also for EHP implementations and long-term operations
Arguments for Using Project Administration …
- SAP Solution Manager is SAP’s primary platform for the delivery of support and maintenance services; it’s not going anywhere
- Supports all major features of any document management system
- 100% integrated into the SAP Business Suite 2010
- Delivered with SAP-provided implementation content — templates, forms, deliverable guides, projects plans, etc.
- Required if you want to use Impact Analysis, Business Process Monitoring, or Change Request Management
- Allows your project documentation to evolve into production support documentation, which is 100% reusable for the next upgrade project
What Do I Need to Get Started?
- SAP Solution Manager 7.0 with Enhancement Package 1 (SPS 22)
Includes automated setup via wizards
Lots of enhancements in Test Workbench
- SAP recommends a two-system landscape for SAP Solution Manager: Development and Production
You can leverage Development for more than just testing patches — allow it to perform technical monitoring
- SAP Solution Manager focused resource, at least for the first few weeks when setting up Project Administration
Train project team members
What Does It Take to Set Up a Project?
- Associate a solution landscape to your project
Solution landscape = logical grouping of systems
- Choose a roadmap for your project
SAP ERP upgrade, SAP CRM installation, SAP SRM,
SAP SCM, etc.
Custom statuses and keywords
- Upload your project templates
Business process procedures, technical specs, functional specs, etc.
The Project Is Set Up, Now What?
- It’s time to start building the business process areas to store your project documents
- The structure is highly configurable and can be changed at any time, with proper authorizations
Limit the number of project team members that can change the project structure
- Begin training your project team leads
Create several test projects as a playground
- Do not get hung up on the project struc
ture — it can and will change as you become more comfortable with the tool
How Should I Structure My Project?
- How are you running your project?
By functional area?
? FI, SD, MM, etc.
By end-to-end business process?
? Order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, etc.
- You have three levels to work with — no more
Business scenario (e.g., financials)
Business process (e.g., accounts payable)
Business process step (e.g., post down-payment request)
What Is the Business Process Repository (BPR)?
- SAP provided template of business processes based on research and customer experiences
- Generally includes some help documentation, transaction codes, and links to IMG activities
- Can be used as a guide for configuring your own business processes
- Only select what you want to copy — disregard the rest
- Great for project team training — provides examples of the minimum amount of information that should be created in Project Administration
- Updated via the SAP Solution Manager component ST-ICO
Project Administration’s Proven Value
- Gains visibility into the scope of the project
Who’s assigned to what task, and what’s the task status
What business processes are in scope for my project
- Associates transaction codes and IMG menu items to the business process
Great knowledge base for production support post go-live
- Centrally report against and find information using SOLAR_EVAL
- No more hidden items
See what has been configured and what is outstanding
Search by document title, owner, keywords
Add TREX and search the content of documents
- Ensures all business processes and transactions are cataloged
If it’s not in Project Administration, its not in scope
Single repository for information about all your business processes
- Stores functional and technical specification documents for custom development items (e.g., Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Enhancements, Forms, and Workflows
- Enables project documents to be reusable
SAP Solution Manager is a long-term solution and will be part of every SAP landscape for the foreseeable future
To help answer your questions about using SAP Solution Manager for project management, Michael will be hosting an Insider Learning Network Q&A on SAP Solution Manager in the IT Forum on Thursday, April 28 at 1:30-2:30pm EST. To participate, register here for more SAP Solution Manager tips and to join the discussion on April 28, 1:30-2:30 EST.
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