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Business Process Challenges for today’s BPXer

Well this has been a long time coming, actually just about as long as the BPX community has been around so its finally time to put pen to paper ..


Welcome to the first in a series of blogs on the topic of Business and Process Admin, Governance and Enterprise Management. Since that title is a little bit on the long side, lets shorten it to an acronym. How about BAPA GAEM ?


No, that did not read ABAP GAME,  actually the series content will cover the following topics;


  1. Business Process Governance in a Globally Decentralised SAP landscape
  2. Governance Strategies that may work for you including roles & responsibilities
  3. SAP and non SAP tools that can be used, leveraged and deployed when managing business processes enabled by SAP
  4. Real world SAP Business Process Management. Does an ABAP + Composite Scenario Landscape = ((Solution Manager BPH + ARIS) / (BPM+BRM)) * Design for Six Sigma ?
  5. TLA and Jargon busting for SAP environments, how can BPM mean two completely different things in the same SAP scenario ?
  6. Enterprise Services, real world challenges and issues when deploying within a mature SAP ABAP landscape


There are a whole bunch of other topics that I want to share with you in the upcoming months. In fact the TLA topic might move up the ladder after having been on a call yesterday for three hours. This was a demonstration between SAP & IDS Scheer on their BPM tools and how they are positioned to be deployed at the organisation I work for. It took 2.5 hours for them to both agree that in fact they meant different things by the term BPM!

Now, any Americans reading this will notice that I tend to use “S” instead of “Z” when writing, sometimes it will be the opposite. Lets just say that after moving to the US I have given up trying to spell some words in a particular way, sometimes I will revert to my Kiwi English and sometimes I will use the American English that my son is now picking up. After all, who else actually puts the national spelling championships on prime time television and then says that Organisation is spelt with a “Z”? Oh well, lets jump in;


Business Process Issue Overview 

Business Process Governance in a Globally Decentralised SAP landscape

Lets imagine the following (overly) simplistic scenario where you have three different SAP production instances spread over the globe. Located in Europe, North America and in Asia Pacific, each one was created as a system copy from the original. Following their own independent development and configuration paths, each has been subject to competing and conflicting business and project challenges over a period of time, unique to the regions.




  • How are you supposed to manage these SAP instances if they are funded by different organisational entities within your global organisation?
  • How can you leverage investment made in one SAP instance across the others when you do not have Global Business Process Owners ?
  • What is the rationale for harmonising business processes across the regions ?
  • How is it possible to deploy harmonised business processes that are configured in SAP the same way? 

What types of Business Process Management questions arise ?

Personally I have seen the following types of BPM process questions arise and the answers to them are not that straightforward.

BPM Questions

There are others that are similar and specific to SAP, we will cover those in more detail within the next blog. 

Business Process Issue – Reality 

If you imagine a typical scenario where an organisation may have implemented SAP globally, can you be 100% sure that they have captured and documented everything in a global instance of Solution Manager? I suspect that the answer is somewhere along the lines of static business process models captured as Visio diagrams, linked to business process scenarios in the Business Process Hierarchy (BPH) that at some point reflected an agreed position.


  • Up to date ? Probably not, we are to busy delivering the SAP projects !
  • SAP configuration reflects the agreed design ? Well it did when we came out of the initial business blueprint design workshops .
  • SLD Configured and updated automatically using RFC connections? What’s that, we are to busy delivering the SAP projects !

Business Process Issue – Resolution

Our solution will evolve over the next few blogs however we will build upon the following;

  • Use of Solution Manager and standard SAP transactions that are available to manage Cross System configuration
  • Third Party Toolsets such as ARIS for process modelling and RevTrac for SAP change management
  • Virtual Collaborative Governance Networks

We will take a close look at how you can use a virtual Governance organisation to manage the business process design side, and how the other tools mentioned above address the specific SAP configuration issues that arise. Things such as ;


  • What are the relevant SAP config objects that support a specific business scenario ?
  • Are there configuration or workbench variances for these objects across the globe?
  • What custom or composite applications can I redeploy across the globe?


Our goal will be to try to bring these strands together in an holistic manner that addresses business process governance at three levels;

  1. Business Process Design
  2. SAP Configuration and Workbench Object Development
  3. SAP Infrastructure Requirements

At the end of it, hopefully the community will have felt engaged enough to provide other examples or ideas that have not yet been suggested within this blog series. I am sure that many of you have already undertaken this journey and have valuable insight and experience to share with your fellow BPXers.

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