Before you kick-off an Alloy implementation project, you’ll for sure ask yourself who should join your project in order to make it a success. As Alloy connects the Lotus and the SAP world you’ll for sure need experts from both sides. But which skills are required from your project members? Who must contribute full time, and who part-time? How will a person’s role change during the project?
In this blog I’ll try to give you some food for thought. For sure some of the roles described here will be covered by more than one person. Other persons might cover more than one role. It simply depends on your organizational structure, the bought in consulting, your project and time plans, your scenarios, …
Your landscape will for sure look different (most probably: way more complex), but this view already enables us to identify certain key roles you’ll need in your project.
The Project Manager:
Like in every project there must be someone managing the whole thing. Someone who’ll drive topics, keeps things running and, “Doh!” sometimes handles all the problems.
This person should stay with the project full time, from the very beginning down to its glorious end.
The Alloy Consultant:
The Alloy consultant will most probably be a bought in consultant who is skilled in setting up and running Alloy landscapes. He/she will have an in deep knowledge of the Alloy product, its components and their configuration and setup. However as Alloy covers a wide range of technologies, this role hardly will be the “expert of it all”, but will be someone who has a basic understanding of all the technologies touched by Alloy.
SAP basis skills will be required like RFC, job scheduling, role concepts, user management, … the more the better. On Lotus side knowledge on Lotus Domino (landscapes), Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino architecture will be key.
As the project manager this role is required full time, and should join the project at the very beginning, from the concept phase through the implementation phase. He/she should be able to add some experience from former Alloy projects in order to tackle problems long before they occur.
The SAP NetWeaver Administrator:
This role requires basis administration skills on the SAP Web Application Server Java as well as the SAP Web Application Server ABAP. In deep knowledge on user management topics (like using the ABAP User store as a data source in the WebAS Java) and the role concept are key. When security questions come into play, this role should be familiar with SSL and SAML authentications. Setting up RFC connections between systems and scheduling background jobs should be a known task for this role.
You should consult this role in the conceptual phase of your project to make sure you didn’t miss something on the technical side. Especially at the beginning of the implementation phase, you’ll require this role full time. This might change when basic technical configurations are established and tasks move more to the application side.
The Application Consultant:
The Application Consultants profile highly depends on the project scope. If you’re implementing Alloy Travel- and/or Leave Management some HR background will be required. If you plan to incorporate your SAP BI system for Alloy reporting, BI knowledge will be required. And finally if you’re planning to expose SAP Business Workflow decisions through Alloy, a SAP Workflow consultant might be required. Depending on your scenarios even some ABAP programming skills might be required.
But as I said, this highly depends on your project scope, but also on the given environment. For example if you’re already using Employee Self Services (ESS) like Absence Management in e.g. your SAP NetWeaver Portal, then your customization efforts on HR side will be smaller compared to when you plan to introduce ESS scenarios first time with Alloy.
This role should be consulted in the conceptual phase of your project and expected contribution will rise while the project implementation phase moves on.
The Domino Administrator:
This role is the counterpart on Lotus side to the SAP NetWeaver Administrator. The skill set required for an Alloy implementation spans from user management tasks (the The one with the SAP ID mapping is done in the Domino Directory), HTTP configuration, security settings (SAML) and creation and maintenance of the Alloy Server.
As I said, this role is the counterpart of the SAP NetWeaver Administrator, so you should bring the persons behind these roles together, the earlier the better.
Involve this role in the conceptual phase of your project. Full time input is required from this role at the beginning of the implementation phase. Like the SAP NetWeaver Administrator this might change in later stages.
However, you should be aware that you’ll require both administrators (Domino and SAP NetWeaver) during the whole project. Moreover both administrators have to work closely together, during the whole lifecycle of the Alloy implementation.
Lotus Notes Frontend Designer:
Like the Application Consultant the Lotus Notes Frontend Designer skill set highly depends on your project scope. You might not even need it, in case you use the delivered Alloy forms and views. If you’re implementing Alloy Leave-, Travel- or Report Management you’ll most probably won’t need it. If you’re planning to expose SAP Business Workflow decisions through Alloy you’ll most probably need one.
The required skills should cover good knowledge in Lotus Notes and Domino as well as programming skills in (at least one of the following): Lotus Script, Lotus Formula Language (@ Language) and/or Java.
Using the Domino Designer should be a common task for this role.
Depending on your scope, this role might be a full time job or won’t be required at all. Contributions from this role will rise while the project implementation phase moves on.