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How to make agile methodology work for your SAP implementation?

In the present competitive dynamic business and IT world the end users’ needs are ever changing. Agile methodology helps teams respond to the unpredictability of building software through incremental, iterative work rhythms known as sprints.  Agile methods empowers teams to optimize the releases as it is developed and makes them as competitive as possible in the marketplace

This effectively gives the end user the system they want or need rather than a rigid program that can not satisfy business needs.  

 

What do you need to do to make Agile work for your SAP implementation?

  • You need an accurate project planning and right project management tools available.
  • Project Plan should identify Resources with the right skill set at the right time on the right task.
  • Self motivating team that encourage a positive culture to derive the right synergy from the team.
  • Budget your cost accurately. Cost on the project will tend to be on the higher side as agile methods (quick wins) reduce the cycle’s time, but may add cost in the form of expert resources or more resources. To maintain good quality of deliverable, we need to balance between scope, time and cost. If the scope remains same and time is reduced, this will translate to higher cost.
  • The stakeholders should be able to test a functioning system build at each iteration cycle. End user testers should be skilled and experts in the business processes to give accurate and timely feedback.
  • Plan right resource availability around Design, build and testing phases due to iterative nature of the agile project. Note that Agile can be done during design, build and testing phases. You cannot have an agile plan & analyze or cut-over deployment phases.
  • Open communication. Keep all stakeholders in the communication loop on the project status, issue and risks.
  • Team members should be encouraged to escalated any issues/risk openly.
  • Manage scope. Agile method is not to increase scope, there are to make adjustment and to overcome any obstacles along the way
  • Develop and train the end users few weeks before the Go live. The end users can add great value to fine tune and adjust the systems as desired.

 

All SAP implementation encounters obstacles on the way to perfection, and can be overcome with introducing agile methodology to achieve the goal rapidly.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Have you done Agile in your SAP projects? What specific things did you do differently in that project as compared to traditional ASAP? And what was the result? Did you manage to go live earlier than planned or with higher quality or lesser cost?
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Yes we are able to use agile techniques in one of our enhancement quarterly releases and we went live earlier.
      We took this approach as we have short time to implement and we do not have a proven design solution as it was our first time integrating with SFDC.  We went live in compressed time line. I would say Quality (Q) and Cost(C) remained the same. In future release our focus is on Q & C.

      As an example we had to build an interface between SAP ECC, MDM & SFDC to integrate Customer (Sold-to) with Enterprise Accounts in Salesforce.  As this is the 1st time we worked on this kind of integrations, we used agile methodology (Design „³ Build „³ Test ¡V Re-design „³ Re-build„³ Re-test„³ and so on¡K) until we arrived at a feasible and efficient solution. At our company we are planning to deploy our projects in a more agile manner. In the beginning it will be ASAP and Agile, but eventually our goal is to lean more towards agile methodology.

      Note: We used agile methodology only during Design, Build and Testing phases and the traditional methodology for Analyze, Planning and Deployment.