Deployment is one of the final steps in any implementation. SAP deployment is a complex and critical component of the project.
Your main goals during SAP deployment is to migrating new functionality and make your legacy data available in you new SAP system. It means switching on the “SAP system of record” and turning off the existing legacy systems. User will use this new SAP user interfaces/screens to continue with their day to day business. Based on your company size and complexity, the overall timeline varies. There are many moving parts involved during any deployment activity. I listed here 12 key priority areas that you and your team should keep an eye on to make your SAP deployment smooth and successful.
- 1. Estimation of projects deployment scope and timelines is one of the key factors in a successful deployment. The scope and timelines forecast is useful to set expectations with all the stakeholders, and identifies the availability of resources in executing tasks
- 2. Define standardized templates – Identify and define standard templates for project tracking and status reports. You should use standard templates to capture your data, to capture load statistics, dashboards etc.
- 3. Inform key stakeholders – All key stake holders should be kept informed throughout the project. This can be in the form of email communication and should cover topic like project status (on track, delayed), major issues and get well plan.
- 4. Communication to all project team members – To set clear expectations about the deployment you need to maintain communication with all stakeholders. Their support and commitment is the key for a smooth cutover process. Your Change management team and Business readiness team should be involved and part of your project team
- 5. Multiple updates to project plan – To may team members updating project plan will adversely impact the timelines and scheduling. Only the project manager or his/her representative should make updates.
- 6. Performance issues – Performance of the SAP systems should be monitored during transport imports and data conversion loads. Your SAP basis team may have to clear buffers and logs periodically to keep the performance of your system at the optimum. Involve your Basis team in monitoring the batch jobs and table buffers. As needed, your Basis team can index the tables, monitor processor usage, and load balance the application servers to improve system performance. The goal here is to optimize performance and system availability.
- 7. Transport issues – Out of sequence transport imports can create havoc during your deployment. Dependencies should be established and signed off and locked. Transport migrations should be logically grouped into multiple batches and monitored during migration.
- 8. Key Team members late engagement – Some of the critical state holders are usually left out or engaged late in the game without definitive roles and responsibility. This will add confusion and delays in delivering the project. Stakeholders on the project should be identified and roles and responsibilities should be communicated and agreed upon.
- 9. Checkpoint meetings – Project should have periodic checkpoint/status meeting. These meeting should not span more than 30 minutes. All the project team members should be invited to these meeting and a status report should be emailed immediately after the meeting. The checkpoint meeting should discuss what is planned, what is accomplished; Issues and Risk Team members should honestly bring up any risk they see. The SME should be included in the meeting to tackle any unresolved issues and to mitigate any potential risks/issues.
- 10. Facilities – Make sure that there are no power outages, A/C or water maintenance, projector availability and access to the building and floor during off hours. This is usually over looked and imagine what would happen if they is a few hours of power outage for building maintenance.
- 11. Batch jobs interfaces – A batch job interface coordinator should be identified and all the interfaces (inbound, outbound, batch, real time) should have been tested during integration testing phase. Sequencing and timing should be defined and jobs should be scheduled way in advance. In case of failure, there should me notification to responsible team members to take appropriate action.
- 12. Super Care Plan – Even a successful go-live will encounter issues related to data, user access, functionality, or training. This super care team should comprise of functional, business, security, and Basis team members. This team helps the business user become comfortable with the system.
There are multiple factors involved for a successful SAP deployment. These 12 KSF (Key Success Factor) will help you deploy your SAP implementation successfully.