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I came across many team members at various SAP implementations asking “What is my role? What am I supposed to do?”

Did you ever wonder what your role on your SAP implementations is and what you are supposed to do in your day to day job? In this blog, I captured brief functions of three main roles in any SAP implementation – Business Analyst, Functional Analyst & Technical Analyst.

Business Analyst roles:

  1. Serve as a liaison to the business community
  2. Analyze and design business processes.
  3. Assess current capabilities
  4. Identify new requirements.
  5. Define business requirements and use cases.
  6. Assist in translating requirements and use cases into test conditions and expected results.
  7. Participate in quality management reviews.
  8. Review designs, prototypes and other requirements to ensure they fulfill business requirements.
  9. Help in design the training and transfer knowledge to post production support team.

Functional Analyst roles:

  1. Translate Business requirements into Design solutions
  2. Develop proof of concept and conduct a Design and Build CRP (conference room pilot).
  3. Design configuration and customization to meet the business process design and application requirements.
  4. Configure the system to match the design solution.
  5. Identify all RICEFW objects
  6. Participate in testing in all RICEFW and Portal Objects.
  7. Complete all appropriate documentation (Example – Configuration Rationale)

Technical Analyst roles:

  1. Knowledge of the SAP functionality and other peripheral applications in scope.
  2. Translate functional specification requirements into technical requirements.
  3. Develop common test data.
  4. Configure, build, and test the application components.
  5. Participate in code reviews.
  6. Escalate any issues that may affect any other areas of the project.
  7. Participate in transitions of the application or technical components to the testers.
  8. Address defects and performance issues discovered during testing.
  9. Document the application steps to facilitate post production team maintain the system after deployment.

Model -1:

image

This is the model existing in most of the current and past SAP implementation.

Business Analyst interacts with Business community and communicates the requirements to Functional Analyst. Example: Requirement matrix.

Functional Analyst designs and builds the configuration elements and communicates the specification and identifies development objects and communicates this to Technical Analyst. Example: Functional Design Specification and Configuration rationales.

Technical Analyst:  Designs application objects based on the Functional specifications, unit tests the designed and developed objects and fixes any defects cropped up during unit and UAT testing.

Here communication path is always from Business Analyst to Functional Analyst to Technical Analyst.  Any query or concern goes though this chain and there is high probability that the communication getting distorted or lost in translation. This is a simple model that I depicted here, but in true projects you have a team of Business Analysts / leads/managers, a team of Functional Analyst/leads/managers a big team of technical Analysts/leads/managers.

This model had its own benefits, in a way that each team focuses on their tasks at hand. It works well assuming the requirements are reasonably accurate and there is no scope creep. The flipside is requirements and specification communication travels in muti stages. As the business analyst do not interact with Technical analyst or vice-versa, both of them do not gain any knowledge in other areas. Added to this if the functional analyst is not skilled enough or not a good communicator, you know what happens to the SAP implementation.

Model-2:

image

This is the future model that will be embraced by many organization and drives teams to be agile, efficient, effective and productive.

Business Analyst, Functional Analyst and Technical Analyst communicate seamlessly. This will create positive synergy leading to efficient utilization of project time and effective fulfillment of business requirement. Also all the team members gain understanding on Business, Functional and technical aspects of the project. In this model, I depicted uniform overlapping between each of these roles with the assumption that all roles are equally capable. In reality, the overlap may wary based on expertise.

Some of the benefits resulting from this model are:

  • 1. Clear communication
  • 2. Team members better understand requirements, design and solution.
  • 3. Effective utilization of time and resources
  • 4. Productive fulfillment of business requirements
  • 5. Expand team member skills and knowledge area
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9 Comments

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    1. S Munagavalasa Post author
      That is correct Aditya. Majority of the companies ( based on what i saw and discussion with colleagues and friends) are looking at this skill set.

      Tx.
      Srini

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  1. Juan Reyes
    I think you forgot something…

    What happened to the old “Basis Fellas”?… Without US you won’t have a system at all.

    😀

    Juan

    (0) 
    1. S Munagavalasa Post author
      Hi Juan,

      Basis friends are integral part for any SAP implementation. Basis comes under Technical Analysis. I work day in and day out with our basis friends and they do a terrific job. To name a few – Client copy, Stat monitoring, cleaning up buffers and system performance improvement.

      I will address each of the areas in details in my future blogs.

      Thanks for pointing this out.
      Thanks,
      Srini

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        1. Rayees Palot
          Poor NetWeaver/Basis Folks !!!!

          What happened to the following Roles & Responsibilities of a NetWeaver/Basis Administrator/Consultant before/during/after an SAP implementation project.

          1.     Install and configure all required SAP database servers and application servers.
          2.     Implement and maintain the multiple SAP instances that comprise the SAP environment (development, test, training and production).
          3.     Maintain the integrity of the SAP environment by managing the SAP Correction and Transport System (CTS) to ensure all configuration and development objects are promoted properly.
          4.     Introduce technical changes into the environment using a structured approach that minimizes risk and achieves high reliability, availability and performance of each SAP instance.
          5.     Design and implement an optimal SAP configuration to maximize system performance and availability.
          6.     Manage SAP users, authorizations, and profiles.
          7.     Distribute the online SAP user workload and monitor and manage the SAP background job workload.
          8.     Configure and manage the SAP printing subsystem for all SAP instances.
          9.     Maintain SAP performance by planning and executing SAP tuning strategies.
          10.     Monitor all SAP systems (work processes, users, system logs, short dumps, locks, developer traces, system traces, disk space, etc.).
          11.     Administer the SAP database with Database Administrator (plan and perform database upgrades, apply database maintenance, design and maintain physical database layout, perform database reorganizations, design and implement backup and restore strategy, maintain database security, administer database performance, manage database storage, database problem determination and resolution, etc.).
          12.     Perform SAP client administration (create client, copy client, delete client, export/import client) as required.
          13.     Participate in the planning and implementation of SAP system upgrades.
          14.     Apply and migrate SAP maintenance (hot packages and kernel upgrades) through all systems using a structured methodology.
          15.     Develop and maintain system documentation for all SAP instances and interfaces.
          16.     Provide Status & Performance Reports for projects to management……………

          -Rayees Palot

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          1. S Munagavalasa Post author
            Thank You Rayees Palot. Experts like you provide valuable feedback. I appreciate your taking time and providing us details in the area of your expertise.
            Thanks for a detailed description of all the tasks performed by our basis/system admin friends. This is great. I am planning to write blogs on each of the areas (Business Analyst, Functional Analyst and Technical Analyst). Basis and System Admin will fall under Technical Analyst capability and I will make sure to capture all critical tasks provided by you.
            Again Thanks for providing detailed feedback.

            Best,
            Srini

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    2. Tobias Hofmann
      Juan,
      Basis only get’s involved when you need someone to blame: password locked, slow transactions, downtime (planned and communicated, but why read the text), permissions 🙂

      br, Tobias

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      1. Juan Reyes
        Don’t take me wrong, We enjoy taking the back sit sometimes, taking the blame is a different story… 9 out of 10 times the slow transaction chat finish in… Why are you running that query for the whole decade in one go?.

        Also, we get great joy when you ask someone, can you remember your password?.. and they actually tell you their password is.

        Ahhh the joys…

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