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Revelation Software Concepts once again exhibited at both TechEd Berlin and TechEd Las Vegas and not surprisingly since Application Lifecycle Management was a major theme this year, we spoke with many of your peers about SAP change control, change control pain points and potential technology solutions.

Interestingly, the pain points mentioned this year have not changed at all from those mentioned last TechEd. However, the recognition of the need for a change control technology to assist in overcoming those pain points has with most of those having not implemented a technology, looking at doing so. Naturally, in this regard Solution Manager Change and Request Manager (ChaRM) was a hot topic of discussion.

SAP change control

Unlike in past years, almost every attendee we met at TechEd regardless of role was well aware of what change control was, why it was important and what it involved. Most however, had not yet resolved how best to manage their change activities to ensure maximum control was achieved and were still struggling to resolve how they could minimize the risks change introduced.

Top five SAP change control pain points

In particular, there were concerns as to how best to manage the risks associated with managing change around the top five pain points highlighted in discussions.

You may be interested to learn what the top five pain points mentioned were:

   1. Managing the reapplication or retrofit process of changes from a support stream into a project stream
   2. Managing parallel development in both a single support landscape and across a support /project stream combination
   3. Managing mixed technology stack changes with and without CTS+
   4. Managing change dependencies across solutions to ensure all are managed together
   5. Managing communication within development teams across locations and even within the same location.

Managing the ongoing sequencing of transports was also a frequent mention as was managing the approval process.

Solution Manager ChaRM

Naturally, in discussing potential technology solutions the subject of SAP Solution Manager ChaRM as a change control technology was a constant discussion point, with a number of TechEd attendees telling us ChaRM was implemented (with varying degrees of success), being implemented, or being considered for implementation. However many also told us that although ChaRM had been seriously considered, an alternative solution was being sought. Various reasons were cited for looking at ChaRM alternatives but most of these boiled down to them believing that ChaRM didn’t quite go far enough in order to meet their particular change control needs or it wasn’t going to meet them in a way they believed was best for them.

Next Steps

If you are considering implementing a change control technology, whether this be ChaRM or another tool, we suggest you to look closely at what other thrid-pary solutions might bring by way of flexibility, simplicity, ease of use and powerful pain reducing features as part of your overall evaluation.

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