How SAP work to develop new solutions – my experiences
I have been lucky enough to spend the last 5 days testing and working with the SAP FSCM developers and product owners. We have been looking at the new functionality they plan to release after Enhancement Pack 5. Prior to the 5 day testing I have been involved with the Product Manager to go through the functionality with a customer to obtain a customer’s perspective. Due to a NDA I cannot share what SAP plan to implement nor can I share when they plan to implement it. However I can share my experiences around how the team worked and why they deliver such good solutions.
Agile: The first thing I learned was that the work was being implemented using the Agile methodology. This has been warmly received by the whole team and it seems to be working.
Process knowledge: My experience of programmers, and this is very generalist, is that in the main most programmers do not have great process knowledge. This is far from the case within the teams I encountered. Some of these programmers have been working in the Finance space for over 20 years and have worked on FSCM since it began. They really understand the business drivers and what real life users will do within a system. Having this amazing skilled workforce enables such stable and strong code and easy to use screens.
Integration: OK this is one of the things SAP do best. One module integrates and speak with another data moves seamlessly around and everything is captured. The new process I was working on was reliant on data from different modules within SAP. Whilst the solution was designed and implemented by strong SAP Finance and SAP FSCM developers, they had strong integration knowledge which was evident in the solution I tested.
Room for improvement: As with most testing cycles things will be missed and changes maybe required. The team were receptive to take on board the feedback that I gave along with some other testers from clients. As with the points above, due to their detailed knowledge they understood why the changes that were proposed were necessary. I never expected to see the final solution, however towards the end of the testing cycle some of our recommendations were already making their way into the test box. Hopefully when the solution is released, I can turn round and say, you see that field I helped design that.
OK, so there you have it a short and sweet view of my week testing some new SAP FSCM functionality. There is plenty more that I have learnt and see but I do not believe now is the right time to share this. As I write this Enhancement Package 5 is only days away from moving into Ramp up. For SAP FSCM users there are some significant changes within the core functionality and some brand new stuff which I will cover in the New Year. I would like to thank the SAP FSCM team for their time and for the opportunity. I know now that they read blogs and find it interesting to see what other customers and partners think of the solution and how it is used.