Planning plays crucial role in any Upgrade & Unicode conversion project. So the planning phase should start ahead of time to make sure we included all the items needs to be catered during the project. Below are some of the action items you should start looking at if you are planning for Upgrade.
Plan additional hardware availability ahead of project start
Every Upgrade project will require additional hardware in terms of maintaining dual landscape, hardware for SandBox system, hardware for mock executions (Production like environment) & extra hardware for parallel export/import to reduce downtime during cutover. Need to plan the availability of the same hardware ahead of time so that we don’t hit any delays.
Plan for OS/DB/SP Upgrade in separate window (Prerequisite)
OS/DB/SP Upgrade might be required as a prerequisite for Upgrade & Unicode conversion project. You should plan the same in separate downtime window. If you plan to perform it during Upgrade downtime window then it may add-up on your business downtime requirement.
Business downtime planning
Business downtime is probably the biggest challenge for any SAP Upgrade & Unicode conversion project. Now SAP is providing quite a lot tools which can be used to reduce the downtime & risk involved during the project cutover. You may want to refer my earlier blog on how to minimize the downtime during Upgrade & Unicode conversion projects.
SAP Server sizing
In general, the impact on existing IT infrastructure depends on the following criteria:
- Unicode conversion planned along with Upgrade
- Short or long transition path (the difference between the current and target release)
- Scope of functional enhancements in the target release
- Extent of utilization of existing IT infrastructure (such as number of users)
With the help of SAP standard application benchmarks (results at www.sap.com/benchmark), you can get a good estimate of CPU and memory consumption of particular SAP ERP components. In all cases, you should plan to conduct a hardware requirements analysis. You should also contact your hardware vendor to verify if your current hardware will support the upgrade.
Third party/Other SAP system Compatibility check
Should plan for performing impact analysis and defining a detailed approach for handling interfaces, this should be a joint efforts from Upgrade team & the third party vendor team. Need to prepare a compatibility matrix for each of the SAP or non-SAP systems that are currently interfacing with existing environment. Need to take proactive approach & plan ahead of time to upgrade the respective systems.
Solution Manager Implementation
SAP Solution Manager serves as a central platform for the implementation and continuous improvement of an SAP solution. It contains specific upgrade features that provide direct access to the latest available SAP Upgrade Road Map version. The SAP Upgrade Road Map is part of SAP Solution Manager and provides SAP’s standard methodology to plan and execute an SAP upgrade project. It contains best practices and templates for project management, as well as functional and technical aspects facilitating key tasks of the entire project team. In order to use the SAP Upgrade Road Map with SAP Solution Manager, access transaction RMMAIN. The tool facilitates key project activities such as application adjustments (upgrade/delta customizing), testing and end-user training.
Note: SAP Solution Manager is technically required to perform an upgrade.
Identify right people for Upgrade project
It’s very important that you chose right people for your Upgrade project, the team should have good Upgrade background & good experience in the system. An upgrade project team usually consists of the following stakeholders at the customer:
- Project lead
- Key users / business process experts who Have a wide business process knowledge
- SAP Basis / technology team
- End users who perform the acceptance tests
- Experts for the interfaces between SAP and legacy systems
- External project members, for example, consultants, third-party software vendors, project sponsor, and other members of the customer’s management team
Plan unused code retirement
In general about 30 – 40% of the custom code is unused at most of the customers. Hence should plan this activity before start of the upgrade to reduce the upgrade remediation and testing efforts. In addition to that the new ERP 6.0 system will be clean going forward. After identifying the custom objects which should be retired, the subsequent step will be the deletion of these custom objects from the Development System.
SAP Business function prediction service
SAP Business Function Prediction service for customers to help them with Functional innovation for their roadmap. This service helps Prediction of relevant EHP functionality based on your existing system usage. This is a free of cost service. This can be requested in the project preparation phase.
Plan SAP involvement for Upgrade check
There are a number of services categorized as Continuous Quality Checks provided by SAP (https://websmp202.sap-ag.de/cqc). However, in the context of Upgrade, we should plan for the following.
- SAP Functional Go Live Check
- SAP Technical Go Live Check
I hope you would not need to execute the fall back plan during the project, but to prepare for the worst case scenario we should have one handy. Every customer will have its own fall back plan or DRS plan. The same plan can be used during the Upgrade as well. It’s recommended to try the execution once in mock environment to check on the process.
Part2 – Coming soon 🙂