In this series of blogs Alain Dumas and I would like to outline comprehensive framework for assessing and improving your organization’s use of SAP Solution Manager. We would like to present to you how to realize quick wins by identifying potential Solution Manager functionalities which your team may not yet be using to its fullest. We will examine the overall functionalities contained within Solution Manager and map them to a concept of Best Practice Processes and supporting Best Practice Processes and finally, to explain how Solution Manager contributes to the IT operating model. Here is the complete list of the topics we will review:
- How and why? Adpotion of SAP Solution Manager
- Business Configuration
- Solution Design and documentation of solution
- Innovation Management
- Solution Configuration and Template Management
- Test Management
- Business Continuity
- Change Request Management
- Incident and Problem Management
- Technical Operations
- Business Process Operations
- Maintenance, Upgrade Management
- Improvement of solution
- IT Reporting
Figure 1 ALM and SAP Best Practice enabled by Solution Manager
Why should you care about adoption of Solution Manager?
The business perception of value is rarely focused on tools and technology or even ALM, even as these contribute in large part to the success of SAP solution operations. Instead, our experience shows that SAP customers value operational qualities such as:
- High availability and continuity of business processes
- Fast and efficient user support
- Fast and successful realization of new business requirements
According to our experience high usage of the SAP Solution Manager translates operational efficiencies into business value and improves the above mentioned qualities:
- Solution availability correlates to higher usage of the SolMan. (More mature CCCs and COEs reported availability of 98% or better, to a greater extent which is 28 percentage points higher availability than the entire respondent base.)
- Usage of SolMan Diagnostics increases with maturity in incident management.
- Successful change control correlates to higher usage of the SolMan, which is 4 percentage points fewer changes outside the normal change process.
In his Related Blog “Why is ALM so important?” Marc Thier explores some additional aspects of ALM. Additionally there is a section on SDN that explores Business Value of ALM.
How to plan your adoption of Solution Manager?
Figure 2 How to build Solution Manager Adoption roadmap
Presentation on executive level explaining why and what you are going to do.
- Present approach – this is presentation of what is covered in this chapter, including why do we care about solution manager adoption
- Introduce sol man, ALM and best practice, use the materials from this blogs, good place to start is the SDN ALM.
- Collect IT management pain points, examples are, “we always spend $2M on analyzing our custom code before upgrade”, “and our project documentation gets out of date the minute we finish writing it”.
- Collect team goals for the next years, examples “Improved SLAs to business”, “implementation of new Change management process based on ITIL”
- Understand the portfolio of projects that your organization will undertake in next coming years
Workshops including subject matter experts knowledgeable in ALM, Solution Manager and related best practices
- This section describes a meta approach, content for the interviews, including sample questions will be described in consecutive blogs, for example ALM: Requirements, Best practice with SolMan: Solution Design and documentation of solution incl. custom code.
- Understand as-is processes in particular ALM area and tool that currently support it (example: Testing).
- Use knowledge from kickoff about pain points, strategy and project portfolio to direct conversation
- Identify improvement potentials
Follow up working session to analyze interview finding and crate roadmap
- Consolidation of findings from the interview phase
- Analyze AS-IS situation in all areas outlined by framework.
- Discover what Solution Manager Capabilities can be applied to improve your IT operations
- Prioritize high potential and quick win capabilities.
- Create SolMan roadmap
Figure 3 Sample roadmap
Figure 4 Sample Quick wins and high potentials
- Validate prioritization of Solution Manager Scenarios
- Roadmap recommendations for Solution Manager Utilization
- Detailed description of identified scenarios
- Next steps