ASAP Methodology and SDLC
SDLC (Systems Development Life Cycle):
- A framework that describes the activities performed at each stage of a software development project.
- It is the set of activities or phases that analysts, designers and users use to develop & implement in a system.
- It encourages the development of software in a systematic and disciplined manner.
- It represents all the activities required to make a software product transit through its life cycle phases.
Phases of SDLC:
2. Requirement Gathering
Feasibility Study: A feasibility study decides whether or not the proposed system is worthwhile. It determines whether the project under analysis is achievable or not under the organization’s resources and constraints. It makes analysis of different aspects like cost required for developing and executing the system, the time required for each phase of the system and so on.
Types of Feasibility Study:
1. Technical Feasibility: It compares the programming languages, hardware resources available in the software development and the programming language and hardware resources required for the development of the product.
2. Operational Feasibility: It tests the operational scope of the software to be developed. The proposed system must have high operational feasibility.
3. Economical Feasibility: It evaluates the cost of the software development against the benefits gets from the developed system. There must be scopes for profit after the successful Completion of the project.
Requirement Gathering: It is difficult to make a solution if you don’t know the problem. It is the process of collecting the requirements.
Types of requirement gathering technique:
Questionnaires: Helpful when we have to gather input from dozens, hundreds or thousands of people.
One-to-one Interview: Sit down with client and ask them what they need.
Group Interviews: To get richer set of requirements in a shorter period. Usually 4 to 6 people participate.
Facilitated Session: Gather a set of common requirements from a group in a faster manner than taking interview each of them separately.
Here functionality of the proposed system is designed. It’ll describe how proposed system will work.
- It describes the data to be inputted, calculated or stored.
- Write the procedures that tell how to process data and produce output.
- UML Diagrams: It provides a ready-to-use and expressive visual model.
- In UML diagrams, Use cases, Class diagrams, Sequence diagrams, Structure diagrams etc can be used.
Development: The Coding part starts here. Programmers or developers are responsible for documenting the program.
Process of developing of program software is referred as physical design
Testing: It mainly checks whether the system works properly, user-friendly, meets requirements, reliable or not.
The purpose of testing is to uncover as many problems/errors as possible.
Types of Testing:
Unit testing (White Box Testing): Individual units of source code are tested to determine if they are fit for use. A unit is the smallest testable part of an application.
Integration testing (Black Box Testing): System is treated as a ‘black box’ without any knowledge of internal implementation.
Alpha testing: Testing by potential users/customers or an independent test team at the developers’ site.
Beta testing: Comes after alpha testing. Versions of the software, known as beta versions are released to a limited audience outside of the programming team.
- Process of implementing developed system on customer site.
- User training
- Installation manual / instructions
Once the product or system has been released, it will not be left out alone. Developers will still work on the software to monitor its popularity and performance. Support for installed system is provided here. Further enhancements, new requirements are done here.
Core activities and Role:
|Software Requirement||System Analyst|
|Design||Tech Lead / Architect|
ASAP (Accelerated SAP):
ASAP is SAP’s current standard implementation methodology. The word “Accelerated” refers to the Tools & Information available in SAP to speed up the process of implementing SAP in an enterprise or organization. Accelerated SAP and the Business Engineer help you configure R/3 according to your own needs using proven, industry specific business scenarios and processes.
The ASAP Roadmap covers the different aspects and phases of an implementation. In the roadmap, a detailed project plan is included for the five phases. The Roadmap provides a standard repeatable procedure for implementing the R/3 System, including project management, configuration of business processes, technical, testing and training aspects. The Roadmap serves as a backbone to ASAP.
It is essential to create a project plan when you starting an ASAP implementation project.
Project plans have three parts:
Budget Plan: contains the projected costs by month, against the actual costs and calculates the variance.
Resource Plan: contains the resources assigned to the R/3 implementation. It displays the planned and actual number of workdays per month, as well as the variance between the two. It also contains a cumulative planned hours work sheet.
Work Plan: contains a detailed set of phases, work packages, activities, and tasks from the ASAP Roadmap. This information is organized in a project management-planning tool (MS Project or Excel spreadsheet). A Gantt chart is contained within this work plan to view schedules, dependencies and resources in MS Project.
Advantages of using ASAP:
- Project time cut down in half.
- Lower Risk
- Reduced Costs.
ASAP implementation phases:
ASAP Roadmap offers:
- Detailed information for all project phases and tasks.
- Accelerators (Tools and Information).
- Status tracking.
The Project Preparation function enables a project manager to initiate, plan, and prepare for the project. Features of the project plan are defined here. Project manager draws up a schedule and assemble the project team. Implementation scope and plan for technical requirements and infrastructure is also defined here. In this phase of the ASAP Roadmap, decision makers define clear project objectives and an efficient decision making process. A project charter is issued, an implementation strategy is outlined, and the project team as well as its working environment is established.
Goal Setting: Steering committee (sponsors*, SAP consulting manager and project manager) defines the goals and objectives of the project.
Implementation Strategy: In this step following things are reviewed:
- Clarifying of the scope of implementation.
- Establish the project organization and relevant committees and assign resources.
- Project location.
- Departments involved.
- Hardware and software to be used.
Implementation Sequence: Define sequence in project has to be executed
Team: Core team + Project team + Consultant team. Identifying team members and developing strategy as how to go.
Sign Off: At the end of every phase, above step will be documented and will be signed off with client. It is required to get the confirmation from the users that all deliverable were completed and accurate.
It is a detailed documentation of the company’s requirements in Written format. Application consultants and the Business Process Teams achieve a common understanding of how the enterprise intends to run its business within the R/3 System, by carrying out requirements gathering workshops.
The purpose of the Business Blueprint phase is to outline the current situation as defined in workshops so you can compile a Business Blueprint documenting the target state of the solution being implemented and the resultant requirements. The conceptual design draw up by the project team members therefore describes how the enterprise wants to map its business processes using SAP and non-SAP systems.
Business blueprint is nothing but the documentation of your company’s requirements mapped in R/3.
Scope document: This document consists the questionnaire of all business process. It tells that what is to be implemented i.e. which sub modules are to be implemented for example some clients may not require credit management.
As Is: Here you understand the existing business process of the client. Understanding the business process from the core team. Based on the input AS IS document has to be created according to module wise.
To Be: Parallely map TO BE processes to SAP. Processes that you are not sure of as to whether they are present in SAP or not you try to do a configuration of those processes, and along with the BPO (Business process owner he is the clients employee who knows about the clients business processes probably a middle management guy, they can be more than one), BPO involvement is required as he may be able to tell you his requirements better. Once you do the business modeling you will also be made aware of the gaps between as-is and to-be, here decisions have to be made as to whether a ABAP development/system modification is required or not and so on. Involve the BPO as much as possible and document everything and create a TO BE document.
Gap Analysis: The gap between AS IS and TO BE process is called GAP Analysis i.e., the inputs or the business process, which can’t map into standard SAP will be analyzed here. GAP Document has to be created.
Sign Off: At the end of phase every above step will be documented and will be signed off with client. It is required to get the confirmation from the users that all deliverables were completed and accurate.
Business blueprint will be a master plan for implementation and serves a basis for organization, configuration and if necessary in developments. The Business Blueprint ensures that everybody has an accurate understanding of the final scope of the project regarding business processes, organizational structure, system environment and project standards. Issues regarding changes in scope, impact on budget and resource planning must be addressed.
The purpose of this phase is to implement the entire business process requirement based on the business blueprint. Configuration should be done in this process in development server. Master data format should be decided here so that Business Process Owner can go collect the master data. You should give ABAP specifications for forms, reports etc, system modifications etc. (Here ABAPer comes into picture if standard codes are not able to produce the required functionality).
The system configuration is provided in 2 work packages:
1.Baseline (major Scope)
2.Final configuration (remaining scope)
Base Line: The Baseline configuration is designed to configure about 80% of your daily business transactions and all of your master data, and organizational structure.
Final Configuration: Final configuration will build upon the Baseline. This configuration is performed by the business process teams. Each configuration core business process is divided into cycles of related business process flows. These can be configured in parallel, for which reports, user procedures, testing scenarios and security profiles need to be developed. This approach provides immediate feedback as well as involves the entire organization in the project. This coordinates the configuration with the business processes and the result is completely configured system on the business requirements and the system prepared for testing.
In this phase also we have to create documentation for the configuration implemented and it has to be taken sign off from client.
The main objective of this phase is to identify required system tests before cutover, here we can resolve critical open issues after successfully completing this phase it is assumed that product is ready to go live.
In this phase end users go through comprehensive training. The last step will be to migrate data to the new system. On successful completion of this phase, you are ready to run your business in your productive R/3 system.
This phase shortly includes the following things:
- User training
- System management
- User manual and support
- Data transfer
- Final integration and system tests
Cut over Strategy
Unit Testing and Integration Testing: Already explained.
User Training: The purpose of this activity is to train all the end users before go live date. End users of each module will be provided training by corresponding module consultant. End user training document and training manuals has to be prepared. This documents has to be taken sign off from the client.
Cut Over Strategy: Before Go live phase there will cut over period for business process is carried. During cut over period the master data and transaction data from legacy system will be migrated to SAP system. There are various tools available for this purpose e.g. LSMW, BDC.
Signoff: After completion of this phase take sign off from the client.
Going live checklist:
- End user training is completed
- System administration is ready
- Stress test is completed
- Conversion and business process in production system have been checked
- Perform internal quality check
- Final preparation review.
Go Live & Support:
The purpose of this phase is to move from pre-production environment to live production environment.
The most important elements include setting up production support, monitoring system performance and optimizing overall performance. After go live system is kept under support for some period.
During the first few days of go-live you should execute your production support plan properly and resolve the issues as soon as possible. After first few days of production operations, we have to find out the long-term solutions for the issues occurred at go-live. This is the last phase of the project.
Monitor System Transaction
Production support: Support is what product manufacturers do to keep the product running as advertised. User forums, email support for installation assistance, remote access troubleshooting, answering general ‘how-to questions’ regarding core functionality, software updates without breaking already works are theexamples of support.
SAP provides support through: OSS: Online SAP Service, Remote Consulting etc.
Monitor system transaction: Validation of business processes and their configuration.
Optimize performance: Aim of optimizing the performance is to make the system functions as smooth as possible. Optimization is a process of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible.
Sign off: At the end of every phase, above step will be documented and will be signed off with client. It is required to get the confirmation from the users that all deliverables were completed and accurate.