When it comes to documenting business processes and technology, IT organizations might feel a bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. An initiative is started to get documentation in order. A project is carried out successfully. Everything is up to date. Only… no one updates and maintains it consistently and two years later, the alarm clock goes off, and it’s time to break out the documentation project again.
In order for IT departments to meet their customer’s demands these days, they need full transparency into business processes and the underlying technology. Documenting solutions is therefore a key step in getting and staying in control of application lifecycles. Rather than a time consuming one off exercise that loses value over the years, SAP Consulting can help customers get ahead of the game and break the Groundhog Day cycle with the service Roadmap for Solution Documentation and Implementation in Solution Manager.
Documenting solutions has at least two objectives, the first being to provide your IT organization with a documented ‘current state’ of the system landscape in relation to the business processes running on it.
With this documented current state in hand, the IT organization can more easily determine the impact of maintenance changes. They can keep process configuration documentation and user training material up-to-date when maintenance changes are carried out and use the documented state in a host of other Solution Manager applications. Applications such as Job Scheduling and Documentation, Change Request Management and Business Process Monitoring.
The second objective is that the next time a project is carried out, the project team can start out with this documented current state. All of the documentation can be reused in future projects.
Single source of truth
A great advantage is that you build your current end-state using pre-delivered best practice content (if available) and the documentation goes a lot further than simple Word, Powerpoint and Excel files. Due to Solution Manager’s direct connection with the systems involved in the business processes, configuration information is derived from those systems directly.
So your documented current state actually consists of the IMG elements, programs, reports, user-exits, custom developments AND the Word, PowerPoint and Excel files describing them.
What you end up with in Solution Manager is a documented snapshot of your landscape as it is used by the business. A snapshot containing all the information relevant for operating, maintaining and improving or changing that landscape. All from a business process point of view, accessible by all parties who need it and re-usable in operations, projects and maintenance. What we like to refer to as the ‘single source of truth’.
The service SAP Consulting offers has three distinct flavors and 2 separately available add-ons to determine the documentation and implementation pain points. It starts off with a scoping workshop to determine which flavor and add-ons are relevant. Each of the flavors includes documentation of one business scenario made up of four business processes of up to 10 steps each.
Option 1: Document and implement new business processes
We help to create a business blueprint to document the business processes that are going to be implemented. At the same time knowledge is transferred to the IT Organization so that a Documentation Standard, specifying conventions for naming, template elements, and document maintenance, is created for this new implementation and following upgrade and change projects.
Documentation is, in this case, used as the basis to implement new business software. SAP consultants will help to configure SAP Solution Manager as a project management tool that will aid the team in delivering the project. Proven implementation methods, updates and tools are also shared:
- Accelerators that speed up project organizing
- Integrated comprehensive project documentation
- Best Practices, including best practices for implementing SAP software.
Option 2: Create and Manage Implementation Templates
We enable you to create a pilot template project to consistenly roll out projects at multiple locations, bundling business processes (largely standardized), linking process-specific developments, configuration, and test data.
We will help to:
- Define business scenarios and processes as an implementation methodology template for global roll-out projects
- Assign process documentation, transactions,configuration settings, documents, test cases, and roll-out training materials to a single business process step
- Reuse standard processes, configurations, and documentation for global processes
- Optimize templates by rolling in changes to processes made in local implementation projects to the global template, as appropriate
- Learn to adjust templates as needed for each implementation
As a result you will be able to:
- Standardize business processes across scattered business landscapes
- Take a unified approach to implementations
- Connect business process documentation with technical realization
- Adjust business processes readily, thereby accelerating time to benefit
- Harmonize release and version management across your application landscape
Option 3: Redocument business processes
If solution and process documentation already exists, we can help re-documenting in SAP Solution Manager by uploading XML files directly into the software or connecting SAP Enterprise Modeling by Software AG to SAP Solution Manager and set up synchronization.
As a result you will have:
- Full transparency about real usage of SAP applications
- Insight into which processes are most critical to your business and related dependences
- A comprehensive representation of current implemented and used processes and solutions
- The ability to conduct risk-based testing (so you don’t have to test everything)
- A central entry point to manage and monitor all processes and SAP solutions
- The ability to reuse processes for planned projects such as upgrades
There are also two add-ons available to the service. The first consists of automating the exchange of process documentation and related structures to either the SAP Business Blueprinting client or SAP Enterprise Modeling. The second is the setup and configuration of the Solution Documentation Assistant, for Reverse Business Process Documentation.