This blog is part of a series created to demonstrate the value of SAP® Activate. SAP Activate is a three-part innovation adoption framework developed to support faster S/4HANA implementation with clear guidance, easy-to-use tools, and automated updates for continuous innovation. It combines SAP’s 40 years of experience and the power of HANA with SAP best practices, SAP S/4HANA’s new guided configuration capabilities, and an agile implementation methodology.

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Today’s SAP customers expect ever more simplified and streamlined ways to implement SAP solutions. They want to build their solutions on SAP’s solid best practices without losing the competitive advantage of their own expertise. And they want to do so with speed and agility, meeting the challenges of a fast-changing business environment.

With the launch of SAP S/4HANA, my colleagues and I saw an opportunity to help customers adopt SAP technology more quickly and easily. We developed the SAP Activate Methodology as a simplified approach to solution implementation, based on proven and validated experiences, that uses the power of SAP S/4HANA to get companies up and running quickly.

With a new methodology come many questions. Here are the ones we’re asked most:

Why does SAP need a new methodology?

As the pace of development quickens, our new business suite, SAP S/4HANA, will be delivering even greater innovation opportunities. Traditional methodologies based on waterfall techniques require longer planning cycles. We decided to offer an agile methodology built for the future with SAP S/4HANA in mind – one that could help customers adopt much more quickly to today’s rapid development cycles.


Can you provide a high-level overview of the new SAP Activate Methodology?

SAP Activate Methodology is a harmonized implementation approach for cloud, on-premise, and hybrid deployments. It provides broad coverage of SAP solutions starting with SAP S/4HANA. Its simplified, modular approach supports increased customer co-innovation and collaboration, with full support for initial deployment and continuous business innovation.

In developing this methodology, we carefully considered the specificity of both cloud and on premise implementations. We made it highly scalable to support a wide range of scope, complexity, project, and solution variables. Its flexible framework allows us to provide prescriptive guidance for any SAP project.

Each SAP S/4HANA implementation starts with ready-to-run business processes based on SAP Best Practices, a key pillar of SAP Activate. The methodology then provides tools, templates, and examples used to structure the fit/gap workshops, confirm fit, and identify required delta configurations or extensions. These items are captured in a backlog document, which serves as a guide for planning software releases. Releases are structured in short cycles, using guided configuration, testing functionality, and data migration tools to build the required capabilities.

All these steps are supported with implementation project accelerators. Configuration documents, test scripts, and process diagrams detail pre-configuration processes. These assets and accelerators are integrated with your implementation methodology, complementing the generic assets and accelerators for project management, value delivery, and adoption.


What components or tools does it include?

The SAP Activate methodology contains accelerators for each implementation phase and work stream. These include templates, questionnaires, checklists, guidebooks, and other tools that facilitate efficient, consistent, and repeatable delivery of SAP implementations and upgrades. You might use templates to capture delta requirements, design a system architecture, or plan cutover weekend activities. The methodology covers an extensive range of typical work streams for SAP implementation projects.


What environments is it best suited for?

The SAP Activate methodology offers a consistent approach for cloud, on premise, and hybrid deployments, including mobile. For SAP S/4HANA, it includes transition scenario guidance, covering scenarios such as New Implementation, System Conversion, and Landscape Transformation. Each builds on proven approaches used by SAP customers and SAP partners, adjusting them to fit the needs of SAP S/4HANA. The methodology scales extremely well, becoming lightweight for smaller engagements or more robust for larger projects or programs.


Who can use the methodology?

Use the methodology on your own, or work with SAP Services or an SAP partner—the choice is yours. Cloud-based access gives you an opportunity not only to see the content, but to engage with others in the community and give direct feedback to the teams building and tuning the methodology content.


What will happen to the ASAP and SAP Launch Methodologies?

Historically SAP has offered two very different implementation methodologies – ASAP® for on premise and managed cloud implementations and SAP® Launch for public cloud implementations. With the introduction of ASAP’s assemble-to-order approach, the two began to converge. While cloud and on premise implementations still differ in technology, scope, capabilities, and solution flexibility, SAP Activate now aligns cloud and on premise implementation for customers ready to adopt SAP S/4HANA.


What are my options for using the SAP Activate Methodology?

This chart lays out the current options:

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What are the phases of the methodology?

We’ve worked to bring in the simplicity of cloud implementation while retaining content required for on premise projects. We’ve struck a balance using these four phases:

  • Prepare. The project is initiated and planned, including quality and risk plans. The system environment is set up, including best practices for ready-to-run processes.
  • Explore. The customer team explores SAP solution capabilities while the system integrator researches the customer’s business. Together, they use fit/gap workshops to identify the configuration and extensions that best meet customer requirements.
  • Realize. The team configures and extends the system, based on prioritized the requirements captured in the Explore phase. Configuration and build are done in short cycles, ensuring regular validation and feedback from the business. Structured testing and data migration activities ensure quality.
  • Deploy. Final preparations before cutover to production ensure that that the system, users, and data are ready for transition to productive use. The transition to operations includes setting up and launching support, then handing off operations to the organization managing the environment.

To learn more about each phase, join the SAP Activate Methodology Jam™ group.

How can I learn more?

Join the SAP Activate Methodology Jam group to get access to experts, resources, and documentation. Or connect with our experts to figure out if SAP Activate is right for you.


Jan, I like you. Can we talk more about SAP Activate Methodology?

Gee, thanks! Leave a comment below, join me in the SAP Activate Methodology Jam group, or connect with me on Twitter at @JanMusil.


Anything else I should know?

Fun fact: Did you know that the SAP Activate Methodology is aligned with best practices that the Project Management Institute (PMI) documented in the PM Body of Knowledge (PMI PMBOK). Use it to minimize risk, streamline and accelerate implementation, and reduce your total cost of implementation!

Learn more about SAP Activate here

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39 Comments

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  1. Mel Calucin

    Thanks for the great blog.

    What are the differences between using SAP Activate Methodology in Solution Manager

    and SAP Activate Methodology JAM group?

    Thanks.

    Mel Calucin

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    1. Jan Musil Post author

      Hi Mel,

      thanks for the question. The main difference between the two will be the collaboration tools in Jam where you can not only access the content, but also ask questions to experts and peers, provide feedback on the different assets and share your experience. On the Solution Manager side in 7.2 there will be additional capabilities to bring in the Best Practices content into the tool with more ease, ability to activate content and document specific extensions your team will make.

      If you think of it – the Jam space can be seen as a social platform for all interested parties, whereas Solution Manager more like a project private space where you capture and manage information related to your implementation.

      Best Regards, Jan

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      1. Mel Calucin

        Is it advisable then for an SAP customer to implement SAP Activate Methodology in Solution Manager 7.2 before starting an S/4HANA implementation?

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        1. Mel Calucin

          Rephrasing my question.

          If the S/4HANA implementation won’t start till 2016 or even later, would it be advisable to get on the Solution Manager 7.2 ramp up and start learning the SAP Activate Methodology implementation in Solution Manager?

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          1. Jan Musil Post author

            Hi Mel,

            yes that makes sense if your timeline falls into the 2016 and aligns with the Solution Manager 7.2 ramp-up timing. I would not delay the transition to S/4 if you have business urgency to get started before 7.2 goes to ramp-up.

            Best Regards, Jan

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    1. Jan Musil Post author

      Hello Mel,

      thanks for letting me know. You should have received the invite this morning. We typically send the invites once a day every 24 hours during business days. Sorry about any delay.

      Best Regards, Jan

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  2. Henry López

    Hi.

    Can I use Solman 7.1 for the project management with SAP Active Methodology?

    Will Solman 7.1 Content Component (ST-ICO)  have the SAP Active Methodology RoadMap?

    I am working on a CRM2006 with Utilities Project,  the project team wanted to use IBM Ascendent Methodology for SAP. We asked IBM and and they answered that Methodology is no available as SAP Active Methodology. 

    But we still want to use Solution Manager Project, should we use ASAP 8 instead?

    Regards
    Henry Lopez

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    1. Jan Musil Post author

      Yes you can use Solution Manager 7.1 to support your project that follows SAP Activate.

      SAP Activate content will not be delivered in ST-ICO in Solution Manager 7.1, but customers using SAP Solution Manager 7.2 will have ability to download SAP Activate to their instance.

      You can access the full WBS in the SAP Roadmap Viewer tool at http://bit.ly/SAPRoadmapViewer

      Best Regards, Jan

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  3. Andre Cronje

    I have 2 questions about SAP Activate

    1 it is said that if you do not use SAP Activate you will impact your S4/HANA system later during the Content Lfecycle Management when you upgrade  

    Can you pleas clarify this

    2 Can you use SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Finace on premise implementation or is it only for SAP S4/HANA on premise

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  4. Thierry CRIFASI

    Hey Jan, I have just requested access to the JAM group and the answer might be in there.

    Has the Activate content for SAP C4C been made available and if yes where? Your slide refers to a planned availability for H2 2015.

    Cheers

    Thierry

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    1. Jan Musil Post author

      Yes. It is already available in the Jam site. Once you get the invite, accept it and access the Accelerators in the cloud version.

      (0) 
      1. Thierry CRIFASI

        I’m playing with the Roadmap viewer (Fiori looking UI) which is publicly available. Is that the main UI to access the methodology? It seems to include all accelerators.

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        1. Jan Musil Post author

          Hi Thierry,

          the methodology today can be accessed in few places:


          • Methodology Jam – the best place to get started, learn about the methodology and collaborate with others
          • Roadmap Viewer – detailed WBS for various project/solution combinations, great for any team starting the project
          • Solution Manager 7.2 – if you are in ramp-up with this release you can download the WBS (same as what is in Roadmap Viewer) into Solution Manager and use it in IT-PPM functionality to plan and manage your project

          In general I recommend people to start in the Jam especially for the collaboration features.

          Hope this clarifies the approach.

          Jan

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          1. Martina Mohr

            Hello Jan,

            how do we get the WBS into solution manager 7.2? In the roadmap viewer I can only see ASAP roadmaps. I can’t find any import functionality in the PPM area.

            I was wondering if I need to do the import in solution administration ‘import best practise packages’ . In that popup I don’t get any packages to select from. Do I need to download it first and put it somewhere special?

            Thanks

            Martina

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            1. Jan Musil Post author

              Hi Martina,

              You will need to import new solution with SAP Best Practices for S/4HANA and then you will  be able to see the SAP Activate WBS in the PPM area. I have seen it demoed by our product experts, but have not done it myself yet. I hope this at least gets you on the right direction.

              Best Regards, Jan

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              1. Martina Mohr

                Hi Jan, thanks for this information. The problem is, that I can’t see anything when I go into solution and press the import button. In the demos I heard that it goes directly into Marketplace and should show the packages. But there is no technical documentation I could work with to find the error. I guess I open a call with SAP then…

                Thanks

                Martina

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  5. Vipul Agrawal

    Hi Jan / team,

    1.) I am not able to post any queries on SAP JAM group for Activate methodology -ON Premise. is the group Muted ? Please let me know for any help to post queries.

    2.) while uploading through standard templates using LSMW, i am unable to save the sales view of the customer master data in BP. Please guide if Language is the mandatory field.

    3.) same issue is happening with BP transaction code. while creating Customer Master data, i am not able to save the sales view data. it only saves company code data.

         no error while saving, however when i revisit the customer to check, there is no sales data saved.

    regards,

    Vipul Agrawal

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    1. manu m

      We have a demo S/4 on premise system . We want to configure the MM,SD,FICO in the new system . We heard the configuration is done via “guided configuration ” and  not via SPRO path . If it is true how to proceed further ? Please help us .

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      1. Jan Musil Post author

        Guided configuration tools are used in the cloud (e.g. SaaS) implementations of SAP S/4HANA. In the on-premise (even when you are deploying it into managed cloud system) the project team will use SPRO (IMG) to configure the functionality. Please review the documentation on help.SAP.com > SAP S/4HANA.

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    2. Jan Musil Post author

      Vipul,

      did you sign-up for the Jam site on bit.ly/SAPActivate? Once you accept the invite, you will be able to post to the site. We have moderation enabled on the site. The posts will be visible once they are reviewed and approved.

      For your item #2 and #3 please raise support ticket so the team providing the Best Practices (that I assume you are using) can provide you with guidance. That way, we can ensure that the ticket gets to the right person with the knowledge and that you can see the status of the ticket.

      Best Regards, Jan

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  6. Waldemar Falinski

    That is really something! A significant change – good work! But let better understand why blueprint has been changed with apparently many documents that were produced during fit/gap workshops? That may cause the sign off become more difficult I am afraid? Regards

    (1) 
  7. Zhi Liang Cheang

    Hi Jan,

    I had submitted my email via bit.ly/SAPActivate couple of days back, but I have not received the invitation till now. Checked all my spam and junk folders, but could not find it either.

    Can you send an invite to me at, cheangzl@my.ibm.com?

    Thanks. Cheers.

    Best Regards,
    Zhi Liang

    (0) 
    1. Jan Musil Post author

      Hi Zhi Liang,

      I can see that the invites were sent to you. Did you check your Spam folder? I will re-send them to you so they pop-up at to the top of your mailbox.

      Best Regards, Jan

      (0) 

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