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The goal of the Solution Documentation is the documentation of processes, information, technical objects, and requirements that need to be addressed to ensure consistent solution documentation and maintenance (but also accelerated innovation management) throughout the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). It’s important to establish a good governance process in an early stage of the usage of the Solution Documentation / Solution Implementation scenarios. This process should govern the entire lifecycle of business processes, related documentation and activities using policies, standards and guidelines.

Below, you will find tips for establishing an effective governance framework for Solution Documentation with SAP Solution Manager.

Substantial items to establish the governance process for Solution Documentation:

  • Define responsibilities for the Solution Documentation Quality Management Team or Owners (responsible for Template Management, Document Management,  Compare/Adjust execution and Maintenance with the Check in/out)
  • Establish a company-wide Solution Documentation process
  • Define and document process and procedures for Solution Documentation scenario
  • Define and document the details of project/solution documentation – User Handbook
  • Provide training and guidance to project teams
  • Use Solution Manager Authorizations to manage access to project/solution information.

Additional items to follow when defining the Solution Documentation governance process

Define responsibilities for the Solution Documentation Quality Management Team or Owners (responsible for Template Management, Document Management, Execution of Compare/Adjust and Solution Maintenance with Check in/out):

  • Establish a team (or owners) for Solution Documentation governance (standards and process)
  • Define responsibilities for the Solution Documentation governance team.

Establish company-wide Solution Documentation standards and process to ensure a high quality of the Solution Documentation for your Global Template project, the future Solution and other projects:

  • Define document types and templates to use by projects/solutions
  • Establish naming convention for documents
  • Decide how documentation components (i.e. transactions, configuration objects, development objects and documents) are stored against the business process structure in Solution Manager transaction SOLAR01/SOLAR02
  • Decide what information should be included in the defined document types to comply with SOX and other audit requirements
  • Define additional document status values, document status schemas and assign them to the desired document types to enable easy search for documents relevant to SOX compliance
  • Verify the completeness of the business process structure definition. After the blueprint phase was signed off,  the process structure should be locked for changes and only modified if a request for a change has been approved (based on a defined process)
  • Define what must be documented on the different tabs in transactions SOLAR01/SOLAR02 (i.e. Transactions, Development, Customizing and Transfer to SAP QC by HP tabs).

Define and document the process and procedures for your Solution Documentation scenario:

  • Document the process the users should follow when creating and changing project information (documents, process structure, customer attributes and object assignment etc.)
  • Document procedures explaining how the project/solution documentation is changed and what information is required to fulfill the governance requirements.

Provide training and guidance to project teams and your support operations team:

  • Train project teams to work with Solution Manager Implementation scenarios (i.e. creating/updating documents, working with Global Attributes and customer attributes, using Compare & Adjust functionality, maintaining the Solution with Check-in/out) and using transactions SOLAR01, SOLAR01, SOLAR_EVAL, Work Centers … etc.

Decide on Document Management strategy (standards & process):

  • Document the strategy for the Global Template development (creating/updating) and rollout project teams to ensure that documents are updated in a consistent way and redundant versions are avoided
  • Use the “Reference” folder concept if you want to ensure one project-wide document version (customer specific)
  • Relevant document status values should be defined and organized in status schemas to support the SOX compliance process. In addition, the digital signature, with custom workflow, can be setup for the sign-off process
  • “Confidential” documents can be stored in dedicated folders created in the Knowledge Warehouse (KW)
  • Transaction SOLAR_EVAL can be used to search for documents in relevant status (e.g. for SOX compliance relevant documents)
  • Always create documents from SAP Solution Manager projects to ensure the valid document type and template is used
  • Change project documentation only using “check-out/in” functionality for documents stored in transaction SOLAR01/SOLAR02; to prevent documents from being overwritten or from multiple versions being created
  • Apply customer attributes to documents and other objects to facilitate searches and filtering, and for the future Solution Manager functionalities (e.g. Business Process Change Analyzer)
  • Utilize the “History” icon to view when changes have been made and by whom or to retrieve older versions of a document.

Global Template project and rollout projects’ governance:

  • Define standards, policies and procedures for creating, updating and deploying global and local templates to rollout projects
  • Define scenario-focus Templates and include the global/local processes in the respective scenario Templates for use by rollout projects. This allows to take advantage of Global Attributes.
  • Define Global Attributes and assign them to the Templates in the Global Template project
  • Use the Global Rollout functionality to rollout the content of the Global Template project to the rollout projects
  • Define what information and documentation should be maintained in the Global Template project vs. the rollout projects per project requirements
  • Use the Compare & Adjust functionality in SAP Solution Manager 7.1 to manage changes between the Global Template project and the rollout projects.

Use Solution Documentation Assistant periodically to validate the correctness of the Solution/Template information relative to actual production usage.

Use Solution Manager authorizations to managed access to project/solution information:

  • Establish an authorization concept to govern access to projects and project information using the Solution Manager authorization roles and specific authorization objects
  • Use the S_Project authorization object to assign specific projects to the object (PROJECT_IDÔɆProject Name) for which the user can have access.  Authorization object S_PROJECTS and S_PROJECT can be found, for example, in the role SAP_SOLAR_PM.
  • You can use different KW folders within one project or Folder Group. One KW folder can be assigned to exactly one Folder Group against which the authorization for all included documents will be checked. The folder group can be assigned to the authority object S_IWB
  • Use the Administration tab in SOLAR01 and SOLAR02 to restrict changes to specific structure nodes
  • Restrict access to SOLAR_PROJECT_ADMIN transaction. Only authorized users should be able to create new projects.
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