Demystifying SAP Activate
As companies worldwide started implementing SAP S/4 HANA, Simple Finance and Simple Logistics, our customers began to ask us whether the ASAP Methodology used in the past was still relevant or if an add-on should be applied so they could use it in a SAP S/4 HANA implementation/Migration project.
The contents of this blog should give you a high level understanding of SAP Activate and provide you with valuable links to information and training to help expand your knowledge on this innovative methodology.
SAP Activate provides best practices, Guided Configuration Tools, and proven Methodology that accelerate the time it takes to implement SAP S/4 HANA.
The SAP Activate content is structured into 5 distinct phases:
Just like ASAP Methodology 8.0, SAP Activate is integrated into SAP Solution Manager 7.2.
From SAP Solution Manager 7.2 you can use the SAP Roadmap Viewer, which is a Fiori based application that gives you access to phases of an SAP S/4 HANA Implementation and the tasks within each phase.
The Methodology provides guided work procedure for Project team members, deliverable for project managers, Accelerators like how to document templates for all users, ready to use Test scenarios. All this by using SAP Best Practices, Fit/Gap Analysis and Agile Project Management.
Let’s have a more detailed look at the five (5) phases:
The goal of this initial phase is planning and preparation. In this phase you will define project goals, identify at a high level the scope of the project and create the initial project plan. Activities include items like securing executive sponsorship for the project, defining project standards and governance framework, etc. In preparation for the Explore phase, key deliverables include:
- Detailed project scope document
- Cost and benefit validation
- Project organization and governance
- Implementation plan and rollout strategy
- Project schedule, budget and management plans
- Project standards and policies, including ICC**
- Solution adoption approach including organizational change management roadmap and training strategy
- On-boarding of project team
- Project infrastructure
- Technical infrastructure requirements and sizing
- Data migration approach and strategy
- Pre-assembled development infrastructure
The goal of the Explore phase is to validate the solution functionality contained in the project scope through the performance of a fit/gap analysis. It is in the Explore phase that a customer will prepare for and conduct various solution validation workshops to confirm the requirements, identify any potential gaps and refine the business requirements. This evaluation of the SAP best practice solution content will confirm ultimately the “to be” business processes and result in a functional solution design. As a result, functional and technical requirements are documented in SAP Solution Manager along with any identified issues or gaps that need to be addressed.
Key deliverables of the Explore phase include:
- Baseline system ready for Solution Validation workshops
- Solution Validation workshops
- Documented design, including:
- Project plan update
- Process definition document
- Process flows
- Solution design documents
- Functional specifications
Maintained in SAP Solution Manager, based on SAP standards
- Prioritized and estimated Backlog document with requirements and solution gaps
- Change impact analysis and communication plan
- Legacy data migration design and plan
- Technology design and setup
- Test strategy and plan
- Inventory of gaps including interfaces and conversions
- Release and sprint plan including confirmation of go-live date
- Learning needs analysis and deployment strategy
In the Realize phase our goal is to build and test the integrated business scenarios and processes identified in the Explore phase. The implementation of the solution design will be done using a series of iterative steps that will allow for the incremental build and testing of an integrated business scenario as well as the technical infrastructure that will support it. System landscapes, therefore, need to be in place.
Key activities in the Realize phase will include items like configuration/implementation of the solution design in the Development environment, end to end (E2E) testing and validation of the solution in the Quality Assurance environment and the setup of the Production environment (and any other landscape requirements identified for the system landscape design such as Pre-Production, Training, or Sandbox environments. Data migration planning and testing is also included as we prepare for the next phase of the project. Project team training is also critical at this point in the project.
Key deliverables of the Realize phase include:
- Organization alignment and user enablement
- Technology setup for quality and production environment including security and authorizations
- Solution configuration and tests
- Business process procedures
- Development/testing of enhancements and extensions like interfaces, forms, workflows, conversions, or reports
- Evaluation and enhancement of security/controls
- Technical Quality Assurance
- Integration Validation**
- Preparation/delivery of train-the-trainer course
- End user training system environment
- Data migration conducted
- User acceptance test
- Technical operations setup plan, including OCC
- Cutover and transition plan
Solution documentation at this phase is critical. The project team will document all configuration decisions in SAP Solution Manager, including relevant interfaces, integration requirements, development requirements, reports, enhancements needed, etc.
Let’s get ready and go live! In the Deploy phase setup of the production system is completed. Confirmation that the customer support organization and infrastructure is in place, trained and ready for cut over is obtained prior to migrating business operations onto the new production environment.
Key deployment activities will include items such as final validation ofthe customer’s support systems and procedures, training of end user population is completed, organizational change management plans (OCM) are executed, data migration is completed, etc. As the transition to the new production environment occurs monitoring of the relevant business processes and technical environment will be conducted and all issues identified during transition will be documented for tracking and resolution post go live.
Key deliverables in the Deploy phase include:
- Organizational and production readiness check
- Pre go-live user training delivery
- Technical and system testing, as necessary
- Setup operational support organization, including OCC
- Cutover to production including
- Cutover plan update
- Cutover simulations
- Data migration
- User IDs and profiles created
- Help desk and technical support operational
- Operational and live production system environment
- Post Go-Live support provided, including training
- Project closing including lessons learned
The goal of the Run phase is to ensure that the solution and its environment are available and performing at acceptable levels after go live. Operational standards and processes and procedures are implemented based on SAP Best Practice Operations Standards. Using a lifecycle approach, critical areas and processes of operations are continuously monitored and evaluated for optimization.
Key deliverables in the Run phase include:
- An assessment of standards for optimizing solution operation, including:
- A project schedule for implementing
- For each relevant operation standard:
- A design of processes, organization and roles, and a blueprint for tool use
- Setup of processes, tools, organization, and roles
- Transition into production
- Training and rollout
As you can see, the methodology provides a standard, consistent process designed to focus on delivering “value” throughout the project at every phase of the methodology. The main goal is to facilitate a faster, less service intensive initial SAP S/4 HANA implementation, whether deployment occurs On-The-Cloud or On-Premise.
- For additional information, SAP has multiple training courses available to help and train you on both SAP Activate and Agile Methodology. Course listing:
- ACT100- SAP Activate,
- ACT200 – Agile Methodology,
- WNASA – Agile Implementation Project,
- S4H01 – S/4 HANA,
- AC100 – Simple Finance with S/4 HANA,
- S4LG1 – Simple Logistics with S/4 HANA,
- ASA380 – ASAP Methodology 8.0,
- SMI310 – ASAP Methodology within SAP Solution Manager
I hope you have found the information in this blog helpful. If so, please leave your ratings, comments, feedback so we can come up with new hot topics for future blogs. I would also like to think Fabio Souza, co-author, for his contributions to this blog.