Core concepts that leads to a successful SAP project
I have discussed usage of Architecture Development Method and its importance in SAP project in my previous blogs if you would like to read them please click links below.
Continuing on the same dialog I will be providing some importance of core concepts which make a SAP project more successful and transparent.
In any process or service industries spending money on Information Technology department is considered as an expense or as a cost center. The reason being there is no direct impact of IT on business though it facilitates the business transactions and provides a long-term benefit which is not immediately realized by business stakeholders. It is really a task for a project architect to convince stakeholders to invest money on IT projects by providing a business value add. I have worked in many pharmaceutical projects which are still running SAP Process Integration version 7.0 consisting around 800 interfaces across 20 + countries. They are running the show with high risk and if any business bottlenecks happen then it would be very difficult to get the support from SAP and also organization will lose benefit to leverage the new concepts which will result in enhanced security and performance.
I being a technical architect always find technology to be fascinating and innovating and a great value-add for any industry, on the other hand, the taught process of a Business will be like How it will benefit my organization if I invest money in technology and what is the value add for business.
As we have already know that process industry and service industry runs on acronym called BDAT. I have explained about BDAT in my previous blog. In this blog, I will be discussing how to make SAP project more transparent and unambiguous to stakeholders by providing methods and concepts in developing architecture development methods.
In general, a big process industry like pharmaceuticals consists of a large IT department having many legacy systems, partners, and vendors and on top of all FDA regulations which are very strict in process and approval. The reason is quoting Pharma industry because it is one of the most process-oriented industries which is running SAP.
The main concepts of enterprise architecture are as follows. These needs to be implemented in order to make a SAP project successful in a big organization. I will explain each of these components and its benefit in a project which will help technical architects and business analyst to adapt in their projects.
- Architecture Principles
- Deliverables and Artifacts
- Enterprise Continuum
- Architecture Repository
- Architecture Principles: This is one of the important component used in the development of enterprise architecture is Architecture Principles, but we need to understand on what basis is this concept is defined. The main driver which drives the Architecture Principles are Business Principles because Business is one which creates the data, in turn, creates a need for an application which uses technology. So it is very important to understand business requirements and its operational framework to define architecture Once the business requirement is gathered and understood then it is used as the basis for developing Architecture principles. Architecture principles are the guidelines which are defined in a SAP project using which ADM cycles are defined and managed. This is a foundation on which complete project phases are executed and managed.
- Deliverables and Artifacts: Deliverables are contractually specified items which are outputs of a project. Deliverables will consist of artifacts which include all the diagrams, listing, and documents that are used or created to achieve deliverables. Deliverables consist of building blocks which consist of artifacts.
- Enterprise Continuum: Enterprise Continuum is one of the important concepts of architectural projects as it helps an organization to design solutions which are suitable for the landscape. Enterprise continuum is further divided into following 2 categories.
- Architecture Continuum
- Solution Continuum
All enterprise architecture projects use above mentioned concepts. These help an enterprise to seek a solution which is suitable for the landscape. Above mentioned continuums are further divided into four different categories as mentioned below.
- Architecture Continuum
- Foundation Architecture Continuum
- Common Architecture Continuum
- Product specific Architecture Continuum
- Organization specific Architecture Continuum
- Solution Continuum
- Foundation Solution Continuum
- Common Solution Continuum
- Product specific Solution Continuum
- Organization specific Solution Continuum
Architecture continuum is used in organization landscape so that architects involved in SAP project can provide a best-suited architecture for the landscape. Architecture continuum is basically desire of an organization where it wants to see the IT landscape and also it will help understand the product which needs to be implemented in the landscape that ranges from most generic to very specific. Once the architecture continuum is decided then solution continuum is developed following the same principles. Solution continuum is the actual work which will be done in the landscape to meet Architectural continuum.
Architecture Repository: This provides support for Enterprise continuum by providing a place to store the outputs of ADM in organization landscape. Architecture repository can be considered as a sectioned file cabinet in which we can store files related to the specific Architecture repository consists of following sections.
- Architecture Metamodel
- Architecture Landscape
- Reference Library
- Standard information Base
- Governance Log
- Architecture Capability
Architecture Metamodel: In this section, all the ADM related documents can be stored including the modified ADM according to enterprise landscape.
Architecture Landscape: As names explains it all. In this section, we can store all the documents, artifacts and listing related to enterprise landscape which will be updated until the completion of the project.
Reference Library: In this section, all the models which are used to develop ADM for the projects can be stored. This section may include all technical reference models used to implement enterprise continuum.
Standard Information Base: This section can store all documents which are related to external reference models used to develop ADM and other artifacts of the project.
Governance Log: This section can store all the governance document which are related towards the project which includes change management documents, advisory boards document etc.
Architecture Capability: This section stores the documents related to different departments in the organization like, sales, IT, finance, HR etc which can develop their own documents related to architecture capabilities so that it can work as a reference in developing ADM.
The above mentioned are important concepts when adapted in SAP projects it makes the project transparent and unambiguous to stakeholders.
Hope this helps!
See you in next blog!