SOLMAN (Solution Manager) presents different functionalities. One of these functionalities is used in the beginning of an SAP project (implementation or improvement projects), controlling the entire project. Moreover, SOLMAN may gather documents, define the project structure, provide a project overview and conduct next activities, such as the test plan.
In this topic, I will comment on starting SOLMAN for an SAP implementation project.
We can start SOLMAN by inserting the value chain. The right moment to understand and describe the value chain and its processes is at the BBP stage, according to ASAP methodology.
Now, we will understand how the Company is structured and represented in SOLMAN.
After defining the value chain, it is important to clarify the intermediary levels until we reach the transaction definition.
It is advisable to add this description in SOLMAN, but from N2 – N1 cannot be added in SOLMAN, so it will be attached as a descriptive document. Above this level, there is an understanding on the macro process, according to the example of value chain adapted from Porter (1991).
For example, in N2 there is a perception about the production, supply chain, sales, quality, maintenance and HR process.
After the macro process level, associated with the value chain, we need to present the entire processes.
For instance, in the value chain, we can see SUPPLY CHAIN as N1, and one of its macro processes is IMPORT (N2).
Associated with this macro process, there is a gap of what is required for this macro, which can be understood as the supported scenarios. Therefore, it is possible to have the IMPORT REQUIREMENTS MANAGEMENT (N3). This process is divided as IMPORT MRP (N4).
Then, related to it, there is the transaction that will control the Import MRP – at this level (N5), we will mention the SOLMAN transaction.
Note: if you are using a tool such as ARIS, it will be necessary to mention each transaction, line by line, so ARIS can search and organize the flow.
By indicating each transaction, in this format, it will be possible to generate test scenarios, that must display the same name as in N4 – in other words, one step facilitates and streamlines the next step of the project, neatly.
Example in SOLMAN:
In this example, we can see the project start until the N5 (transaction), for the sub-process called Kanban, which can be created with all the searching levels of the Business Process Repository (BPR).
If every process is designed this way, the integration with tests will happen automatically and we will be able to use this structure in order to have the same test scenarios:
Before the cut over, there is the training phase. Documentation should be included in SOLMAN as it will be used at this point.
Addition of this document at the scenarios definition step:
Before defining the Critical Success Factors (CSF) and the Competitive Drivers (CD) in order to achieve the Key Buying Factors (KBF), is recommended to map the company’s value chain.
Consequently, when describing CSFs, it will be possible to identify its location in the value chain.
According to Barney & Hesterly (2007), a company’s value chain can be defined as a set of business activities for which the company commits to develop, produce and commercialize its products and services.
Porter (1991) has developed a generic value chain (figure 2) that presents 10 modules:
• Infrastructure activities: planning, finance, legal services (Firm Infrastructure).
• Administration and human resources development (Human Resources Management).
• Technology: research, development and design (Technology Development).
• Purchasing, stock maintenance and material handling (Inbound Logistics).
• Production (Operations).
• Warehousing and distribution (Outbound logistics).
• Commerce and Marketing (Sales & Marketing).
• Distribution support and customer service (Service).
• Scope (Margin).
Generic Value Chain
Source: Adapted from Porter (1991)
Excerpted from the Graduate Course textbook at Unisul (discipline: Business Performance Evaluation)