In this SAP Activate blog series, which Sven Denecken kicked off, you will learn about the six phases in the methodology: Discover, Prepare, Explore, Realize, Deploy, and Run. In last week’s blog we reviewed the Realize phase, its purpose and key deliverables.
This week, we will focus on the last two phases of the SAP Activate methodology, Deploy and Run. These two phases are critical to project implementations as the solution is brought to live use by the business. We will dive into the key topics in each phase, so you can understand the importance of the key phase deliverables. Let’s start with the Deploy phase.
The purpose of the Deploy phase is to setup the production system, ensure customer end-users are ready to use the solution productively, and to switch the business operations to the new system.
During the Deploy phase, the project manager continues to execute the project management tasks, just like in all the previous phases. This includes risk management, issues management, controlling the budget, schedule, and overall management of delivering the project.
Next activity during this phase is the setup of the integrations in the Productive-system (P-system), starting with setup of SuccessFactors Employee Central integration and following with remaining integrations using the setup guides provided in SAP Activate. Once all the integrations have been completed, integration testing in the productive landscape must be performed to validate the processes and setup has been completed correctly.
One of the most critical deliverables in this phase, is end-user learning and preparation for onboarding. A learning plan defines how the end-users learn the solution to ease their adoption of the new system and processes, in cloud projects, teams prioritize e-learnings and self-enablement over traditional classroom training.
To drive a successful transition to productive use of the system, the project team executes a cutover plan that was defined in Realize phase and refined during Deploy phase. The plan outlines a list of tasks including go/no-go decision points, migration/creation of data, and non-transportable object setup. When ready, project teams will execute the cutover tasks per the cutover plan to facilitate transition to the productive system. After the cutover has been completed, the system go-live can begin by setting the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system to a Run status. This notifies the SAP Support team that the P-system is being used for productive business operations.
The final deliverable in Deploy phase is to formally close the project. Closing out the project with sign-off verifies that all activities have been completed and validated, and outstanding issues have been resolved. In addition, the project team captures the learnings from the project and uses them in the planning of future projects. Note: In some projects the closing activities may be only completed in the Run phase.
This now brings us to the final phase in the methodology, Run.
The purpose of the Run phase is to continue adoption of the implemented solution across the organization. During this phase, the customer adds new users, enables their business users to execute the business transactions, manages regression testing for the quarterly upgrades, and activate additional functionality as required.
During the Deploy phase, we covered the end-user trainings and learnings for full comprehension of their processes and roles. In the Run phase, the key users help the organization adopt the solution by providing continuous learning, enabling end-users, and supporting them in adoption of the application. This also includes the creation of new user accounts in the system as the solution is adopted by additional business users (and also assigning the appropriate business profiles to the users).
One of the key differentiators is that SAP S/4HANA Cloud receives quarterly functionality releases to give customers the latest version of the solution. Customers should be mindful of the two-week regression testing period for each scheduled release to allow time for testing in the Q-system prior to the P-system upgrade. SAP publishes the quarterly release schedule on SAP S/4HANA Cloud pages on sap.com, it provides customers with specific time frames for Q-system and P-system upgrades.
Once the quarterly upgrade has been delivered to customer system, project teams can activate additional capabilities through activation of specific scope items or setup of new integrations. The SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers regularly expand their solution footprint in short, agile releases. We have spoken about the two customers, delaware and The Birchman Group at this year’s annual customer conference SAPPHIRE in Orlando. The image below is copied from the presentation and it outlines two ways to expand the solution footprint. The left column outlines how delaware drove their SAP S/4HANA Cloud rollout by expanding the solution footprint geographically across their business. The right column outlines how The Birchman Group expanded the scope of functionality in each of their agile releases. You can see that in both cases the release times significantly accelerated over time.
You can learn about delaware and The Birchman Group journeys to SAP S/4HANA Cloud from the following customer testimonials.
delaware explaining their journey to SAP S/4HANA Cloud
The Birchman Group adoption of SAP S/4HANA Cloud
Before we leave the Deploy phase, we want to introduce the SAP Cloud Trust Center, where customers can find cloud service status, information about security, data protection and privacy, as well as details about compliance, and copy of standard agreements. In addition, teams should be aware of the SAP support services for SAP S/4HANA Cloud to review the current support offerings and incident management for ongoing support.
What’s coming next…
Thank you for reading this blog series, we hope you have learned more about the SAP Activate methodology and its six-phase approach for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Next week we will post a short update about the improvements the SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1708 release delivered to our customers.
Make sure to follow us via @SDenecken and @janmusil. You can find past blog posts in the SAP Communities space with tag #sapactivate, as well as in the SAP Activate Methodology Jam group (request access here), the community of 20k people already actively engaged.
If this topic series interests you, we want to pre-announce the soon to be released e-book SAP S/4HANA Cloud: Implementation with SAP Activate which will become available in a few weeks from SAP PRESS.
Let us know your thoughts and feedback either in the comments to this blog series or in the SAP Activate Jam group(s).