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Author's profile photo Aditya Lal

SAP Activate – An optimum mix of Waterfall and Agile Methodology

SAP Activate – An optimum mix of Waterfall and Agile Methodology

When I first came to know about the SAP Activate methodology, I thought – Oh! No, one more project management methodology to understand and implement. Like many of you, I was reluctant to go through the details of the approach. SAP had provided unparalleled documentation on SAP Activate but for me, sometimes, too much documentation does not raise my interest level.

I am managing SAP projects & programs for almost two decades (and this is my first blog, unbelievable) and like many of you, I am well versed in the ASAP methodology. I have managed many organizational changes but surprisingly, it was difficult to manage my own change from ASAP to ACTIVATE methodology. My only motivation factor was career growth and forward-looking lucrative market. Believe me, I do not want to learn another “new” thing.

One fine day, I dared to look into the approach documentation provided by SAP and I was surprised, pleasantly.  First thing, I noticed is that they have not changed the names drastically. The SAP is still calling project plan by “Project Plan”. It was unlike SAP but I continued reading.

In this blog, I am going to highlight the “Waterfall” & “Agile” part of the Activate methodology. In subsequent blogs, I will summarize the roles & responsibilities of the PM, functional resources, client – IT & Business & deliverables during each phase of the ACTIVATE Methodology. Before we deep dive into ACTIVATE, here are the pros & cons of Waterfall and Agile methodologies.

Pros & Cons of Waterfall Methodology

Pros Cons
Structured Process with predefined & predicted milestones & deliverables Changes are costlier
Knowledge Transition is easier Less Flexible
Boxed Approach – “Requirement” is boxed, “Design” is boxed – supposedly minimizes the last minute change Not suitable for projects with continuously changing requirements, stakeholders, sponsor.
Expectations are set in terms of deliverables Poor User Experience

 

Here is typical Waterfall approach

 

Pros & Cons of Agile Methodology

Pros Cons
Strong involvement of Stakeholders No framework for Risk Management and may lead to delayed deliverables/schedule
Flexible and Easy to change No learning curve for the team
Cost effective and change can happen in any phase “Push the can down the road” approach may lead to too many activities at the end of project
Project can start with limited requirement as well Need highly skilled and knowledgeable resources

 

Here is a generic diagram of Scrum

The ACTIVATE methodology took the best of both worlds. The approach overcomes the challenges of poor user experience by involving them right from the beginning. It provides complete flexibility for changes within the defined approach of industry best practices. Additionally, it provides the great detail of Risk Management and enough documentation to reduce the learning curve. Let us look at the pros/cons of ACTIVATE Methodology

Pros Cons
Flexible approach to make configuration changes Requires highly skilled resources
Involvement of Business & IT stakeholders from the beginning of the project Not suitable for a project that requires a continuous change in requirement & key stakeholders.
Boxed approach to confine the activities within the boundary. It also helps define the milestone.  
It takes less time to implement and hence cost effective  

 

 

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      38 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Demy Dillon
      Demy Dillon

      Nice Article Mr. Aditya Lal. It’s a good read.

      Author's profile photo Stephanie black
      Stephanie black

      Can you please let me know when are you planning to write the blog on roles & responsibilities of the PM, functional resources, client – IT & Business & deliverables during each phase of the ACTIVATE Methodology? I am interested to see that.

      Author's profile photo Amber Dean
      Amber Dean

      What is the hybrid approach that you talked about? Good one though

      Author's profile photo Suraj Chandra
      Suraj Chandra

      An awesome blog Mr. Lal! Its very well written and wonderfully explained.. Very Well done and keep it up

      Author's profile photo Bob Jackson
      Bob Jackson

      Another good one, let me know when you can publish your next article.

      Author's profile photo Thomas Lawrence
      Thomas Lawrence

      Good article on Activate. I was looking for one such article.

      Author's profile photo Jamie McKay
      Jamie McKay

      Mr. Lal, Thank yo for the article. It’s a great one.

      Author's profile photo Peter Adams
      Peter Adams

      I have gone through your blog and this is the best way to explain things.

      Author's profile photo Andrea Austin
      Andrea Austin

      Thank you for this great article too. Do you have more blogs related to this?

      Author's profile photo Tom Benson
      Tom Benson

      I was looking for these kind of articles where explain all these things. Thanks

      Author's profile photo Stephanie Black
      Stephanie Black

      Good and very detailed article.

      Author's profile photo Tim Blake
      Tim Blake

      I have found your two blogs and I really enjoyed the way you describe.

      Author's profile photo Lily Bradley
      Lily Bradley

      I found another post. It was really awesome. Do you have new blog of SAP?

      Author's profile photo Damian Brown
      Damian Brown

      Yes, He is really good. I saw his 2 three blogs....

      Author's profile photo Pamela Burke
      Pamela Burke

      Good one Aditya... I will wait for more blogs.

      Author's profile photo Davidson Lucas
      Davidson Lucas

      HI, Pamela, you can see his more blogs at https://people.sap.com/aditya.nlal05#content

      Author's profile photo Jayden Campbell
      Jayden Campbell

      Very well written steps.

      Author's profile photo Emma Carlson
      Emma Carlson

      Well explained blog.

      Author's profile photo Jay Carter
      Jay Carter

      Awesome blog on implementation methodologies.

      Author's profile photo Eva Chambers
      Eva Chambers

      Detailed steps are great.

      Author's profile photo Marcus Clark
      Marcus Clark

      I was looking for one such article.

      Author's profile photo Noa Knight
      Noa Knight

      Great write up Aditya.

      Author's profile photo Jocelyn Martin
      Jocelyn Martin

      Just saw this another article from you, good one.

      Author's profile photo Bentley McCarthy
      Bentley McCarthy

      Nice one Aditya!

      Author's profile photo Luc Dawson
      Luc Dawson

      Well done Mr. Adiya. I read your three blogs and all are awesome and well detailed.

      Author's profile photo Katy Daniels
      Katy Daniels

      Awesome Lal.

      Author's profile photo Rob Cross
      Rob Cross

      Very nice post. You did a great job here. All points are very detailed.

      Author's profile photo Julia Cleveland
      Julia Cleveland

      Another good one Aditya.

      Author's profile photo Rahul Negi
      Rahul Negi

      Another great post on SAP.

      Author's profile photo Payal Gupta
      Payal Gupta

      The steps you have explained is very easy to understand. Well done Mr. Aditya.

      Author's profile photo Rajesh Kumar
      Rajesh Kumar

      Yes, I agree with you Payal.

      Author's profile photo Kiran Vyas
      Kiran Vyas

      Thanks Aditya, I was looking for this kind of post. Thanks again. Can you please write more articles related to this.

      Author's profile photo Manoj Sharma
      Manoj Sharma

      Yes, very understanding post and very helpful.

      Author's profile photo Kajal Pant
      Kajal Pant

      Great post Aditya. Do you have more blogs like this?

      Author's profile photo Prakash Chandra
      Prakash Chandra

      Another good one Aditya, Let me know when you can publish your next blog.

      Author's profile photo Kirti Tyagi
      Kirti Tyagi

      Nice one Aditya!

      Author's profile photo Mamta Varma
      Mamta Varma

      HI Aditya, This is a really nice post. Very well written steps.

      Author's profile photo Jitendra Bajaj
      Jitendra Bajaj

      I like your post Aditya.