Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Achim Töper

Pylons of the airwaves, here is my request

Today in this blog post I will share with you some aspects of how to implement an “Agile for SAP implementation approach” by means of SAP PPM (project and portfolio management), SAP Solution Manager 7.2 (with Focused Build and Focused Insights) and a built-in little KANBAN board. If you are planning to profit from the DevOps process optimization movement you probably will get some fresh ideas about where the SAP ERP implementation stands at that topic.

Every time hearing the song above, I’m walking back in my mind to the late seventies. I love the sound of that decade. And I love the song “pilot of the airwaves” by Charlie Dore very much. Ok.
I did a little letters confusion. Perhaps that is due to my increasing hardness of hearing.

The PYLONS I mentioned in the title is for me just another acronym. SAP and me included are very keen on creating these. I will also get back to the airwaves in a moment.

PYLONS stands for

  • Purpose
  • You
  • Leading
  • Optimize
  • Network
  • Social.

In my former blog post I emphasized that in the requirements phase you should say something about the reason and the relationships of the request (this is taken to plan). Also in DevOps there is normally a few steps where you plan, design and build a release. You are able to imagine a software release without a PURPOSE.
This won’t work. SAP uses the project and portfolio management (PPM) with a link to the changed processes here, for giving the whole team an idea of where the project will go and what the purpose is.

Let’s just look a bit deeper in that song.

As an epic-owner or member of the business YOU add the request (demand) to the portfolio-backlog. In SAP Solution Manager (Solman) this means calling the FIORI app “My requirements“.
You won’t be successful if you don’t consider the purpose of your request.
Every project also needs several roles to be staffed and at least 1 person who’s in charge.
Let’s call him or her the LEADER.

The song goes on with “… But I hope you’ll do your best”. Isn’t that one intended DevOps attribute, to get better continuously? This leads us to the OPTIMIZE point. SAP did a lot of effort with the SAP Solution Manager in the Focused Solutions suite to give you everything at your hands to increase and monitor the quality of your software solutions.

To say it loud and clear: To be successful, a helping NETWORK which assists you at getting DevOps or “Agile SAP Implementation” to flight mode, depends on talking SOCIAL, working together, smashing down silos and being grateful. This is an idea called #working-out-loud.

Shout out your success, make a successful release to a special moment and celebrate it.
Make your work a show. Roar it to the airwaves by using all available formats such as Enterprise Social Networks (ESN), collaboration platforms like your corporate wiki. Use the available scorecards and the DevOps Dashboard of the SAP Focused Insights Solution shown here
by Xavier DUPEYRAT. Transparency and visibility plus witnessed success (increasing velocity, increasing stability, better quality and more efficiency) will be the right currency to build trust in
your DevOps teams.

This will additionally stick your team together and make the next joint stories more likely to be better. The experienced leader and author of the book “Working out loud”, John Stepper gives examples of open and curious communication when he states:  “The more you remain open and curious, the more beautiful stories you discover”. See the whole blog post at LinkedIn

The vocals continue with “… I’ve been listening to your show on the radio and you seem like a friend to me”. To my opinion there is nothing wrong with making friends with your colleagues by acting as a social being. DevOps depends on continuous feedback and a cultural mind-shift will be eminently important. SAP’s Agile implementation approach is based on DevOps principles. One of the principles is continuous feedback and sharing. Pay back to your network by being grateful and generous.

SAP with the SAP Solution Manager version 7.2 is key to support you in an open and transparent
agile approach. See also the information here

Summary of the above blog post:

  • The lowest level is a sprint. Workitems will be delivered in sprints.
  • The next level is the wave. A workpackage is linked to a wave.
  • Releases are subdivided into waves.
  • At the end of a wave you can invite your customer or the special field to get an impression of a bigger functional package consisting of one or more requests.
  • In the so-called “show & tell” sessions you are able to discuss, test and train with the business. This ensures a permanent feedback loop.
  • PPM (project & portfolio management) project acts as some kind of traffic PYLON and guides you through the sprints and waves by attentively avoiding risks and issues.
  • The Focused Solutions Suite follows a requirements-based testing approach.
  • A transparent Requirements-to-Deploy process is enabled.
  • Upwards from team level to multi-project level continuous-deployment takes place.
  • Downwards you are able to scale in an agile manner by having separate backlogs
    (on portfolio-, program- and team-level).
  • Dividing work into workpackages (as an follow-up transaction from the requirements) and dividing deliveries into sprints helps you to drive the so-called Agile Release Train.

(picture: copyright by SAP SE). The picture shows the transparent “requirement-to-deploy” process.

SAP’s agile implementation approach can be extended by external web applications and professional scrumboards via an open API. If you like it smaller initially, SAP also provides a usable KANBAN board for the CHARM change documents. You can set the status of documents by just drag and drop (e.g. workpackages). On one page you get a good overview of the status of the transaction types.

Turn it ON again.


Assigned Tags

      1 Comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Thomas Winkler
      Thomas Winkler

      Hi Achim,

      it is a special talent to combine complex IT-terms, with easy understandable lyrics of a song.

      As we living in the IT - we have always projects and need clear structures - therefore PPM is very usefull and it is an integrated tool (CATS, ...)

      Also to mention it loud: in your describted case, there is no extra license fee for the IT PPM
      (, when the project management tool is used for IT projects - this could influence a little bit the decison.

      Thanks for your blog.