Rule Number 4 of the 5 Golden Rules for the implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition is on the extension of business processes. This blog aims to help you to minimize exceptions for this rule as much as possible, at best avoid any exception.
Essence of the rule: De-couple Extensions
The benefits in SAP S/4HANA implementations, that includes SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition in de-coupling business process extensions are:
- Lower efforts in software upgrades
- more upgrades -> Faster innovation cycles
- Enables very agile implementation –> shorter implementation cycles
- Business driven implementation –> higher ROI
- Standard tools –> lower task complexity -> lower implementation costs
- Better documentation –> higher transparency and better planning of future efforts
In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition offers three techniques to extend:
- In-app Extensions,
- Side-by-side- Extensions,
- Classic Extensibility.
This blog is walking you through the process of how to stay within the standard as much as possible when extending business processes. All elements of this blog are published as part of the SAP Activate Methodology for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition published in Roadmap Viewer. (link)
Step 1: Scoping
In the phase Prepare the Fit-to-Standard analysis is prepared. One of the tasks is to identify the Best Practices that are discussed during the analysis. Many of them have usually been identified during the phase Discover. As an alternative to the SAP Best Practices you can use the SAP Model Company.
During the analysis use Scope items to demonstrate the business process. In case you need business processes besides the Scope items create a new process following the Scope Item approach. I blogged about this earlier (Link). Define your own scope items.
The 5 Golden Rules and the usage of standard design documents with checklists should be set as a project standard in the task Define Project Standard. This ensures that all defined processes follow the same approach even when working in multiple teams.
At this point it is important to exclude classic extensions. When designing processes avoid going beyond the 5 Golden Rules right from the beginning, demonstrate the standard first and leave classic extensions as a last option when detailing. During the Fit-to-Standard additional requirements are documented as business requirements. Since the implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition with SAP Activate is business driven, these requirements need to be recorded with the expected business value and not with the expected technology to use. At this point is important to focus on the outcome and not on how to realize it. This will happen in the follow-up steps.
In the next steps the list of requirements is handed over to the extensibility experts. Make sure they understand the expected value generation. There might be multiple options to realize it.
Step 2: Do not reinvent the wheel
SAP S/4HANA, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition can be extended via in-app and side-by side extensions. It is worth checking for available extensions on the SAP Store and the SAP App Center. In case no app fits the need and you need to develop and SAP Cloud Platform Apps, check in the SAP Extensibility Explorer for sample code to be used as start. Side-by-side and in-App extensions are within the 5 Golden Rules. So check if the requirement can be fulfilled with these two techniques. The next step is to check in SAP S/4HANA if all elements for the extension like the interfaces are available.
Step 3: Exception Handling
At this point you have evaluated all options to extend processes within the 5 Golden Rules. Goal is to have all requirements covered that were documented in the Fit-to-standard.
Classic extensions are the last option to extend, that is the next task. They should be used carefully since they cause more complicated upgrades and will cause redesigns in potential future SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementations.
SAP analyzed the different methods and published a guidance on Rule Number 4 to be used in this case. You find this in the Task Detail Design of Extension with Classic Extensibility Techniques. Goal is to evaluate the used techniques before approving the extension.
Step 4: Always remember Rule Number 5
Owner of the implementation is the customer. He makes the final decision on which extensions are needed and which technique is to use. The 5 Golden Rules Checklist creates the transparency when completing the Prepare and the Explore phase. The checklist should be updated after Realize and Deploy to complete the documentation of the project.
All templates in the methodology can be changed as needed. You might have industry specifics, or customer specifics that you want to add. Make it fit as needed.
Last but not least: Any feedback on the template and in general is very much appreciated.
You can use the feedback function in the Roadmap Viewer. This way I can see in which task you are.
The feature is on the top right corner, see screenshot I marked it yellow.
Other links that you might be interested in:
Update on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition Methodology:
SAP S/4HANA cloud, Extended Edition overview: