There are several ways to build up end-to-end processes in SAP Solution Manager. Because this topic is requested again and again in projects as well as at the operations side, I would like to share with this blog post my point of view and experiences.
Business Process Frameworks
Various frameworks and standards can be used to set up and structure processes. Some of these frameworks are:
- SAP Best Practice Prozesse: The business and system processes collected by SAP over the years.
- APQC Process Classification Framework (PCF): Cross industry and industry specific versions.
- Supply-Chain-Operations-Reference-Modell (SCOR): Designed to describe all in-house and cross-enterprise business processes. Created by the Supply-Chain Council, an independent US non-profit organization.
- Promet BPR: Process model for introducing new business solutions in a company.
- ITIL: Information Technology Infrastructure Library.
- Cobit: Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology.
A definition for end-to-end processes
“An end-to-end process consists of a sequential selection of processes or sub-processes that are involved in facing a customer’s need. The focus is on the horizontal, end-to-end view as opposed to functional or module-oriented view of the processes.”
Hierarchy levels for processes
Processes can be divided into different hierarchy levels. In the following illustration different hierarchy structure options are visualized. Below a concrete example.
Source: Enderli, 2019
Hierarchy example of a concrete process
Source: Enderli, 2019
Building up processes in SAP Solution Manager
Now about the various options for mapping end-to-end processes in SAP Solution Manager 7.2. Typically, in the SAP context, the processes are structured in three hierarchy levels. In principle, the processes can also be subdivided more deeply, but I would only recommend further hierarchies in justified cases.
Using the following example, which serves as an illustration, I show you the various options for mapping the process structures in SAP Solution Manager 7.2.
Example end-to-end process
Source: Enderli, 2019
Modular and end-to-end structures
It has proven itself in practice to first build up clean, modular process structures, which in the SAP context are usually structured according to the application module. These form is the basis for building up the end-to-end processes.
Option 1 – Equipping with process steps from the process step library
The end-to-end processes are built from the individual process steps of the modular processes. The process steps from the process step library can be reused and no redundancies occur.
Option 2 – Copying Modular Processes as Building Blocks
The modular structure will be copied as building blocks into the end-to-end structure under a scenario. The process steps are referenced to the process step library and there are no duplications.
Important note: With this option the documents that are already stored at process level are copied and not referenced.
Option 3 – Use of process links
The end-to-end processes are only drilled down to the process level. In the element area, the linking is done by using of process links to the processes in the modular structure.
Option 4 – Use of process variants
The end-to-end processes are mapped on the hierarchy level process, but not equiped with process steps. In the element area, process variants are created and the specificities of these process variants are documented. There is a separate tab for each process variant where the documentation can be stored. For example, this can be a process diagram, a use case description or test cases.
As described, it is helpful to first consider general considerations for structuring processes. This includes a clear naming convention for the various elements of the process structure.
Graphical modeling of the processes is highly recommended. The understanding of processes can thus be massively increased. In addition, the role model of the organization can be mapped.
With the concept of the libraries, the SAP Solution Manager 7.2 enables a redundancy-free reuse of process steps and elements that serve to document the processes.
It is also important to include the view of the test management right from the start. Here, depending on the selected option 1-4, a lot of time can be saved for the construction of the test cases.
In this sense, happy process modeling.
Other blog posts by the author for this topic: