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Key takeaways from latest training sessions

Lately, I was engaged in training, as a Trainer, to help an SAP Customer’s Project Team with understanding how transition to S/4HANA Solutions could be made smooth, by using Activate.
Even though my job was to deliver the ACT100 and ACT200 courses, which introduce the Framework and how its well-aligned with Agile approach, what I loved most was the level of professionalism demonstrated by participants. Keen to learn how it could help them and their company, their active participation made the training quite interesting.
I would like to share how we worked on this great assignment together, as it may help those who want to attend or deliver such training.

A. Course Structure and Time Management

The course offers a total of 14 units, describing
  1. SAP Activate Methodology in the context of different types of customer journeys to new solutions, and
  2. Agile Project Delivery, explaining how customers can get the desired value SAP has on offer.
It also includes SAP Solution Manager 7.2 hands-on and is part of the training program.
All has to be covered within 4 days.
If you are planning to attend such a course, which I highly recommend, it’s good to know what to expect, and do, within the sessions. Here I have provided a summary of the topics.
Day 1 – Introduction
Introducing each other, in terms of backgrounds and interests could greatly help throughout the training. In our case,
  • the trainees were representing a business, getting ready to have its SAP Solution Landscape transformed to S/4HANA, in phases. They were interested in getting to know the process of how SAP Solution Adoption Framework can help them do their jobs better at the project.
  • I have worked on various SAP Projects, including SuccessFactors using Activate, and have S/4HANA (and other related) qualifications, and therefore it was easy to understand and address the needs of the training.
  • Their earlier SAP and ASAP experience, in a way, was similar to mine, having supported the ECC implementation.
I spent more time on explaining the first 3 units to make sure everyone understands the purpose, structure and characteristics of Activate and how it (and associated tools & accelerators) support a variety of transition scenarios to S/4HANA.
Day 2 – Usage Scenarios
The trainees active participation on their first day made it possible to quickly go through all of the Activate use cases and to discuss the scenarios more relevant to their needs in detail. The approach we followed was to keep repeating the Phases, Work Streams and Key Deliverable, so everyone remembers the structure, we discussed on day 1.
As the trainees were more interested in the New Implementation (On-Premise), I also highlighted how it’s different than the other scenarios. Following diagram (accessible through SAP Roadmap Viewer) provides a good overview of the main activities per phase and within work streams.
The above resource, among many others, is publicly available. 
Now if you are attending the course, it can help you more if you compare it with real-world situations.
Day 3 – Understanding Agile
Throughout the second course i.e. ACT200, we used the following picture (by Daniel Burm, Author at Xebia Blog) to illustrate the key points, after introducing Agile and Scrum, in the context of Activate.
We consumed the day on discussing the key terminologies, mentioned in the above image, including the scrum team structure, how it should be selected, and when the Agile approach is fit to be used at any project. Our focus remained on the VALUE which is at the center of such projects and have to be delivered.
 
Day 4 – Practicing Agile
To ensure everyone understands the whole process, I asked the participants to perform as Product Owner, Scrum Master and Team. We based our discussion around Purchase Requisition process as the participants were from Procurement, Finance and IT Backgrounds.
Seeing ‘An overview of Solution Testing Activities performed throughout the project’, among the last few slides, the reaction of learners was interesting. The response “now everything we have discussed and learned so far makes complete sense” made me happy as that was the goal of training, to build an understanding of the subject and conclude it with what it’s supposed to achieve.

B. Some Recommendations

You are delivering or attending a training, it could generate more value if you
 
1. Consider Training as a Project
Training environment uses pre-built scenarios, usually the ideal cases. Real-life situations are (mostly) different. Getting to know how subject-related challenges could be handled is something we learn when we face them. If the trainer and trainees consider training as a project, and work together beyond the limits of formal sessions, all could learn unique things.
2. Create New Experiences
Training content provides examples to illustrate concepts, thinking of your own and experimenting them all can enhance the learning experience. Engaging everyone can stimulate their thought process, so at times it’s good to explore options within the boundaries of training time and learning objectives. We did that together and everyone was happy at the end for having such a great experience.
Are you planning to attend or have already attended the Activate Training? What did you like most about it?
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