User Experience Insights
Busting Myths of SAP Activate
As I continually work with different groups to improve implementation efficiency through the use of SAP Activate, I occasionally receive comments that I classify as the Myths of SAP Activate. In this blog, I will bust these myths and provide concrete examples from SAP S/4HANA Cloud Activate Roadmap as to what is actually in SAP Activate.
Also see the continuation of the Myths series – Busting Myths of SAP Activate Part 2 and Busting Myths of SAP Activate Part 3 by Jan Musil.
Myth #1 – SAP Activate is only a high-level project management tool.
SAP Activate is comprised of 11 workstreams, one of which is the Project Management workstream. This workstream in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud roadmap includes 50 deliverables and tasks to provide the guidance and accelerators that assist in managing the implementation project. The other ten workstreams provide guidance to mostly non-project management areas, including 340 deliverables and tasks on designing, configuring, data migration and testing the system. These tasks are not designed for use by the project manager but rather by the experts involved with implementing the system. Each of these tasks include procedural instruction and links to supporting content to successfully complete the process. As authors of the content, we spend most of our effort refining and expanding the detail of these tasks. These tasks can be easily viewed by selecting all the workstreams in the filter column except Project Management and will provide a different view of the detail that is included in SAP Activate.
Reality: SAP Activate provides implementation guidance to all project team members, including System Administrators, Configuration Experts, Extensibilities Experts and others, at various levels of detail.
Myth #2 – I used SAP Activate a year ago and I am a certified Activate practitioner, so I do not need to revisit the content in Roadmap viewer and SAP Cloud ALM.
The content of the roadmaps for SAP Activate are managed with a philosophy consistent with continuous innovation. We work in short, two-week agile sprints with a release at the end. This allows us to make the changes available quickly and reduce the time to value for the users. The downside is that to get the full benefit, the users must access the roadmap as they proceed through the implementation and even after the completion of the project. To assist with identifying the changes, roadmaps such as the SAP S/4HANA Cloud include a change log, S/4HANA Cloud Release blog, with the latest updates.
Further proving that people are revisiting the SAP Activate roadmap content for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we have approximately 25,000 page-views/month in the roadmap and 300 views/month accessing the release notes.
One final note: Although all roadmaps go through the sprint process, not all roadmaps are released every two weeks. However, even these roadmaps will be released at least once a year. This is the case for the on-premise roadmaps and some lower-usage cloud roadmaps. We strive to increase these frequencies in the future.
Reality: The SAP Activate content is continuously evolving and improving. It should be followed during the project to provide the current procedural instruction.
Myth #3 – SAP Activate is only for small projects.
Companies around the world from the very small to the very large have successfully implemented with SAP Activate. The concepts have been proven to be scalable. Let’s look at the fit-to-standard analysis concept as an example. For a small company implementing a limited scope, a couple consultants typically work with a few small teams during the fit-to-standard workshops. The overall duration might be a few weeks. For a large company implementing a comprehensive scope, several teams will work in parallel executing the same fit-to-standard workshops. Although more work occurs in parallel, the duration will be longer as each team will need to interact to assure consistency across teams of the delta configuration. Still, regardless of project size, the concepts of fit-to-standard analysis hold true.
Another area of detail that is independent from project size is details in the Technical Architecture and Infrastructure stream. These include topics such as accessing and upgrading the systems. The processes are the same for all companies.
The project management stream for SAP Activate does reflect the core activities important to all projects. The methodology follows the standards detailed by the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) including planning, monitoring and controlling, and closing activities.
Reality: SAP Activate scales from the very small implementation to the very large.
Myth #4 – SAP Activate is just a document repository.
Although it is true that the Accelerators view of the Roadmap Viewer is a frequently- used resource, it is not a document repository. It is a collection of links to other existing SAP repositories. SAP Activate creates an overall procedure that connects existing content stored throughout SAP into one coherent procedure that directs access at the point in time that it is needed in the project. Therefore, the real value is the connecting of content through the procedures with the tasks.
If we look at the procedures in task Set Up Starter Project in SAP Central Business Configuration, step one refers to the SAP Help and transfers guidance to that documentation. Once complete, step two provides the transition needed for tasks later in the project (Scoping). In this case, the document repository is SAP Help and the activate roadmap provides the dimension as to when the help should be accessed in the project.
Reality: SAP Activate provides the right guidance at the right point in a project when it is needed.
In summary, SAP Activate provides the procedural guidance and the detail necessary to implement SAP products for both large and small customers. Use the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer or SAP Cloud ALM to access the content throughout the project and beyond to maximize your implementation efficiency.
And beware of the myths!
Additionally, check out the additional resources and content below to expand your knowledge on SAP Activate and SAP S/4HANA:
As always, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to our new podcast “Inside SAP S/4HANA”. This podcast leverages the unique knowledge and expertise of SAP S/4HANA product experts, partners and customers to address your needs by sharing product insights and project best practice. There is no customer success without product success and project success; we help you get to the next level and make your SAP S/4HANA projects a success. Subscribe now and benefit from the shared knowledge.
openSAP Microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA
Just a couple of months ago, we launched openSAP, so make sure you check them out.microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA as an exciting new learning opportunity. What began with a small batch of 20 videos, has now become a channel with more than 50 microlearnings that have generated over 20,000 views since then. Today we cover multiple lines of business, like Finance and Manufacturing & Supply Chain, and key technology topics like Master Data Management, Extensibility, User Experience, and Upgrade Management. We are continuously adding new microlearnings to the SAP S/4HANA channel, so make sure you check them out.
Your voice matters!
If you want to learn more and actively engage with SAP subject matter experts on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, join our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Customer Community. This platform which is available to SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers and partners has a clear mission: deliver an interactive community to engage with one another about best practices and product solutions.
For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release Blogs here
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- Product videos on our SAP S/4HANA Cloudand SAP S/4HANA YouTube playlist
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- Follow the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Customer Community: register here
- SAP Activate Community here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here
Follow us via @SAP and #SAPS4HANAValueSeries
Love this Blog post and breakdown of SAP Activate methodology Daniel Ciecko . Great job...
Thanks Master Bob!!
I always loved the MythBusters show on Discovery Channel. Fruit Ninja level achieved with this blog post, Daniel Ciecko
Hmmmm. Maybe we need the Activate Ninja.
Nice job Daniel. I'll add another myth: Activate is a cookbook to a successful project. While Activate provides extensive guidance and collateral to assist the project team, each project and client is different. Success with Activate comes with understanding why the activities are included and in that sequence as well as the content of the deliverables still need to be well thought out.
Reality: Following Activate is not mindless, you still need to think and understand.
Thanks Norbert for the addition. SAP activate is tool to be used by the implementation team. As with any tool, to get the full benefit, it has to be used properly and smartly.
Excellent blog, Daniel Ciecko ! Looking forward to more such posts and maybe you can share with us some stories 'from the Cloud'!
Thanks Carmen. We definitely have some of 'Tales from the Cloud' that we can work into future blogs and learnings.
Thanks, Daniel for sharing. I always heard SAP Activate in relation to cloud implementation. SAP Activate is for cloud implementations is it true or a myth? I think it can be used for both the deployment options. Please decipher.
Hi Vijaya, great question. MYTH!! SAP Activate is for all SAP products including on-premise versions. In the Roadmap viewer, we have a tab dedicated to roadmaps for on-premise. The general methodology roadmaps can be used for solutions that we do not have solution specific content available.
Is the ASAP methodology dead ?
Updates to ASAP methodology content have been discontinued in 2015 when it was succeeded by SAP Activate. SAP recommends all customers and partners to use SAP Activate in their deployment projects as it is kept up to date and in synch with SAP products.
Great content Dan. Thanks for taking the time to produce and share. Myth about Activate not able to handle Agile. Maybe an addition on how they work together.