SAP Activate Community Call Recap – The Roadmaps in SAP Activate & 2022 Outlook
On Wednesday, February 2nd, the SAP Activate team held their second Community Call via a live YouTube session. The main topic of this SAP Activate Community Call was navigating through the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer implementation roadmaps and the outlook of 2022 with what is to come.
During our second Community Call (see the replay from our very first call here), we were joined by Nishat Fatima (SAP Activate Community Lead), Jan Musil (Chief Product Owner of SAP Activate), Adnette Kamugisha (SAP Activate Product Owner), and Dan Ciecko (SAP Activate Product Manager)
- Find your way in SAP Activate – by Dan Ciecko 2:17 – 11:32
- Navigating though SAP Activate roadmaps with the Roadmap Viewer
- Quick tips: You can navigate to the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer via a search in Google
- Navigating though SAP Activate roadmaps with the Roadmap Viewer
- What SAP Activate covers – by Adnette Kamugisha 11:33 – 17:20
- The different roadmaps offered by SAP Activate
- 2202 Outlook – by Jan Musil 17:21 – 24:23
- The different roadmaps offered by SAP Activate
- Q&A – 24:24 – 56:30
- Community member questions and answers
Here is a recap of all of the questions asked during the call and we hope you enjoy:
- Question: What does the release schedule look like for SAP Activate when it comes to the various solutions?
- Answer: When it comes to the public cloud content for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we are releasing on major RTC dates. So this year, we just released for 2202. Recently, that was the shipment that we did at the end of January and for 2208, we are planning to release on RTC as we always do. When it comes to intermediate releases in-between, we go bi-weekly with our sprints. When it comes to our on-premise assets, we typically need a little more time in the on-premise space to build up the content and we try to stay as close to the major releases and at least one of the feature packs. We stay as close as possible to the major release, especially once a year when SAP S/4HANA goes from one version to another where we expect more changes. We just released a version in November that followed the new SAP S/4HANA 2021 version. We usually release four times a year but starting in 2022, we are trying to adopt a more agile approach with the bi-weekly sprint process. We have learned a lot by doing cloud implementations and releasing bi-weekly, and we think it helps everyone with the constant changes we see along with the project teams.
- Question: Is there a new upgrade section in the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer? If so, how can I access this or navigate to this?
- Answer: We do now have a specific section for Upgrade implementation roadmaps called “Upgrade Methodology.” Under the upgrade implementation roadmap section, you will find the following: SAP Activate for Upgrade of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 3-system landscape and SAP S/4HANA Upgrade and Product Integration Roadmap. There will be specific tasks, deliverables, and accelerators to help the project team who are going through an upgrade.
- Question: Can you explain the difference between the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 3-system and the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 3-system upgrade implementation roadmaps?
- Answer: In the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 3-system landscape, there are some changes on how we handle software and content upgrades during the upgrade process. In the 3-system landscape, we cover the events of the upgrade in a dedicated roadmap because we want to make it clear to everyone who is run a system that there are some pre-upgrade activities which need to get started 6 weeks before the upgrade when information gets published on the timeline of events and what’s new in the upgrade. Then we have the three week window for the upgrade itself which we start with the test system and then simultaneously upgrade the development and production systems. During those events and steps, there are certain steps which a customer needs to execute. We detail those steps out in the methodology. Then there is a post processing after the upgrade when there is a set of activities which a customer needs to execute in order to adopt the new SAP content which has been shipped with the new features in order to start using the new capabilities in the system. This has been somewhat of a change from the 2-system landscape and we needed to pull that out into a separate implementation roadmap to make it more visible. We are also working with our Cloud ALM colleagues on capabilities on Cloud ALM which will help us manage some of this to make it much more visible in terms of timelines in the future so stay tuned as this is on the roadmap. Some of the capabilities are already in Cloud ALM where we publish the information directly in the project. If you have SAP S/4HANA Cloud in your scope, you will see the timeline for RTC already appearing on your dashboard for your project.
- Question: Can you speak further on the SAP Cloud ALM topic? What things are available, and can you take us into a deeper dive into Cloud ALM?
- Answer: Cloud ALM has a few different functions. One function that is directly related to SAP Activate is the project management piece of it. What they’ve developed is a tool that will bring in the roadmaps which we have and makes that available to a project manager and to the team members so that they can do completion of tasks, completion statuses, and monitor the overall project. The project manager can add tasks and assign people to tasks so it is an overall project management tool which sits on top of our content. In addition, Cloud ALM will provide functionality for monitoring integration, monitoring testing, as well as future plans to continue to expand so that they can be a central location for monitoring and executing projects and managing your cloud solutions.
- Question: For the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer, is there a way for me to provide feedback?
- Answer: Yes, you can provide feedback via the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer where there is a feedback functionality option on the left-hand side of the screen. We review those feedback items which we take into consideration as we build that bi-weekly release and cycle. That feedback is extremely important to us as we do review submitted feedback on a bi-weekly basis and we try to resolve if there is an issue or a recommendation – we try to build that into our plan as we go forward. A lot of times we resolve the feedback within a week or two since we work in bi-weekly sprints. It is very important to us that we hear feedback on what you are seeing and what you are saying so we can continue to improve the product we are putting out.
- Question: What are your top three tips for someone implementing with SAP Activate to yield a successful implementation?
- Jan – “One tip, is to go to the last session (link here), and look through the first 20 minutes where we spent a little bit of time where we spoke on the success criteria. My top three things: 1. Educate your business users that they need to be more involved in a project than you are used to from using ASAP or any other previous methodology. It requires very close collaboration between business and IT to be successful. 2. Second, understand your source of data and plan your data migration, data cleansing a lot sooner than you think. If you are starting now, you are probably a month late. It is always on a critical path for any project. 3. Lastly, which kind of relates to the first tip, is the importance of organizational change management. With SAP Activate, we are changing the paradigm from heavily tailoring the systems to trying to stay as close to the standard functionality that SAP delivers and that requires change in the business. For that change to be successful, you really need to pay attention to organizational change management and execute throughout the entire project, and show the business users the value of the new processes and how it’s benefiting them or how it’s benefiting the organization. If you underestimate this and not do a good enough job, the success and the adoption of your software in your organization may be lacking.
- Dan – “I’m going to add on to that so we get four! The one I’m going to add is sort of all encompassing is to read the SAP Activate implementation roadmap. We have all of those points in there and we are focusing on the different workstreams and what is most important. The content is ever changing and being updated so it is not a static roadmap. We want people to come back time and time again to take a look at it, read through it and the overall processes that we are putting together for the different workstreams so you can implement successfully.”
- Adnette – “To add another tip on top of that, to me education is key. In the SAP Activate implementation roadmaps, we do have a workstream called Customer Team Enablement. It is important to stay up to date with the new software, new release, new functionality but education is key. We do have SAP Learning Hub where SAP does offer a lot of courses on projects and also on SAP Activate where we do have a certification where your team and project can be certified on how to use SAP Activate and understand how SAP S/4HANA Cloud of various roadmaps. So, education is key! We are all experts and have years of experience but technology is moving so fast that sometimes we have to take time to sit down and read the content that people are producing and hopefully it can help your team through an implementation.”
- Question: Does SAP Activate offer trainings and content in different languages for a user to adapt or for someone who may not be a native English speaker?
- Answer: On the education side offered globally so all of our colleagues in education centers are offering them in local delivery. I’ve had exchanges with our teams in education and they have shifted all of these courses into remote delivery now including the ACT200 course which is a tremendous effort as it was designed to be a purely in the room, face to face course (not with social distancing in mind) so that shifted our delivery of the trainings. When it comes to trainings or e-learnings which you are consuming on Learning Hub, they will be in English. I am not aware of any available translations but when it comes to the business content, we have started introducing some of the assets in different languages. When it comes to public cloud, we are also catering to customers in China and Japan with the translations and we are looking at other translations in the future. It is really a balancing act to a large degree because you need to account for the complexity of keeping the translations up to date with bi-weekly sprints. It really represents some challenges which we need to look into and resolve so we were able to handle it for languages that are catering to large markets in Asia.
- Question: Are the implementation roadmaps available in other languages?
- Answer: Yes, the content in SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer is available in English, Chinese, and Japanese. If you go to the Roadmap Viewer, under your profile, you can change the language setting there. Additionally, we also update every two weeks in English and quarterly in the other languages.
- Question: Is the SAP Activate team going to hold future Community Calls with various topics?
- Answer: This call which we are on currently, is a follow up to the last call we had in October where we heard you and wanted to hear more about the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer, you wanted to learn about how to navigate that and learn from us about what to look forward to in 2022. That’s how this call was scheduled so we do listen to you and if you have topic ideas or if you want to hear something from us, please let us know in our community page. That’s how topic ideas for these calls are scheduled. For now, we are going to do quarterly calls and we will have different speakers for the calls depending on the topics so we will continue this year – that is the plan for now. We are really looking forward to hearing from the community to what your interests are. Last time, Jan and Nishat were expanding the group. We are going to bring different speakers. You can meet the team that is building SAP Activate and engage with them directly. In this format or reach out to them via the Community. Additionally, our team is part of the Community and they all have blog posts with great content in their areas of expertise within SAP Activate.
- Question: Are there demos within the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer which I can consume to enable myself to learn the tool better?
- Answer: There is a section called “How to Use” in the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer tile offerings on the homepage. You can find a demo which shows all of the functionalities of the Roadmap Viewer. There is also a presentation which is linked under the “Learn More” tile and shows functionalities via PowerPoint, see “How to start your project with SAP Activate in Roadmap Viewer.”
- Question: If you were to describe SAP Activate in one word, how would you describe it?
- Adnette – “Agile. We follow the bi-weekly sprints, keep changing, and try to stay consistent as the market is changing.”
- Dan – “I don’t have just one word. My big thing with the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer is that it provides the right information at the point of time in the project that you need that information. That’s what we strive to do. You get everything when you need it for the right role that you need it for so that you have a complete flow from end to end on how to do an implementation.”
- Jan – “I have two words… guided journey. I know I am deviating from the one word rule but what Dan said is true. We are not trying to give you only headlines and be brief such as ‘you need to do a schedule’. This is the first time I’m doing a schedule, how do I do it? SAP how do I do it? We give you the why, the how, and the accelerators – that is a guided journey. That is what we trying to do for every user in that project. Not only for a project manager, application consultant, we look at the entire body of experts that are delivering the projects and catering to all of them.”
Links to resources mentioned during the call:
- SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer
- Dan Ciecko on the SAP Community
- Adnette Kamugisha on the SAP Community
- Jan Musil on the SAP Community
- Nishat Fatima on the SAP Community
- Link from our first SAP Activate Community Call
- Check out all the great blog posts from SAP Activate colleagues and follow the tag “SAP Activate”
- SAP Activate Community Question Forum
- Blog post – Prepping for SAP Activate Certification
- SAP Activate Training offerings and Certification
- Dan’s SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release Notes Blog
- Outlook for future Community Calls
- SAP Activate Project Management Certification Guide eBook
- SAP Activate topic page on the SAP Community – give us a follow!
Please be sure to follow the SAP Activate Community topic page to stay up to date on all of the latest news and content!
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