Quality Gates in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Projects
I work for the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Expertise Services team where we work closely with our partners and enable them in their SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementation journey. Over the course of working with many partners for more than two years we have learnt some lessons that I feel is worth sharing with our larger community. For the purpose, we created a storyline up with a fictitious company called ACME Water and an implementation partner with the name XTS US. In the following simulation video you will see the Q Gate for Explore-to-Realize phase.
In SAP Activate Methodology, we refer to the Quality Gate as an ‘accelerator’, customers and partners see it as a ‘brake’, in reality it is allowing you the time to shift to the correct gear before moving on.
At the very heart of an SAP S/4HANA Cloud Implementation is the Realize Phase. This is when you finally get to request the landscape, the Quality (Q) system and the system that will be the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Productive (P) system. Customers and Partners are very keen to move on from Explore and sometimes the impression we get is that the implementation team doesn’t feel like the project has actually properly kicked off until they have their hands on the systems (Q&P). This is an understandable mindset of course, but, you wouldn’t build a house without correctly designing it and setting strong foundations.
Time is money in any project and by managing the Explore phase correctly, the risk of adding time in the Realize and deploy phases can be significantly mitigated.The one thing you don’t want is to have to re-provision your Q system due to a mistake on critical settings, especially if it could have been avoided by conducting a proper exploration. It happens, believe us, we have experienced it, and re-provisioning adds a lot of time and pain.
Re-provisioning is the worst case scenario of course but not correctly closing the Explore phase and leaving tasks incomplete can result in added time and frustrations during realise.
To give you an idea of typical scenarios we see at this point on a project, we have created a simulation of an Explore to Realize Quality gate discussion.
Like many customers, ACME Water are keen to move forward to Realize. So, after our meeting, hopefully they, like you, will understand why you MUST consider the advice from the experts by following the Quality Gate process.
Perhaps you would also like to watch our Fit-to-Standard videos for ACME Water. Here is the blog containing the video links