Project delivery framework for SAP Marketing Cloud
The space of digital marketing is a fast paced and constantly evolving environment and so are the people working within it. Digital marketing projects need to live up to high time-to-value, value realization, and agility standards. Our framework and principles are derived from dozens of projects across regions and industries to help you to meet these high standards.
Before going into details on how each release and phase works, there is a set of fundamental principles and practices that need to be understood for an SAP Marketing Cloud project. These principles are important across all releases and phases.
SAP Marketing Cloud can be implemented by applying different project methodologies. However, SAP Activate is a proven methodology that can help you to move fast.
The project approach for the SAP Marketing Cloud is not strict about agile nor waterfall methodologies. Nevertheless, it is important to follow the principles of agile mindsets.
The project approach is based on multiple releases and phases within a release.
Delivering SAP Marketing Cloud with SAP Activate
Project Releases & Phases
The project delivery framework for SAP Marketing Cloud as described in this article is aligned with SAP Activate. The image below will provide you with a quick reference of SAP Activate phases for the first release of your digital marketing transformation journey.
Technical availability check
Initial steps: Connections & Admin Users
Corporate & Marketing Objectives introduction
Project plan introduction
Identification of business owners, key users, operation owners, technical key resources from customer side
Articulation of mandates and responsibilities of all involved parties
Introduction of the steering committee members, cadence, decision process and meeting structure
Business scenario identification
Communication outbound channels definition
Organizational unit nomination
Country or regional selection
Technical & functional workshop
Data source definition
Feature minimal set definition
Data model & API enhancements
Business foundation activation workshop
Profiling Match & Merge generic tactic
Marketing Area common denominator identification
Permission Marketing configuration in compliance with internal policies
Fine tuning of the timeline and team member assignments
Re-validation of scope item backlog based on scenario priorities
Documentation of all workshop results including the decision criteria per functional and technical item
The realization activities highly depend on the workshop results from the Explore phase. Based on the multi-release and phased approach we highly recommend you work with a minimal functional and technical set in the first release.
Profiling configuration for connected data sources
Outbound channel configuration
Content Studio configuration
Fact sheet configuration
Business role setup and creation
Connect SAP Analytics Cloud
Activate standard analytical stories
Connect data sources
Apply enhancements to the data model and APIs
Enhance integration packages to comply with enhanced data models or custom Extract-Transform-Load logic
Create custom integration package to connect to a non-SAP data source via a push method (the source system is pushing data against a custom integration package)
Apply minor enhancements of views for the Segmentation for custom filters and key figures
Run integration tests (single and volume) and document the results
Apply corrections and re-run tests until the minimum quality level threshold is reached
Migrate the configuration to the production tenant
Run the initial data migration from the connected sources and start the delta load
Create a technical operation hand-book and do a hand-over workshop
Run a production smoke test by applying a seed list and simple campaign
Build the campaigns identified in the business scenario workshop together with the key business users
Create a campaign warm-up plan and execute it together with the business and operation team
Document the created campaigns and warm-up plan campaigns step-by-step as follow-up documentation for the business team
Hyper-care the campaign warm-up for at least four weeks
Scope and design the next project wave.
Keep in mind that the organizational and geographical dimension of your second wave will be become more important. You will most likely need to split the second wave into two streams: one to re-iterate the steps above and another one to execute the organizational and geographical roll-out.
Releases and Iteration
SAP Marketing Cloud projects should be broken down into slices or increments called a release following a crawl, walk, run approach. The size of a release can vary depending on the context. When possible, we recommend you schedule releases with relatively equal duration. Smaller releases can help reduce the project's risk, improve time-to-market, and give more immediate visibility to the business and end-users. If you follow the Minimal Viable Product approach paired with the described phases above, your project duration should be between eight to twelve weeks.
SAP Activate project example: SAP Model Company
To learn more about how SAP has configured their own MVP’s for organizations kick-starting their digital transformations, review the SAP Model Company for SAP Customer Experience. SAP’s Model Company offerings are preconfigured MVPs designed for the purpose of meeting MVP timeframes and setting up for the next wave of implementation. As per SAP's implementation process for SAP Marketing Cloud, there are marketing related MVPs serving specific business scenarios, addressing the “The Six Dimensions of Success and Failure”, which are delivered based on a bill of materials purchased by our customers.
This project framework is applicable as a standalone implementation or part of the overall SAP Customer Experience program. You can refer to Overall SAP Customer Experience Project Framework to learn more about the project setup with multiple solutions across the portfolio.
Disclaimer: Original version of this article was published in SAP CX Works.