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System Conversion Test Cycles

There are many Phases, Deliverables and Tasks that needs be planned and carefully executed for a successful transition to SAP S/4HANA.

The objective of this blog post is to discuss Conversion test cycles, the benefits they bring and some recommendations on how to plan and execute them.

Conversion test cycles are the backbone of a Conversion project as it gives you the practice you need to make a perfect conversion, and it must be perfected by the time you reach  production.

Test your first conversion with a copy of production ERP (Sandbox) to understand the individual phases, steps, and associated runtimes. Using a productionlike hardware for the target SAP S/4HANA system in this cycle is highly recommended to obtain realistic execution times and make a reliable estimate of the expected business downtime.

Carefully execute all functional preparation steps, do not skip or short-cut activities impacting subsequent steps in the conversion procedure to get a full picture of the required tasks. Have a detailed project plan for each conversion cycle. Improve and refine it with each iteration.

Create a conversion runbook. Use it to log all required functional and technical activities in a conversion cycle and the associated completion times.

Note that one of these cycles should also include tests on the connected satellite systems to validate the integration.

After the first conversion cycle, negotiate with business users what system outage window is acceptable and decide on the technology option: standard conversion or downtime optimized conversion.

Once the new development (DEV) system has been built, keep the change requests for the current solution to a minimum (“system freeze”). You need to re-implement the changes manually in the new DEV system. There is no automated retrofit.

Create the first version of the cutover plan (that is, an end-to-end sequencing of activities for the cutover weekend) for the quality assurance system (QAS) conversion cycle and refine it. It must become perfect by the time of production conversion.

           (image source: "Mapping Your Journey to SAP S/4HANA" see reference)

There’s no doubt that transition to S/4HANA is a huge challenge, however SAP have provided some excellent practical guides to give us all some peace of mind, below is one of those excellent documents and the source of information for this article, enjoy 🙂

Mapping Your Journey to SAP S/4HANA - A Practical Guide for Senior IT Leadership