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In a S/4HANA Cloud implementation project, we know that the golden rule is fostering the cloud mindset with SAP Activate methodology and following the standard best practice.

For a novice in S/4HANA Cloud project, strictly follow the Activate methodology is a good choice, but it's still not enough. There are many unwritten rules and lessons learned which could only be told by an experienced project manager or consultant.

Here we collect some insights and tips from PMs and consultants in SAP IDG, hope that will helps the new customer and partner to go the extra mile in SAP Cloud journey.

Overall Governance


  • Obtain top-level management commitment from the client

  • Understand stakeholders' motivation and style

  • Identify a Transformation Champion from the client

  • Respect local culture and client company culture


  • Maintain a comfortable and efficient instant communication channel for all project members

  • Keep regular communication about project status transparently

  • Set up a compliant document sharing space for the project team and users

  • Following Activate methodology for all relevant documentation

Cloud mindset

  • DO NOT bring OP stereotypes into a Cloud project

  • DO NOT compare OP and Cloud too much in front of the client

  • Influence the client advocate cloud mindset

  • Stay current and up to date knowledge

Project Plan

  • Obtain agreement on the plan, plan accurately, stick to plan, adjust methodically & execute to the project plan

  • Considering quarterly update and hotfix schedule into the project schedule

In Explore Phase

Put your feet into the client's shoes

  • Active listening

  • Anticipate client's requests

  • Show empathy and understand their motivation and pain points

  • Using business language rather than SAP technical language

  • Perspective exchange before proposing a solution

  • Result oriented and drive outcomes

  • Work towards raising the level of client's commitment and trust

Fit to standard

  • Personalized Best practice scenarios more specific and understandable

  • Using personalized master data while demonstration

  • Prepare personalized diagram to help the user understand their To-be business

  • Share previous actual industrial experience

  • Leave more time for user hands-on, make sure they really try in the Starter system

  • Organize & guide the user to start master data collection and cleansing as early

  • Document the key business decisions and configuration values, and request client sign-off if necessary

Delta requirement

  • Document every detailed requirement in the backlog

  • Prioritize the requirements and focus on the "must-have" ones

  • Trace and keep updating the backlog status, make the sponsor awareness

  • Centrally manage extensibilities and integrations, better to have uniform naming rules for the development objects

  • Keep connecting the solutions to the expected outcomes in Realize phase

In Realize Phase

Involvement & Enablement

  • Involve client into project work as much as possible

  • Enable customer team for taking some project work like configuration, in-app extensibility, authorization, etc.

  • Ensure the customer team is aware of the progress of the work you are doing and take them with you through the journey

  • Being transparent with product and project information with the client

  • Bit of handling around SAP Help Docs and Best practice accelerators


  • Doing exhaustive unit test covers all possible To-be business scenarios

  • Design personalized end to end testing scenarios that make the real scene for the customer, and use these scenarios for UAT

  • Provide support & assist the user during testing

  • Organize a round table testing instead of testing separately to increase and communication efficiency

  • Test end-user authorization in UAT phase

  • Request sign-off for UAT result from client

In Deploy Phase

System readiness

  • Be careful on the initial configurations while system provisioning

  • Be aware of the non-transportable set-ups, verify and redo them in the Production system

  • Centrally manage and record the Business Change Project (SSCUI) and Software collection (Extensibility) transportation

  • Be aware of multi-language system content translation


  • Make a detailed cutover plan at the task level and align with both IT and business user

  • Considering the relevant customer action into the cutover plan, like production stop, physical inventory, financial month end, etc.

  • Make the aligned cutover plan table visualized for everyone, update the status dynamically

Data Migration

  • Strat discuss master data topic as early and expect more time, especially for non-SAP background customer

  • Make a master data migration plan include master data collection, validation, trial upload to Q system, formal migration, etc.

  • Identify a Data migration Champion from customer IT

  • Help client to review and validate the final master data

  • Constantly check and use the latest migration template after the upgrade

Knowledge Transfer

  • Help customer set up a knowledge base

  • Enable Key user to proficient in business process and system operations

  • Enable the IT user to proficient in system configuration and extensibility

In Run Phase

Stay current

  • Encourage IT user to pay more attention to What's New document and bring benefit via new features

  • Guide user to conduct regression test after quarterly updates or hotfixes if necessary

  • Leverage test automation tools to carry out post update test

  • For regression issue, immediately report to SAP with support incident with the prefix [R] with the highest priority


  • Enable the IT user to become a proficient level 1 support

  • Consultant play a level 2 support role for post go-live support

  • Document the troubleshooting log in their Knowledge base for future analysis

  • Guide the user to use community and support portal for seeking answers

The above insights are condensed, not very detailed explanations. If you are interested in any points, please add a comment on this blog, I will try to explain more details to you. Thanks.