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This blog post covers Assessing Cutover Readiness for an SAP project.

A Cutover Readiness Assessment Framework is included to assist with assessing cutover readiness and is based on SAP project experience across many SAP projects. The framework is intended for SAP project managers and cutover leads to provide a baseline approach that can be modified to suit the specific project.

The framework focuses on assessing the readiness of the project team, business, and SAP solution to commence the Production Cutover. The SAP Activate methodology lists the various readiness checks in the Deploy phase of the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer including templates for documenting the readiness results.

The framework is based on 3 key principles:

  • A pre-defined set of criteria for assessing readiness. This supports an objective assessment method that does not vary based on the pressure at decision time.

  • Assessment of aspects / areas that influence a project cutover. This includes not just the SAP solution and technical aspects, but also business preparedness, IT operations, etc.

  • Tracking and monitoring progress to the cutover. To commence this monitoring as early as possible, enabling sufficient lead time to prepare for the cutover and resolve any issues that rise.

 Key components of the framework include: readiness assessment criteria, regular checkpoints, and monitoring of cutover readiness against the assessment criteria.

Cutover Readiness Assessment Framework

1. Cutover Assessment Criteria is a pre-defined checklist (or set of criteria) to assess the readiness for the Project Cutover. The Cutover Assessment Criteria can be defined in a spreadsheet to record and report the actual results.

The criteria in this framework are grouped as follows (and can vary according to the project type, complexity, scope etc.):

  • Application

  • Data

  • Technical

  • Cutover Planning

  • Business Preparation

  • IT Operational

  • Final Cutover

The diagram below provides an example of the Cutover Assessment Criteria including key groupings and sub-topics for recording the individual criteria and assessment results.

Example Cutover Readiness Assessment Criteria

The assessment criteria can include different types of assessment methods, including a simple “Yes or No” question, a progressive scale, a minimum or maximum value etc. The criteria can also include a priority rating to assist with the decision making.

The Cutover Assessment Results can be summarized to provide an overall readiness rating for a specific area, i.e., Application, Data etc. The readiness rating of specific areas may be grouped and assessed to provide decision making at key milestones for the cutover, i.e., Application and Data readiness for commencing a Cutover Simulation.

These milestone decision points are referred to as “Cutover Checkpoints” for this framework.

2. Cutover Checkpoints are key decision points to assess the cutover readiness to initiate a key cutover step, i.e., Cutover Simulation, Business Cutover Preparation, Production Cutover etc. These checkpoints will vary depending on the cutover approach and timeline and of course the overall project specifics.

The diagram below illustrates a set of Cutover Checkpoints and the utilization of the Cutover Assessment Criteria to support the decision making at that specific checkpoint.

Example Project Cutover Checkpoints

3. Monitor Cutover Readiness prior to the Cutover Checkpoint provides early visibility of the readiness with time to meet the criteria (Green Status) and resolve any issues / hurdles that occur along the way. This is often referred to as Get to Green.

The Monitoring of Cutover Readiness is usually conducted in regular meetings to assess and report the progress against the defined criteria; highlighting actions to meet the criteria (GREEN status) and identifying any issues delaying or stopping progress (AMBER or RED status).

The dashboard below is an example used on a recent project to monitor the progress to Cutover Readiness. The dashboard is updated based on the results against the Cutover Assessment Criteria and is then reviewed in the regular review meeting. This provides visibility of an AMBER or RED with (hopefully) time to resolve the relevant issue.

Example Cutover Readiness Assessment Dashboard

The SAP Cutover Readiness Assessment Framework illustrated in this post is a base example that can be modified or enhanced to suit the specific needs and attributes of an SAP project.

I will publish an additional blog post on this topic with examples and further detail for the Cutover Assessment Criteria.

I hope this blog is of help to SAP Project Managers for assessing the readiness for an SAP Cutover. Feel free to contact me for further information.

For more information on SAP Activate and SAP Project Cutover check out the following links:

  • SAP Activate Community here

  • SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer here

  • SAP Project Manager’s Guide to Project Cutover here

  • Remote SAP Cutover here

  • Cutover Highlights for SAP S/4HANA here.