With pre-configured solutions, best practice of business process scenarios, and tools come with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public cloud edition, implementing Clould ERP in months is not just a dream, but a reality.
How to take advantage of the flexibility that three-system landscape offers and plan your sprints is probably the key to the overall success of your project.
Imagine if you are the SAP project manager for a small medium size company. Your company just recently signed up the new Grow with SAP offering and would like to start use the cloud ERP solution for one country with couple of office/locations in 3 months.
Using SAP Activate Methodology for S/4HANA Cloud, public edition roadmap, you follow the guideline and spend about 4 weeks in Prepare and Explore phase. Coming out of Fit-to-Standard workshops, you have decided to use majority out of box settings with some adjustments in configuration setting and minimal enhancement on forms, workflow and pricing from standard templates. Reserving couple of weeks for cut over prep and related activities and some buffer, you have about 6 weeks in Realize phase to get all the things configured and developed, tested and have productive environment ready.
You don't have a large crew. You have three experienced Configurators, knows business process well and is familiar with CBC and sIMG, one tech savvy Developer, learns fast, can play with new tools with extension and integrations. You know that in addition to being the project manager, you also need to help with requesting systems, tools, moving and scheduling transports.
You ask yourself: Six weeks? Is that possible?
Well, after my own experience of multiple country rollouts in Europe, Asian Pacific with a team of this size in the old days, I think this may be very well doable with new transport features from S4/HANA Cloud, public edition, three-system landscape and some planning: Six weeks, six sprints, six themes.
Six Sprints in Realize
1. Activation: In this sprint, you and your team work in SAP Central Business Configuration and S/4HANA Development System. Upon completion of the sprint, you have:
Organization structure of a company in a country defined with business process scope items deployed from CBC to Development System.
Optional scope items are also requested.
Critical financial settings including ledger, currency, etc are set.
Data used for configuration, one time settings or settings need to be maintained in respective system are all entered in Development System.
Unit test by configurator of standard business processes in Development System started.
You most likely have one activation transport from CBC deployed and one default transport for some configuration activities that are the critical or perquisites released in Development System.
2. Additional Setting: In this sprint, you and your team works use configuration activity apps, self-service, adjusting settings for respective business processes scenarios. Upon completion of the sprint, you have:
Business process related master data created.
Roles created from templates.
All standard business processes configured, and unit tested.
You most likely have one default transport for all the configuration activities and another transport for roles released in Development System.
3.Extension Work: In this sprint, while getting the Test System setup, you and your team start extension work in Development System. Upon completion of the sprint,
New extension transports created per feature (i.e. output, workflow vs. pricing) in Development System
Test System activated with the first CBC Transport
Transports from Sprint 2 are released and imported to Test System
End to end scenarios are prepared for testing.
4. Learning: In this sprint, your team enables key business users executing business transactions in Test System. Upon completion of the sprint,
Basic end to end business scenario testing of standard scope items completed.
Daily import to Test system scheduled.
All corrections in configuration settings are released and imported to Test System per schedule before the next day testing starts.
Key business users have hands on experience of using the solution and having a feel of their "day of life" like after go live.
Extension are unit tested in Development System
All extension transports are released on Friday before close of the sprint.
5. Data Preparation: In this sprint, variations of the end to end business scenarios including extension developments are tested in Test System. Correction transports (both configuration and extensions related) are released daily, imported to Test by schedule before testing resume the next day. You and your team focus on data migration. Upon completion of the sprint,
Data migration test completed.
Key user getting more proficient in Test System with transactions and getting end user involved when needed for validation and confirmation.
Daily import to Test system ran with corrections.
Production System is activated with first CBC transport forwarded from Test System and all subsequent transports including corrections from Sprint 4
Weekly Forwarding of Transport in Test System is scheduled, followed by the Import in Production System.
All correction transports in this Sprint collected via the job, end of day Friday, and imported to Production.
6. Final Sign Off: In this sprint, you and the team focus on getting user sign off with final adjustment and corrections per testing using data from migration. Upon completion of the sprint,
Daily import to Test System job ran with additional transports of corrections and adjustments before retesting the next day.
Weekly Forward and Import job ran and Production System is ready for cut over.
What about the timing of requesting all the systems?
Request and Receive CBC and Devlopment before Sprint 1. The first two sprints are used to setup the Development System.
Request and Setup Test during Sprint 3.
Request and Setup Production during Sprint 4.
I know, this is not your typical development sprints. But give it a shot. I think this is how you and your team can "sprint" to go live in Cloud ERP in 3 months.
Some additional reads
Check out the new Manage Transport task in SAP Activate roadmap to get an overview of the landscape, transport type and downward compatibility.
Review the Automation Setting and Planned System Behavior accelerator in Release and Update Cycle for more details on use of the transport scheduling feature.