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Bogdan_Gorka
Explorer

For some reason, there is not much published about manging implementation of the SAP Business ByDesign solution. In this article I would like to add to this topic and share my insights on how you can leverage the power of the SAP FocusedBuild, to plan and manage the project scope of your SAP ByD implementation.

What is FocusedBuild?

Reading the introductory presentation about the FocusedBuild, you may have an impression that this is some kind of an application (plugin) embedded in Solution Manager. I would say: Yes and No. In my opinion it is much more. I would claim that this is a very well designed and compact SAP Project Management Methodology which may be used even withouth Solution Manager with any task tracker. If SAP Activate Roadmap says WHAT needs to be done, then FocusedBuild shows HOW it can be planned and manage practically in both the Waterfall and Agile variants. That is why this methodology, together with the SAP Activate Roadmap go so well hand in hand.

The tricky word ‘Scope’

Now, when you know a bit more about methods, let me explain an imporant word ‘Scope’. When you hear the word ‘scope' or 'scoping' in context of SAP ByD project, most likely someone means the “solution scope” i.e. what processes you want to enable in the SAP ByD solution. What I am discussing in this article is how you can plan and track:

    • which of the functional scope items (processes) have been delivered/completed -> this is relating to the functional solution scope
    • which non-functional scope items -> this is relating to work needed to be performed as part of business readiness, data management, communication etc.

Where do I start?

Business Scenarios from Help.SAP.com

Just like with other SAP solutions, in order to start planning your project’s functional scope, in SAP ByDesign you also start with the best practices process library by reviewing so called Business Scenarios. Within each business scenario you get a detailed overview of the business processes and process steps.

Image: SAP Business By Design Help Portal. Source: help.sap.com

By selecting one of the Business Scenarios, you download a PPTX presentation describing the content of this scenario. Below is an example of one End-To-End Business Scenario i SAP ByD Solution (source: SAP Help) Please notice what is a scenario and what is a single business process in this scenario.

Image: SAP ByD single Business Scenario. Source: help.sap.com

In SAP ByD, with your implementation partner you discuss and then decide which processes you want to have enabled (SAP Activate Phase: Prepare, Task: Determine Process Scope).

Knowing exactly which Business Process you have selected is important for the following reasons:

    • This is the contracted element (you are paying for this to function properly)

    • This will be the basis to report on progress status

    • This element will group requirements (Fit or Gap)

    • This element will be associated with a Test Plan containing Test Cases

Process Activity and Process Step

Each process contains actions that are performed in some kind of a sequence of activities to achieve a defined business goal. That is why I often read in SAP documentation that a business process consists of business process activities. Subsequently, Business Process Activities contain specific Steps.

Business Process, Process Activity and Process Steps create a hierarchy of elements which we need, in order to use the FocusedBuild approach to planning the project’s functional scope.

Image: SAP ByD Business Scenario decomposition. Source: Author

An example of a hierarchy with one business process from O2C Project Based Services Scenario:

Level 1: Business Process: Creating Sales Orders

Level 2: Process Activity: Create Sales Order

Level 3: Actity Steps: Create Sales Order, Review Sales Order, Submit Sales Order

Project Scope Item

What is most important in the FocusedBuild methodology is the fact that all planning, execution and testing is based on business processes and not on functionalities/features. One business process becomes one Project Scope Item.

Image: Project Scope Item creation logic. Source: Author

If you, for whatever reason, do not want to use Solution Manager, you can also use other tools like Atlassian Jira to track the status of Project Scope Items delivery. The strong point of FocusedBuild methodology is that it can be used in other tracking tools too.

Work Package and Work Item

According to the PMBOK Guide® by Project Management Institute, Work Package is used to group the activities where work (i.e. work products or deliverables) is scheduled, estimated, monitored and controlled.

Why Work Package should be important for your project:

    • Work Package (WP) is a testable project outcome meaning that the result of work package delivery must be in some way measurable using a selected testing method.

    • Work Package is a reference for project communication, team collaboration, project reporting and contract delivery status monitoring (and resulting payments). Often there is a naming convention and unique IDs given to work packages.

That is why defining and setting up Work Packages is one of the most critical project managment duties. Of course Work Packages definition needs to be done with closed collaboration with a Solution Architect using client’s Requirements as input.

What’s next?

Once you have Work Packages defined, you can start decomposing them into Work Items (another name for Tasks or Activities). Scheduled activities (in Sprints) are the result of work package decomposition.


Image: Decomposing Work Packages to Work Items. Source: Author

In the example above you can see the visualisation of discussed hierarchy levels: Scope Item, Work Package and Work Items. They all can be tracked together in Solution Manager or in another tracking tool like Jira. What is also important, I describe here only managing the functional scope items. In exactly the same way you can track non-functional scope items because this hierchy can be used for all types of project scope items. You should use the SAP Activate Roadmap to list and plan other Scope Items.

Is manging Project Scope in SAP Business By Design Project easy?

In my opinion managing scope is a fundamental aspect in any SAP project. Having read the documents from SAP I have an impression that the implementation of this solution is described as easy and quick to do. I strongly disagree with that. The fact that you can quickly enable and disable specific functionalities in the solution does not mean that the business tranformation from the legacy ERP solution to SAP ByD solution is easy. This process should be carefully planned. The FocusedBuild, which is so much more than just a plugin to Solution Manager, will surely help you in managing the whole project with any tool that enables tracking, for example Jira. You can start with naming the functional and non-functional scope items and you will be surprised how quickly you will reach the number 100.

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