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Welcome to my monthly SAP ALM Blog which sees the continuation of the series on migrating to S/4HANA. Also for information on SAP’s ALM training please click on 2018 EGI Training Schedule for April and May. These are free with SAP Enterprise Support.

Solution Manager and migrating to S/4HANA – Realization

This is the third blog in our Journey to SAP S/4HANA series. SAP Solution Manager 7.2 ensures a smooth and efficient transition to SAP S/4HANA and the world of digital business. The next few blogs will cover how Solution Manager 7.2 supports each of the following phases in the Transition to S/4HANA.

  1. Planning – See Feb Blog

  2. Preparation – Mar Blog

  3. Realization – April Blog

  4. Operate & Optimize

The Realization Phase

The next step is the Realization phase. This is mainly supported by the Requirement to Deploy value chain and is where the heavy lifting in the project occurs. SAP also has a turnkey solution called Focused Build. This is a Licensed Solution for rapid Requirement to Deploy enablement which is Agile aligned and facilitates continuous delivery.

Business Drivers for Requirement to Deploy process improvement

Leverage upgrade team to remap processes to create a single source of the truth

Automate regression test for critical processes with Test Management and optimize testing effort with Business Process Change Analyzer

Adopt SAP Best Practices for Requirement to Deploy as part of refreshing SAP Landscape to help manage complexity and increase the velocity of change

Automate change tasks for cut-over with the potential of saving thousands of hours

Process Management in the age of Digital Transformation

The transformation to S/4HANA is all about Digital Business and the new opportunities for innovation. These innovations are going to be driven by creating new processes and transforming the existing ones.

Currently, many organizations Process Documentation is based on MS Word documents with embedded Visio process diagrams stored in Sharepoint. When you consider many SAP Solutions have been running like this for over 10 years it is not surprising to see a complete lack of accurate solution documentation due to poorly managed document change control.
To illustrate the point, imagine using MS Word and Sharepoint to manually manage 8 end to end mega processes with 600 sub-processes (600 Visio process flows) encompassing over 3,800 process steps across 180 SAP components using 800 SAP Transactions including 100 Z Transactions with 200 interfaces and 250 batch jobs (numbers based on Global Enterprise). 

Lack of accurate documentation, disparate sources, and process visibility are challenges for business looking to rapidly adopt change in order to drive business value. 

With SAP Solution Managers new Process Management functionality organizations can replace Visio with the embedded Process Modelling Tool (this is free and supports BPMN2) integrated into Document Libraries for linking Process Documentation. This can then be integrated into the Change Management process to enforce documentation accuracy.

Business processes drive IT Integration and Openness Collaboration with SAP/Partners
Design to-be processes based on as-is End-to-end lifecycle processes SAP S/4HANA delivery platform
Single source of truth for the entire lifecycle Seamless transition from build to run Implementation and operations content
Business processes always up-to-date Drive continuous improvement based on productive usage Mission-Control Center integration
Processes used by everyone every day Generic third-party interfaces Build and Run partner integration

Implementation Content. Authored, delivered and ready for consumption in SAP Solution Manager SAP Activate includes a set of best practices which can be used to evaluate existing processes for improvement opportunities. You can selectively activate individual best practices to introduce new or replace existing functionality.  This will be relevant if you are looking to revamp your existing processes. The best practices content includes the following accelerators so you don’t need to start from scratch. Guided configuration, business processes documentation, BPMN2 process diagrams, and testing scripts. Solution manager is also the authoring environment for the best practices implementation content. This means that Solution Manager is the best tool for adopting best practices to your business.

Solution Documentation. You can now model your processes graphically and manage their life-cycle holistically. This simplifies the documentation of customer solutions. You can also fast-track the definition of processes using libraries containing elements that are used typically for documenting a solution. These elements enable you to create artifacts that are shared between multiple processes efficiently. This is especially important when a certain process is used in multiple variants across an organization. With the library concept, you are able to store all process components that are identical in a library and re-use these components later during the definition of variants. SAP Solution Manager 7.2 also simplifies the documentation of system landscapes, the roles that the individual systems play and the definition of the routes that changes take while flowing from the development to the production environment. First, you can group all systems belonging to the same kind of product like ERP or CRM. As a next step, you can define the roles that the individual systems play like development, quality assurance, or production.

Process Management also allows you to describe both the business and IT perspectives on processes, applications, and system landscapes. The processes described in the Solution Documentation can then be used by other processes in Solution Manager, like Test Management, Business Process Monitoring and Change Management. You can control and manage the life-cycle of process content with change and request management. All aspects of the process life-cycle are tied together in the solution documented in Solution Manager as a single source of the truth.

SAP training: EGI & Value Map

Test Management - its time to get Agile

For most SAP projects testing will consume 60% or more of the total project time with multiple testing cycles. This is even higher for the S/4HANA migration due to the significant changes in underlying table structures, simplification items, and new infrastructure. Along with Process Management, Testing is another key component in enabling Digital Business adoption. By being able to accurately analyze the impact of proposed change and automate and optimize the time-consuming testing cycles, organizations can become more agile.

With the new Test Management functionality and Business Process Change Analyzer (BPCA), integrated with Process Management we can now analyze what processes will be impacted by the change and automatically identify the testing scope. BPCA can then optimize this scope by analyzing process usage and calculating the optimal test coverage. This risk-based test scope optimization can significantly reduce regression testing effort. Test Management does not require any additional licenses for Automated Testing. It also supports integration with third-party tools like HPALM and Worksoft.

Test Management Best PracticesBest Practice content can be downloaded to your SAP Solution Manager 7.2 system It can be used as starting point to quickly adopt Test Suite in Solution Manager 7.2 but also as support for organizational setup and alignment between various parties (IT, PMO, Business) involved in testing. The processes and diagrams can be adjusted accordingly.


Higher Regression Test coverage Change impact analysis for maintenance activity
Fewer incidents in PRD Transparency over test execution progress
Less manual test effort Better guidance for testers
Faster SP/EHP deployment Replace ad-hoc test planning with a structured approach
Faster identification and optimization of test scope

Test Automation.  In SAP Solution Manager this is known as Component-Based Test Automation (CBTA) and can automate tests for Business Process, Process Step, and Executables using SAP and non-SAP tools. It supports automation of the majority of SAP UI technologies in the most efficient way. Integrates with Non-SAP tools (HP Unified Functional Testing and WS Certify) to protect investment and automate additional UI technologies.

Can run end to end automated tests comprising Test Scripts created using SAP and Non-SAP tools that can be chained with dynamic parameter handover. Test data can be provided to automated test from Test Data Container facilitated by Test Data assignment wizard. Has a sophisticated debugging environment available. Test execution can be scheduled for a batch execution without any tester intervention on a variety of systems. Detailed execution log is stored in SAP Solution Manager and can be accessed anytime.

It makes sense to utilize the testing effort in your S/4HANA migration effectively by setting up your testing capability and automating the critical end to end processes. This will lay the foundation for faster adoption going forward. Use the below estimates to build your testing proof of concept to identify potential savings. i.e
Regression Test Set-up + 5 Cases = 88hrs

BPCA with Scope and Effort Analyze with 20 P1 steps = 40hrs

10 Manual Tests = 20hrs

5 Manual RT Cases = 18hrs

POC total = 166hrs

Capability Effort
Test automation of RT for fix, enhance,  maintenance and innovation projects 1 day + 1-2 days per RT test case + onboarding of test engineers
Change impact analysis for RT for fix, enhance, maintenance and innovation projects (BPCA) Prognosis of change impact and adjustment / test efforts (Scope & Effort Analyzer) for maintenance and upgrade projects 0.5 day for custom code setup (incl. UPL or SCMon activation) + 2 hours for job execution for semi-dynamic TBOMs + 1/3 day per priority 1 process step + onboarding of change manager
Manual testing for innovation and transformation projects (SFT, UAT, FIT, RT) 2 hours per test (SFT, UAT) 1 day per test (FIT) + onboarding of testers and test manager
Manual testing for RT for fix, enhance, and maintenance projects 1 day + 2 hours per RT test case + onboarding of testers and test manager
SFT: Single Functional TestsFIT: Functional Integration Tests UAT: User Acceptance TestsRT: Regression Tests

SAP training: EGI & Value Map

Change Management for Digital Business

Now we come to the glue that holds all our IT Processes together by integrating all the sources of change. Without a high performing change process, you will face costly outages, high manual effort, slow cycle times, and low customer satisfaction. Change Management is also another key component to reaching true business agility while managing acceptable levels of risk.

Your S/4HANA migration project will drive a complete overhaul of your existing Landscape. As with Process Management, it is a good time to renew your Build Processes, IT Change Strategy and Landscape design to reflect best practices and opportunities for automation.

Just the manual change effort reduction alone could justify automating your change process:
Manual transport = 30mins

Large project no. of transports = 5,000. This equates to 2,500 hours of reduced effort.

SAP training:

Bringing it all together Best-of-Suite

SAP provides a Best of Application Life-cycle Management Suite (Best-of-suite) integrated build process that incorporates all the required processes for managing the migration project. This can either be integrated with existing Processes or used as blueprint for renewing your IT build Processes. SAP also provides Focus Build which is a Licensed Solution that supports Agile.

Best-of-Suite and Focused Build

By adopting a Best-of-Suite approach we can evolve from being reactive to providing Business Insights leading to Action.

Portfolio Stream. Starting from a solution landscape you manage your business requirements and related business cases based on value. The portfolio stream provides strategic themes and budget to manage your stakeholders successfully:

  • Fully transparent portfolio and capacity

  • Collaborative decision process

Value Stream. This is responsible for the overall customer solution. IT owns releases, capabilities and architecture planning and defines your application and process landscapes.

  • As-is landscape + Reference landscape = To-be landscape

  • Value aspiration and process KPIs and definition of business success criteria

IT Program. Translate business requirements into an IT solution and create respective work packages. Distribute work packages to development teams worldwide. Show and Tell development work iteratively, include stakeholders at early stages. Deliver what the business needs, and release when the business needs it.

Team. Development Scrum Teams plan development backlog and sprint schedule. Build IT solution and monitor progress. Manage test-driven development & automation. Manage transports

This lays the foundation for DevOps and Scaled Agile (SAFe). Small batch deployment with constant feedback loops with the business.

Releases synchronize project go lives and ensure continuous delivery and integration -> Release import automation.

Project to bundle deliverables. Multiple and parallel projects are possible -> Automated reporting

Phases ending with Quality Gates Short prepare and scope, incremental build. -> Automated tracking of documentation  completion

Waves ending with Touch and Feel by the business (8 – 12 weeks) -> Test planning & Test execution automation

Sprints with Show and Tell sessions to  the business (~ 2 weeks) -> Unit Test & Transport Automation


With a full project team assembled for the Realization Phase, it is worth the incremental effort in documenting your Processes in SAP Solution Manager and laying the foundation for an automated approach to regression testing. Along with Change Management, these are the key components to the integrated approach of the requirements to deployment value chain.

If you are familiar with the Technical Debt analogy, think of the S/4HANA migration Project as an opportunity to reduce Process Debt. That is resolving issues, like outdated process documentation, manual change processes and failed automated testing attempts, that have built up over time to form impediments to delivery velocity and efficiency. This will help reduce the cost of Testing and Change Management while reducing cycle times.

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