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This is in continuation to my previous blog post on “Overview on Wave planning during Migration of SAP systems to Cloud”

As part of SAP Migration to cloud or other (Data-Center) DC to DC migration, bigger strategic question is how to validate the option of migration in terms of waves or big-bang laid out is in the right path in terms-of Cost, Business dependency, Quality/KPI's, timelines, etc.,

As a first step analyze the scope, systems, business dependency etc., and start giving the score for below strategic parameters. Lesser the score higher the impact or risk. So final score will give high level indication on the options chosen is in the right direction.

Parameters to evaluate:

  • Project duration – Longer the SAP migration project duration, it will have impact of cost & on the Risk. So this needs a balance.


  • Cost Impact – One of the Prime driver in many of such migration projects. This need to be optimized considering various factors both from IT and Business perspective


  • Availability of SMEs – Critical factor to consider here is based on, other projects in pipeline & business commitments


  • Testing effort – sometimes it so happens that team may not have bandwidth to perform testing in case of big bang or few waves. So this need to be factored while planning the waves.


  • In flight project impact – more the number of waves more the impact on other in-flight projects


  • Impact or dependency of technical vs business systems. This should be a mix of systems, considering the business dependency


  • Learnings – this plays a vital role especially on number of waves …more the waves better the leanings


  • Interim support cost – more the number of waves, interim support cost goes up.


  • Ease of decommissioning - this may have impact in case of big-bang approach considering Audit, statutory guidelines, tools available, stake holders acceptance etc.,


  • State of the systems – During the period of migration depending on number of waves some systems will be on cloud and some will be on-premise. Business dependency need to be analyzed and due considerations to be given here. More the number of waves higher the impact.


Please refer below reference/illustrative matrix which can be prepared to rate the individual options chosen.

Option which has highest score may be considered as an option to choose.

Score Matrix



Finally number of wave’s vs Big-bang approach is the trade-off between the cost and Risk. There is nothing like right or wrong options here nor a bench mark to base line.

It depends, on what factors these are measured & how they are measured, amount of risk one can afford to take etc., Every client may have additional dimensions to measure which also need to go in as input to this exercise with close involvement from Business stake holders.

Crux of this exercise is in giving the right scores and the same has to blend with the input from project experiences, learnings, issues faced, insight into projects in pipeline, business requirements etc.,

So meticulous analysis of systems and their dependencies are the key to take the right decision which is acceptable primarily to Business and also in line with IT strategy.



Arun BP

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