One of the most critical components to be successful in consultancy is planning and control processes to reach targets right on time and on budget by using resources in the most efficient way.With a highly experienced project management team and by using international implementation methodology of SAP which is tested many times and has a proven success, Bizcon has successfully accomplished many broad in scope SAP projects.
ASAP Project Methodology
BIZCON will run project management with ASAP Methodology which is intended for faster implementation of SAP applications. Experience, which is implemented, tested and approved in over 19.000 companies, on business processes are presented as a roadmap consisting ready templates, project plan and 5 steps which is simple to follow in Accelerated SAP. Accelerated SAP, shortly ASAP, is the new and accelerated implementation methodology which SAP has developed in order to use resources optimally and get concrete results in the shortest time. Steps to be followed during the project are presented to the users as pre-determined with ASAP. In these steps, templates, question forms and tools are very helpful for the users to accelerate the project.
Phases are formed of job packages, job packages are formed of activities and activities are formed of jobs. In this way, jobs required to be done in every phase are performed with help of tools and templates presented in ASAP and jobs are planned in detail without letting any job to be missed out.
ASAP Project Phases
There are 5 seperate Phases for project management in ASAP. After quality confirmation at the end of each Phase, it is possible to go on to the next Phase.
Purpose of the first phase of R/3 project is to form the project plan and to get prepared for R/3 project by all means. Every R/3 project has its own specific purposes, scope and priorities. During preparation for R/3 implementation, there are some important matters to be addressed. These could be summarized as:
- Determining project targets and purposes
- Clearifying scope of implementation
- Determining implementation strategy
- Determining general project calendar, order of implementation and training
- Formation of project organization and commissions
- Assigning resources
- Formation of project study environment and system
Discussing these issues at the beginning of the implementation provides a solid infrastructure for SAP implementation and persistence of project effectively. Sub-steps of project preparation phase are as follows:
Software implementation project is planned in detail at this Phase. This is not an unchangeable plan, it is unavoidable to revise it in later Phases but fundamental building stones,which are agreed on, shall not be let moved.
Activities of project planning Phase are:
- Preparation and Presentation of Project Announcement
- Control and Revision of Implementation Strategy
- Determining Project Organization
- Preparing Project Plan
- Level 1 training specified in project training plan
Time schedule of trainings is prepared according to the implementation scope and Phases during project planning. R/3 Project Training plan is considered during this study.
Standards and procedures that should be agreed in order to provide compliance and productivity for all participants in project are determined in this Phase. In this way, following matters are assured:
- Avoidance of unnecessary and repetitive jobs
- Preserving consistency
- Simplifying communication
Activities of project procedures Phase are:
- Determining Project Management Standards and Procedures
- Defining Implementation Standards and Procedures
- Defining System Environment Strategy
All consultants, managers and if possible related company employees that take part in project should appear in this step in which the start of the project, its targets, detailed duty plans and procedures are announced.
Project announcement can be made in two parts; a General Announcement which all participants mentioned above takes place and Project Team Standards Meeting which is attended by consultants and managers who have active duties in the project.
Planning Technical Requirements
At this Phase, required hardware is supplied after hardware measuring study which is made by considering customer’s requirements, scope of project and similar factors.
Project Preparation Phase Quality Control
This is the last step of Project Preparation Phase and at this point, preparations to start the project are examined whether they are correct and complete.
Standards are required to be formed for project documentation. Documents are intensely important to certificate project activity results.
Document examples in ASAP:
- Work flow documents
- End user documents
- Configuration and customizing documents
- Internal project group documentation
- Documents of hot packages and code corrections using OSS notes
- Service reports and service documents
Detailed information about content and preparation of these documents are included in ASAP roadmap.
At this phase, the purpose is to form the business (prototype) design report. Business design report is the report that assembles information emerged after requirement analysis. It consists of business processes of company and intends to determine the way how business will run with the help of newly implemented software.
Most important subjects of this phase is listed below:
- Consideration and update of project purpose and targets
- Determining scope again in more detail
- Level 2 training specified in project training plan
- Defining enterprise organizational structure and business processes in detail
- Forming Business Design Report
- Reviewing project plan and charts and revising if needed
These subjects are discussed in detail in Business design phase which is second phase of ASAP. Most important of these tasks is determining business processes which are required and/or will be required with the utilization of SAP software and forming these processes in Business Design Deport in detail.
Fundamental steps of Prototype Design Phase are:
Prototype Design Phase Project Management
At this process which will be dispersed in entire prototype design Phases, it will be controlled whether the project is advancing by the plan and precautions will be taken if necessary. Activities of this step are:
Project Preparations Phase Quality Control
- Project Team Status Meetings Management
- Orientation Commission Meetings Management
- General Project Management
Development of System Environment
At this Phase, an appropriate test and development environment installation is executed in order to adapt the software according to the requirements of the company and to develop required additional software. It consists of these steps:
- Defining the Technical Design
- Installation of Development Environment
- Installation of Initial System Environment
- Maintenance of System Management Procedures
- Defining of Implementation Guide
Defining Enterprise Organizational Structure
At this step, organizational structure of the customer is analysed and expressed as SAP organization units.
Defining Business Processes
Purpose of this step is to determine business processes which are needed and/or will be needed with utilization of SAP software and to report in detail. Business processes determined here form the main subjects of prototype report.
Defining business processes involves following activities:
- Preparations for Determining Business Processes
- Study of Determining General Requirements
- Study of Determining Business Processes Requirements
- Study of Determining Detailed Business Processes Requirements
- Completion of Prototype Report
- Control and Approval of Prototype Report
- Preparation of End User Documentation and Training Material Draft
Quality Control and Approval of Prototype Design
At this step, purpose is to assure that goals are achieved and detailed step and activities are performed in an appropriate and in a productive manner. In Realization Phase following Prototype Design Phase, considering software is largely developed according to business processes defined in prototype design report, quality control of the previous Phase Prototype Design should be emphasized before continuing into this new and almost the most important Phase. Quality control approach of SAP is supported with AQUA methodology.
In this phase of the R/3 implementation project, the purpose is the implementation of all business process requirements based on Business Design Report in R/3. After this phase, all customizings, reports, forms, interfaces and data transfer programs in the system should be completed, individual tests and integration tests should be performed and test system should be approved for go live. The most important tasks in the Realization phase, which is the longest phase of the project, are listed below:
- Level 3 training specified in project training plan
- Completion and approval of customizings
- Development of reports, forms, interfaces and data transfer programs
- Specification of authorizations
- Execution of the final Integration Test
- Preparation of End User Training Document
At this phase, business requirements and business processes documented with Business Design Report in business design Phase are adapted in R/3 system and the system is realized by production of required additional software.
Realization Phase involves following steps:
Realization Phase Project Management
This Phase is eligible during entire realization Phase and involves general project management matters. It consists of functions like planning, control, update, meetings. Purpose is to assure the flow of project according to plan and that duties performed are achieving their goals. It consists of these fundamental activities:
- Quality Control of Prototype Phase (Review)
- Project Team Status Meetings
- Orientation Commission Meetings
- Initial Planning for Go Live & Support
- General Project Management
- Realization Phase Quality Control
Basic Customizing and Approval
At this step, the purpose is accepting the most urgent and indispensible scenarios, processes and functions, which are determined in protoype design Phase, as building stones of company’s business processes and adapting the software according to those mentioned and getting approval. More detailed business processes will be discussed and adapted in Last Customizing and Approval step after two steps from here and Basic Customizings will be reviewed and changed if necessary.
It is recommended to perform this step in two or more loops to make it easier and more successful. Planning and implementation of these loops will be understood better in Last Customizing step which has a similar structure.
Basic Customizing and Approval step involves following activities:
- Enhancement of Planning fo Basic Customizing
- Customizing of Global Parameters and Organizational Structure
- Performing Basic Customizings
- Preparing Basic Customizing for Approval
- Approval of Basic Customizing
The purpose of system management step in realization Phase is basically preparing appropriate hardware and software configuration for go live. Creation of this environment in advance is useful for test processes of further steps in realization Phase.
System management involves these activities:
- Development of System Test Plans
- Defining Service Level Guarantee
- Determining System Management Functions
- Forming QA (Quality Assurance) Environment
- Defining Production System Design
- Defining Production System Management
- Installation of Production Environment
Final Customizing and Approval
The purpose of this study is to finish adapting SAP software according to company’s requirements and business processes and getting approval from oreintation commision and employees. It is recommended to perform in loops like in Basic Customizing step. These loops repeated consecutively are executed until all business processes are discussed and it is assured that most appropriate solution is found for these business processes.
Final customizing and approval step involve following steps:
- Development of Final Scope’s Customizing Plan
- Management of Customizing Study
- Final Scope Customizing and Approval
- Final Approval Preparation
- Final Approval
Preparation and Coordination of ABAP Developments
At this step the purpose is planning, preparing and managing determined additional software development requirements in detail (if exists). This involves following activities:
- Planning and Preparation fpr ABAP Developments
- Coordination of ABAP Developments
Development of Data Transfer Programs
The purpose of this step is to design and develope programs that will be required to transfer data to SAP software from company’s current software if it exists. Data transfer is required to be complete and performed with precision before countinuing to final integration test. Following could be counted as sub-steps:
- Creation of Data Transfer Procedures
- Development and Testing of Data Transfer Programs
Development of Interfaces
Sometimes it is required to develop interfaces that gives posibility to use SAP together with company’s current software or non-SAP origin software. At this step, the purpose is to develop those interfaces of which requirements are clearified in the prototype design Phase. Following basic activities could be told of:
- Development of Interface Programs
- Testing and Adapting Interface Programs
Development of Additional Programs
If there are any functions that are not involved by SAP software and of which the requirements are clearified in Prototype Design Phase, additional program development study must be performed to gain those functionalities. It involves these following basic steps:
- Development of Additional Programs
- Testing and Adapting Additional Programs
Development of Reports
At this step, the purpose is to develop special report programs of which requirements are clearified in prototype design Phase or later Phases.
Development of Forms
At this step, the purpose is to adapt company specific printings, of which requirements are clearified in prototype design Phase or later Phases, with the help of SAPscript tool.
Development of Authorization Objects
At this step, purpose is to determine and implement which users will have what kind of authorizations after go live.
Design of Archive Management
It is important to design archive management at this Phase. Since it will be unnecessary to access all of data formed in database at any time, in order to keep system up, it will be useful to archive data periodically and making it accessible when they’re really needed.
Final Integration Test (Test and temporary acceptance)
Final integration test is the final test of the system before go live. With exemplifications, system is run as a whole as if it is live and to avoid any problems after go live, all possibilities should be tried to be predicted and tested.
Preparation of End User Documentation and Training Material
Preparations for end user training get started after Final Integration Test Phase is successfully completed. Besides planning and installing training environment, documentation and training material is prepared for use during training and go live.
Realization Phase Quality Control
As the last step of realization Phase, usually the longest Phase of SAP software implementation projects, we execute quality control step to ensure that all these processes are completed in a productive manner. At this step, most important tasks are checking whether above are completed successfully; customizations are performed according to the acceptances in prototype design and planning and material preparation is decent for end user training.
Primary purpose of this phase is to complete final preparations before go live, to close open matters and to provide required trainings for employees who will actually use the system. Most important tasks in final preparation phase are following:
- Completion of End User Training
- Preparation of Production System
- Planning Go Live and Go Live Support (Help Desk)
- Go Live
These subjects are discussed in related steps of Final Preparations, fourth phase of ASAP in detail. Briefly, this phase involves all final preparations before the company goes live and during the go live process.
Final preparations phase involves the step explained below.
Final Preparations Phase Project Management
This step is eligible during entire final preparations step and involves generel project management matters. It consists of functions like planning, control, update, meetings. Purpose is to assure the flow of project according to the plan and that tasks have achieved their goals. It involves following Fundamental activities:
- Project Team Status Meetings
- Orientation Commission Meetings
- General Project Management
- End User Training
At this step, the purpose is to equip company employees who will actually use the system after go live with the required information. These company employees should involve managerial position employees who are targeted to get print out and reports or to use surveillance programs besides those who are responsible for data entry into the system. Training is organized by using materials prepared in the Phase before and according to the requirements of employees.
At this step final preparations are made to utilize the hardware and software system before go live.
Detailed Project Planning
Purpose at this step is to determine if there is any deviation from project plans while going live and which activities are needed exactly to go live.
At this Phase company goes live and approval is gained if the system is functioning as expected.
Final Preparations Phase Quality Control
It consists of quality control steps during entire process to assure if every single sub-step and especially end user trainings which are very important for a successful go live are completed successfully during the final preparations Phase.
Go Live and Support
Project doesn’t come to an end when company goes live. Intense support of consultants for users is very important. After go live and support, a support center should be established permanently for users to direct questions and get help. Detail of support that is required in this Phase is discussed in steps of Go Live and Support phase which is the fifth phase of ASAP in detail.
Go Live and Support
At this Phase, of which aim is explained briefly above, is to provide the users with support services which they will need during the initial days of go live. After the first and intense support Phase, it is useful to establish a permanent internal support center.
Closure of Project
At this Phase if there are still any open matters, they are discussed and after solution and agreement, project is oficially closed. After all the open matters are dissolved, project sign off document is signed by both project managers and put into effect.