SAP digital transformation: Change control challenges and how to effectively manage them using Rev-Trac

When undertaking your SAP digital transformation project, there are three approaches: Bluefield, Brownfield, and Greenfield. Regardless of the approach you plan to take for your S/4HANA migration, you will still encounter a set of change management challenges.

In this blog, I address these challenges and reveal how Rev-Trac Platinum, the SAP DevOps Platform, can assist you.

Let’s first explain each of these approaches:

A Bluefield transformation approach involves creating new installations of the S/4HANA environment and only migrating specific groups of data from your existing legacy ECC systems.

The Greenfield transformation approach involves creating new installation systems for S/4HANA, which you then configure and test according to your company’s requirements. In this scenario, you will start from the base implementation of S/4HANA, and no data will migrate from your legacy ECC landscape.

A Brownfield digital transformation is the most complicated approach. It involves creating a copy of your existing legacy ECC landscape. Then, you perform the S/4HANA upgrade, and during the lifetime of the digital transformation project, you merge recent SAP changes made to your legacy environment to the S/4HANA environment should they apply.

SAP change management and a digital transformation

A digital transformation to S/4HANA is not a simple project, regardless of your approach. It’s a significant project that can put considerable strain on resources, time, budget, and even disrupt daily ongoing business operations.

Here are some key challenges and how leveraging Rev-Trac Platinum’s change management capabilities can assist you in overcoming the hurdles.

  1. Time/Resources: Due to the time and resources involved in these approaches, you must include a plan to manage the SAP changes. You will want to ensure that all resources (in-house and consulting) follow your change management requirements as they make configuration and programming changes to your systems. Rev-Trac automatically captures all new changes into a Rev-Trac request and, through its workflow, ensures the assigned approvals are completed to migrate these across the DEV, QA, and Production systems.
  2. Documentation: To address your company’s technical and functional systems. Rev-Trac’s documentation enforcement ensures that the required documents are either attached or referenced through the lifecycle of the change. This will address any governance and compliance requirements you may have.
  3. Existing system changes to legacy SAP systems: In a Brownfield approach, existing SAP customers must maintain their legacy SAP landscapes while performing the digital transformation implementation. This creates a challenge to ensure that any customizations in these landscapes are reflected in the new S/4HANA landscape. Rev-Trac’s Retrofit feature will automatically create a new retrofit request to allow the developer/configurator to manage the changes into the S/4HANA development system and then migrate these changes across the landscape. Leverage Rev-Trac’s integration with the automated ATC Clean core check to verify changes are properly optimized for S/4HANA.
  4. Parallel change development: The various approaches may need to be completed in waves of implementation, which may cause the same object (or configuration record) to be part of several waves of the implementation. This challenge introduces a need to manage the parallel development across the waves. Rev-Trac’s locking feature allows you to ensure that the object development is controlled to a specific wave and prevents future wave development until the existing wave has reached a configured status.
  5. Volume of changes made during the implementation: Typically, during the implementation lifecycle, there will be a volume of changes needed to ensure the S/4HANA application will support your company’s requirements. Rev-Trac’s Release Management feature will provide a simple click-and-drag view of these changes for the many Rev-Trac requests (containing individual transports) and update your Rev-Trac release requests. The Rev-Trac release feature is open and flexible, allowing either the request owner to assign their change to a release or a Release manager to assign Rev-Trac requests to a release.
  6. Flexible approval workflow: Using Rev-Trac’s flexible approval workflow, you may continue to use the workflow beyond your digital transformation project, allowing for a dynamic feature that can automatically include additional approvers to statuses of the workflow based on the urgency of the change. This allows emergency changes to migrate faster through the landscape with reduced checking and approvals but still have the appropriate approvals for a production migration.
  7. Change management reporting: It is critical to understand the current state of the digital transformation project implementation, and Rev-Trac’s reporting features will provide the information for project management.

Key reports include:

  • Retrofit Report – provides the status of all the outstanding incomplete retrofit changes
  • Release Management Workbench – shows the releases and their current changes, and the statuses of those changes
  • Propagation Report – reveals where your SAP changes are in your landscape and where they are not yet present

Bottom Line

Regardless of your SAP digital transformation plan, using a fully functional automated change management tool is vital to navigate the planned (and unplanned) updates during your implementation. Rev-Trac Platinum, a highly flexible and tightly controlled ABAP workflow engine, will provide everything you need to assist you in achieving a successful S/4HANA migration. It is the platform to effectively manage change across applications, technologies, and hosting scenarios.

Contact one of our Rev-Trac experts for more information on a seamless digital transformation and overcoming SAP change management challenges before the final cutover to S/4HANA.