Chris Drake

The SAP change management journey – mastering control and information

Chris Drake | December 13, 2018

Mastering SAP change management is vital if organizations are to respond quickly to the constant shifts in business needs in today’s digital world. To keep pace with demand, eliminating manual SAP change management processes are crucial. Automation increases the velocity, volume and quality of SAP changes without breaking production.

Over the next 3 blogs, I will look at how businesses can master SAP change management and some of the toolsets available during the various phases of application delivery.

  • Control and report: ensure your organization conforms to a consistent process and understands the progress of project, and requirement delivery
  • Build: allow your development and test teams to autonomously deliver high quality changes that rapidly meet business demand through collaboration and built-in safety
  • Deploy: ensure that the quality of build is carried through to production using simple tools for assessing readiness and quality of changes with predictable outcomes for release deployment to production

Consistent and enforceable processes reduce risk

In order to master SAP change management, IT has to deliver higher quality changes, at great volumes and faster than ever before. It’s essential for change managers to be able to recognize risk and react quickly.

DevOps tools are becoming more commonly used to assist with test automation and change risk analysis, but disjointed toolsets can make it impossible to guarantee that every change is being processed consistently. Meaning it can be a challenge for change managers to quickly identify and deal with undesirable changes, such as a change that has many defects discovered during testing.

It is the classic Catch-22 scenario. In order to understand what is happening in your SAP landscapes you need to be able to control what is moving through it, so you can measure for inconsistencies. But, in order to measure, you must have visibility which typically requires implementing control points.

Enforced approval process guarantees visibility and control

The foundation of a DevOps initiative is SAP change management automation, implemented through a fully integrated and enforced change management process. DevOps toolchaining enables organizations to connect multiple automated best of breed applications, supporting a single end-to-end change management process.

Automatically enforcing the process at the point where a technical change is made in the development environment, guarantees that any change that could potentially end up in production is compliant and known to the change management team.

Once the change management process is controlling the transports, bugs; enhancements; business requirements and project changes need to be tracked and easily visible to the various stake holders.

Real-time insight with customizable role-specific reports

Live and easy to read data reports are essential for all involved with the SAP change management process.

Critical reporting and metrics information to guide decisions include:

  • Individuals: Work in Progress, commitments, defects and risks associated with their own changes and other parallel changes that may impact their changes
  • Technical: Specifications, workloads, defects and alterations to their requirements. Also key is knowing which tasks are the highest priority to the business.
  • Management: Progress of changes, outliers, high-risk changes and those which might not meet deadlines, resulting in potential delivery delays.

Rev-Trac as the starting point

Rev-Trac’s SAP change management automation platform provides a fully configurable workflow engine for the foundation of an organization’s DevOps – Change Management toolchain.

The processes can be fully customised and plugged into any API-enabled tool for bi-directional, dependency driven integration. Rev-Trac’s enforcement capabilities guarantee that any change to an SAP system is captured and forced to be tied to a Rev-Trac request. Automatic preliminary checks ensure the risk and dependencies on parallel change are accounted for from the very beginning.

Rev-Trac’s Web-based Dashboard and Reporting suite enables the customization of dashboard to provide an uncapped number of metrics that can be reported against. This means all members contributing to or benefitting from an organization’s SAP development and delivery can be assured of being informed and in control of their necessary KPIs.

 

Next week – the build phase

In next week’s blog, I will discuss critical elements for Mastering SAP change management during the build phase.

Chris Drake

Chris first joined the company in 2007 on the front line in customer support. In the role, he gained a comprehensive knowledge of the concerns and priorities customers have from both a user and strategic decision-maker standpoints. Working in the field as an implementation consultant, Chris has a deep understanding of SAP and change management and the impact manual processes have on SAP systems stability.
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