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SAP Implementation process

What is ASAP Methodology
ASAP: Accelerated Systems Application and Products in Data Processing

All implementation projects have the following phases:

Scoping - What is to be implemented i.e. which submodules are to be implemented some clients may not require credit management for example. Look at the project scope document carefully it will tell you what SAP sub-modules in SAP you should be prepared for. Usually the sales people along with project manager do it.

As is - Here you understand the existing business processes of the client . Your BPOcollect all the ISO-documentation (if client is ISO certified), reports and forms at this stage and you analyse how and when the reports/forms are generated, where the data is coming from. You also do a Level -2 training for your BPO so he is made aware of all the required transactions in SAP.

Once this is over BPO can start learning with the consultants help more about SAP. This is crucial because if you miss out any transactions the BPO may forget about some of his Business processes which may come up later. It is a good practice to ask the BPO to make flow charts to explain business processes.

To-Be - Parallely you map these processes to SAP. Processes that you are not sure of as to whether they are present in SAP or not you try to do a configuration of those processes, and along with the BPO(Business process owner he is the clients employee who knows about the clients business processes probably a middle management guy, ther can more than one), BPO involvement is required as he may be able to tell you his requirements better. Once you do the business modeling you
will also be made aware of the gaps between as-is and to-be , here decisons have to be made as to whether a ABAP development/system modification is required or not and so on. Involve the BPO as much as possible and document everything it is good practice do not be lazy about it.

Business blueprint: Here the as-is and to-be and gap analysis is explained. This is the document that you will be using to do your configuration in the realization phase.

Realization phase: Here you do the configuration in the development server (there are three clients -development,quality, production). You also decide on the master data format, so that BPO can go collect the master data. You also gove ABAP specifications for forms, reports etc, system modifications etc. Unit testing: Your BPOs and a few key users sit down and test your configuration in your module only. It is good to test the BDCs that you need for uploading data at this stage so you have more realistic data and your BDCs are tested.

Integration testing:
Once all modules unit testing is over then the configuration is trasported to the Quality server, where testing for all the modules is done by BPOs and end user, this is to check if any problems are there in integration between various modules. Once all is okay from the QA server config is transported to the production server.

Go live preparation

Data uploading: The collected master data is checked and the uploaded into production server(sever and client I have used interchangeably). Now you are ready for go live i.e. users can now use the production server.
ASAP methodology means nothing but standard process for implementation of SAP, It consists of 5 phases.
1. Project preperation - consists of identifying team members and developing strategy as how to go.
2. Business Blue print - consists of identifying the client current process, reqeirement and how SAP provides solution.
Consists of detailed documentaion
3. Realization -The purpose of this phase is to implement all the business and process requirements based on the
Business Blueprint.
4. Final Preparation - The purpose of this phase is to complete testing, end-user training,
5. Go Live and Support All the functinal consultatns need good rapo with Abapers. right from uploading of legacy data, devoloping customised reports, BDC's, Forms etc, here functinal consultatns need to give guidence as to get the requried data for reports and all.. like the table name, fields etc

What is baseline configuration in sap?
Base line and Final config is the third phase in ASAP methadology. The purpose of this phase is to implement all the business & process requirements based on business blue print. You customize the system step by step in 2 work packages: Base Line Configuration & Final Configuration.

- Base Line Configuration: this phase comprises the priority requirements of the enterprise, ensuring that they can be implemented quickly. This phase can be completed without programming or enhancements to SAP systems.

- Final Configuration: in this phase you confirm that all your requirements are met in the R/3 system. Final configuration is a transportation process that expands that base line solution

Documentation which is prepared before and in a project:

1) Templates
3) Fit Gap or Gap Analysis
4) Business Process Design
5) Business Process Model
6) Business Change & Impact
7) Configuration Design, which is just 5 % of Total SAP- have different names -
8) Future Impact & Change Assessment
9) Functional Design (Module Wise)
10) Risk Assessment
11) Process Metrics and Many More-- Which has impact on Business and its work flow

Note * This documents are prepared in Vanilla SAP Standards -- Things differ from one implementation to another, and it always depends on the type of business which is opting for SAP.
What Are SAP End User Manual

It is the same for every other modules although here I reference it mainly for SAP HR.

1) You should understand which targeted group for the end-user training is for. Do they have any computer background or not.

2) In what way they are going to make use of the manuals supplied to them during the course of training.

How to prepare manuals:

In the client side, End Users are not permanent. If they get any better job outside they will resign and go out. Even if you train them well, again the end-user team disappears after some time. That is why implementing company( Client ) expects SAP Consultants to prepare documents which are self explanatory (even to a layman in SAP) and study themselves and use the sap easy access very comfortably.

Hence we should prepare a document which explains the following things comfortably:

A) All the buttons and Screens we have in sap and its importance for an end-user.

B) All the transaction codes used by end user.

C) The STEP by STEP usage methodology with screen shots and explanatory foot notes for each Transaction code.

D) Prepare a book a table and columns which should have the following information:
- Sl.NO.
- Transaction Code
- Navigation path
- Use of the Code
- Expected Result
- Achieved Result
- Remarks/Any Comment

E) Highlight the common troubles during the usage of SAP by an end- user and give the solutions (ready to use)
These problems you can come across while giving the in house training for the end-users. You just place them at one place and publish it for their usage in future for any of their new join as an end-user.

F) Every consultant is aware that the entire Organsiational Management is with end user only. Means consultant should train the end user in entire OM.

G) We should inform the importance of info types and usage for our purposes at expert mode, PA30, PA40 etc.,

H) Each field in the international infotypes should be explained very clearly and ensure that they are comfortable with the fields of infotypes which have been configured for their company.

For example : info type 0001 Org Assignment insists about the three structures of the HR. We should explain each sub field like Emp Group, Emp Sub Group, Personnel Area and Sub Area and its importance and relevance to their company so as to understand while processing them from the end- user point of view .

When an employee is hired into the company , now the end-user in a position to understand which employee group and subgroup, Personnel Area And Sub Area etc., should allotted..
Like this whatever comes across in SAP Easy Access should be insisted through the training of end users.

I) Demo, exercises and solutions should be provided in the manuals.

J) Glossary of terms and expansion of Acronyms, Abbreviations should be given. Like this each consultant should focus on end user training and prepare the documents.

As is document:
How to start doing the project in 'AS IS' ?
Are you working as a technical person or functional person?
This work is of a functional consultant. It involves understanding the complete functionality of the system.

It involves detailed understanding of how the HR department is functioning because based on that only you would provide a solution to them. Like suppose you are implementing SAP HR module for them then in the AS-IS and TO-BE phase, you need to prepare all the documents of the process flow (you can prepare them in word). Like suppose you are implementing for PA then you need to identify how many personnel areas you need to make, how many subareas you will make, employee groups, subgroups, based on what you are classifying them? This all will come in the master data document which has to be approved from the client whoever he is .

Like if the current system is on mainframe or for some specific applications like for recruitment the system is on mainframes and the client wants to keep that system as well then interfaces need to be identified which will be there because you will have to upload the data to sap system using bdc.
Like this for every process there will be a document. Even for actions like:

- Hiring
- Newly Hire
- Termination
- Layoff etc

You will have to see what all actions your client wants, like if there is an action transfer which is run for employee what all will be the reasons you will be configuring for that action. This will be told by the client which can come out after a series of meetings and after discussions you will have to come out with the document that these will be action types. These will be the action reasons, these will be the action codes for that. This will be in the TO BE process document.

After this phase is over complete configuration can be done.

Actually AS-IS process in summary involves a :
1) Series of meeting with the client.
2) Gathering complete information about the existing system.
3) Preparation of the blue print documents describing the complete AS-IS process ,i mean the existing system.
4) Flow charts should be included in the as-is blue print process flow document describing the complete process.
5) After this is finished u have to give the TO-BE process structure that will be implemented in SAP.
6) After that there will be some things which cannot be implemented in SAP so the gaps are to be identified.
7) These gaps are to be documented in white paper for the client.
It is a lengthy process but not so difficult only the thing is that the functionality is to be understood properly.


Defining the Business Processes

After you have defined your organizational structure for R/3, the definition of the business process for your Business Blueprint is the next step. You now map the enterprise requirements onto R/3 business processes, in order to create the conceptual design for your R/3 implementation. For this, the following activities need to be carried out:

• Conducting business process workshops
• Completing the Business Blueprint, reviewing it and obtaining management signoff
• Setting up an end user training schedule
Besides determining the R/3 functionality to be implemented, the following types of requirements should be identified in the business process workshops:
• Reporting requirements
• Interface requirements
• Conversion requirements
• Enhancement requirements
• Authorization requirements

Since all the results gathered during the workshops will subsequently create the Business Blueprint, the importance of this step cannot be underestimated. The main tool used to define the business processes is the AcceleratedSAP Question & Answer Database in conjunction with the R/3 Reference Model. In the process, information is gathered using the following tools:

• Business Process Questions (via R/3 Reference Model)
• Customer Input (CI) Template
• Business Process Master List
• Knowledge Corner

A functional spec should theoretically mean that the ABAPer should be able to take the design document you have prepared, go and sit in a dark corner of the office and build the whole report..... this rarely if ever happens, but I think that the theory.

When you write a functional spec, you are meant to be turning the clients requirements into a design document that a techno can then build from.

Some of the things you may want to think about are:

Report logic - What information is the report trying to get, what logical links are required to link the data together - like master data and payroll data, and org mgt data, and how should this be linked, an imp
how should this be linked, an important bit to remember here is the time selection, do you want all the data in the system, or only the data relevant on the day, or over a month etc.

Selection screen - What fields are required as selection options

Authorisations - Should the report check the 'runners' authorisations and tailor the output accordingly

Output - What fields are required to be output, in what order, in what file type, for example this could be a text file, or just out to the screen of the runner.

Error handling - What should the report do when it encounters a problem eg what scenarios would constitute errors - what should happen etc.

Test mode - does the report require running in test mode prior to a file being produced?

What are the roles & responsibilities as a sap hr functional consultant

As a Functional Consultant, one needs to first understand the business process of the client and then map it in SAP to accommodate those business processes.

In the Business Blueprint stage, you need to prepare AS-IS (which is a detailed list of the current business practices of the client) and then , you need to prepare a QADB (Questions and Answer Data Base) questionnaire and send it to the client.

Then, based on client's answers, you need to prepare TO-BE list ( procedure in SAP to match the client's business process).

You need to map AS-IS process and TO_BE process.

What are the differences between a functional and business consultant?

The difference between Functional consultant and Business consultant are as follows:
1) A funcitonal consultant is able to configure the system unlike business consultant.
2) Functional consultant know more about business process unlike Business consultant.
3) A business consultant will bring business process knowledge and provide it to functional consultant who in turn used this knowledge to configure the system.
4) Functional consultant has more configuration knolwledge then Business consultant
The responsibilities of a support consultant are:
- Primarily responsible for Handling tickets and application support to the endusers
- When an issue comes diagnose, analyse and solve the issue
- Responsible for any enhancements
- Writing functional specs and interacting with Abapers to develop any user exits
- Training the end users and preparing end user training material

For those who wished to know the role of a functional consultant. Below is one view:
A functional consultant evaluates the demands in talking with the customer\'s representatives, transforms the essence into an abstract and algorithmic business model. Hence, he identifies the use cases and transforms them into logical and technical views.
Then the main task starts: customizing the respective business area and making sure the system reacts in the manner according to the constraints of the requested use case.

The consultant documents the settings and prepares proper guidelines that allow other consultants to do further changes or repairs with due efforts.

The consultant takes care that proper training is given to the users and that the system is usable, performing appropriately and the business flow is complete and correct.

During go live he assists the technical staff by testing the behaviour of the system.

After go live he guarantees that the procedures remain usable and consistent in real live situation and proposes enh

The consultant takes care that proper training is given to the users and that the system is usable, performing appropriately and the business flow is complete and correct.
During go live he assists the technical staff by testing the behaviour of the system.
After go live he guarantees that the procedures remain usable and consistent in real live situation and proposes enhancements.
The main duty of a consultant is to transfer external know-how to the client. It is not manpower that counts but intelligence, understanding of processes, a feeling for defects and general a common sense.
Role of a Functional Consultant in an End To End Implementation
1. Functional consultant is expected to generate knowledge about the current business process, design current business flows, study current business processes and its complication, in all we can say getting through with current business setup. Flow diagrams and DFD are prepared, most of the time in Vision format, all this forms the part of AS IS document.
2. Everything configured has to be documented as per their categories in the form of predefined templates, these have to be then approved by the team leads or who ever the consultant is reporting to.
3. Mapping and GAP analysis is done for each module, I have seen people defining integration after mapping, gap analysis and configuration is done, but as per my experience in implementation, it is a simultaneous process.
4. Before starting configuring future business processes in SAP, the DFD/ERD are prepared, this documentation is called TO BE, which can be also siad as the result of mapping and gap analysis.
5. Sometimes Functional consultants are also expected to prepare test scripts for testing the configured scenarios.
6. End user manual and user training is also expected from F.Consultants.
The project normally starts off with a Kick off meeting in which the team size, team members, reporting system, responsibilities, duties, methodlogy, dates and schedules, working hours which have been predicided are working hours which have been predicided are formally defined.

SAP Landscape is like a server system or like a layout of the servers or some may even call it the architecture of the servers viz. SAP is divided into three different lanscape DEV, QAS and PROD.
- DEV would have multiple clients for ex: 190- Sandbox, 100- Golden, 180- Unit Test.
- QAS may again have mutiple clients for ex: 300- Integration Test, 700 to 710 Training.
- PROD may have something like a 200 Production.

These names and numbers are the implementer's discreet on how they want it or they have been using in their previous implementations or how is the client's business scenario.

Now whatever you do in the Sandbox doesn't affect the other servers or clients. Whenever you think you are satisfied with your configuration and you think you can use it moving forward, you RE-DO it in the golden client (remember, this is a very neat and clean client and you cannot use it for rough usage). As you re-do everything that you had thought was important and usable, you get a transport request pop up upon saving everytime. You save it under a transport request and give your description to it. Thus the configuration is transported to the Unit Test client (180 in this example).
You don't run any transaction or even use the SAP Easy Access screen on the 100 (golden) client. This is a configuration only client. Now upon a successful tranport by the Basis guy, you have all the configuration in the Testing client, just as it is in the Golden client. The configuration remains in sync between these two clients.

But in the Testing client you can not even access SPRO (Display IMG) screen. It's a transaction only client where you perform the unit test. Upon a satisfactory unit test, you move the good configuration to the next SERVER (DEV). The incorrect or unsatisfactory configuration is corrected in Golden (may again as well be practised in the sandbox prior to Golden) and accordingly transported back to 180 (Unit Test) until the unit test affected by that particular config is satisfactory.

The Golden client remains the 'database' (if you wanna call it that) or you may rather call it the 'ultimate' reference client for all the good, complete and final configuration that is being used in the implementation.

In summary:
Landscape : is the arrangement for the servers
IDES : is purely for education purpose and is NOT INCLUDED in the landscape.
DEVELOPMENT : is where the the consultants do the customization as per the company's requirement.
QUALITY : is where the core team members and other members test the customization.
PRODUCTION : is where the live data of the company is recorded.
A request will flow from Dev->Qual->Prod and not backwards.
These three are landscape of any Company. They organised their office in these three way. Developer develop their program in Development server and then transport it to test server. In testing server tester check/test the program and then transport it to Production Server. Later it will deploy to client from production server.

Presentaion Server- Where SAP GUI have.
Application Server - Where SAP Installed.
Database Server - Where Database installed



This blog is solely for the purpose of getting educated in SAP. This blog does not encourage distribution of SAP hold copyright and any other publication and/or materials bearing SAP mark. If you find any copyright materials, please mail me so I can remove them. This blog is not in association with SAP.

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