SAP Global or Local Project Support 


Bacon is an experienced consultant with particular expertise in large scale Global SAP business transformation projects, with a focus on SAP Test Architecture & development of test strategies; test management of complex projects; Implementation of Test Management and Test Automation tools for transparent progress and defect tracking & reporting,


Bacon
works together with the top SAP system integrators, trusted implementation partners and professional alliances. Together we provide local and internationally implementation support; either on-site or remote in English and German language. Bacon is based near Aachen, Germany, (on the boarder of Netherlands and  Belgium) and able to support your project wherever it's required.

Bacon has held leading positions in many International SAP implementations from a wide range of industries including retail and industrial solutions and have managed roll-outs across many countries including Germany, Austria, Benelux, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland.

 

SAP Global Testing Architecture, Test Strategies & Operational Test Management

 

Testing activities are normally devided into the follwing processes:

  • Planning and Scoping
  • Test Inititaion
  • Test Plannning 
  • Test Execution and Defect discovery
  • Test Sign-off and Closure

As the testing phases can typically absorb 50-60% of a project resources, budget  and time, it is strongly recommended to create a clear test strategy and testing roadmap during the blueprinting phase. This is to ensure that the project plan and test roadmap are aligned , testing tools configured and implemented and the necessary tester resourcese can be mobilsed in time for testing.  
 
BACON:CONSULT can support the SAP program and SAP projects with global test management strategies and coordination of all your testing requirements; such as:
 
  • Development of test strategies including global template & roll-out testing approach
  • Preparation of test tools using SharePoint, SOLMAN, HP etc., such as creation of test plans, test packages, worklist
  • Support with mobilisation of superuser and tester resources
  • Manual and automated testing concepts, business case development for Automated testing
  • Creation of automated test script
  • Management and coordination of test exeuction phase included:
    • Test Progress tracking and reporting
    • Defect Tracking, resolution follow-up and reporting
    • Creation of test management portals for global communication
  • Test sign-off and test closure
 

Change Management / Business Transformation Management / OCM

The softer side of any SAP project has been proven to be equally important as the technical development itself. For international SAP roll-outs there are many more challenging dimensions to consider.

If you don't have an adequate focus on the Organisational Change Management such as the organisational alignment and readiness in place before testing, it's unlikely you'll get the required mobilisation,  ownership and adoption from the organisation. You'll therefore won't be able to realize the planned value capture.The project will end up being over budget and very late - or even worse fail !  

Some main Change Management topics:
  • Organisational & Leadership Alignment - Support during the concept & blueprinting phases with the challenging task to define integrated business processes aligned to the future business strategies. Adjustments to KPI's, and install reporting and metrics for measurements.  Define and alignment of a new  organisation structures to support the new integrated processes and KPI's.. 
  • Organisational Transition - This is about mobilizing the organisation for the changes to come. Usually this is the challenging task of a transition from a Functional / Departmental organisation, thinking and culture with many autonomous "kingdoms"  to process orientated organisation with a process oriented culture where data and performance is transparent to the whole organisation. A quite different corporate environment and culture needs to be introduced. For multi-site international roll-outs this also involves guiding the local units through the steps. A clear corporate strategy and metrics,  incentives and very strong top management is required for to drive this change. 
  • Stakeholder Analysis - Who are the people in / outside the organisation that will be most effected by  the defined changes. They needs to be involved from the start and become one of the main driving forces to implement the change, This will be employees within all levels of an organisation  including  suppliers, customers and other entities that influence the supply chain. 
  • Business Impact Analysis - To analyse where the impacts to the organisation will occur in 3 main phases. During the projects, During the cut-over phase and during normal operations, Each phase will have major and different impacts during these main phases of the project / product life-cycle  This analysis needs to start early in the project to give the business units time to prepare - especially impacts to customer (e.g.. producing new catalogues due to product definition and number changes.)
  • Roles and Authorisations - to determine the new roles and authorisations which will be allocated to users of the system. Also perhaps defining new jobs and contracts.
  • Training Concepts - for the Project team, Key Users, End-Users, Process Owners, Management Team, Support Organisations, etc
  • Documentation Strategies, Project Documentation, Training Documentation, Test Script Documentation, End-user Help Documentation, Technical Documentation for Support Organisation
  • Communication Strategies and Plans - Determine what to communicate, why? when?, to whom? , which channels? This is a highly demanding task and needs done perhaps in many languages for international roll-outs.
  • Readiness Assessments - Constant monitoring of the organisation to determine the level of readiness and where more attention is required. This needs to be integrated into normal project activities, especially part of test strategies.  
Change Management within SAP-CRM projects (or any other CRM project) require quite a particular focuses. Read more details - > here

Roll-Out / Cut-Over Management

Within larger projects it is usually necessary to allocate "Roll-Out Manager(s)"  to guide and support the local units with the detailed roll-out preparations and activities. 

This can include detailed requirements analysis (fit-gap analysis) with a focus on local specialities such as legal requirements and perhaps specific RICEF-W components -    reports, interface developments, pricing conditions, forms (delivery notes, invoices),workflows, etc. They will certainly require support with configuration of their data conversion and data migration. Other tailored configurations requiring some IMG changes and additional developments. 

The local units will need to get "ready" to run their local business with the new solution. Key-Users therefore need to be allocated early to learn the new solution by supporting the central SAP project many months/years in advance for preparation. This is a core component of the "Train-The-Trainers" approach and essential for supporting the end-user training. Key Users are also required to support data migration / conversion, and User Acceptance Testing (UAT). They require exposure to the developed solution and On-The-Job 'hands-on' training during the preparation phase of the project; if possible they need to be involved with functional testing, integrations testing, and be 'ready' to  lead the user acceptance testing (UAT), integration tests. 

Business impact analysis needs to be carried out to analyse the impact to the local units for releasing these key user. Releasing key-users is one of the critical success factors and probably one of the most challenging  for the local management to arrange. It's important they don't just send "token" key users to pacify the demands from the project. Key users need to be "Key" people in an organisation. If it doesn't hurt the local business to release them,  then they are not key users. My experience is that the local units needed "back-fill" i.e. to employ temporary staff to support the operational duties the key users normally do. On international projects , the Key users were also only available from Tuesday to Thursday for the project and travelled Monday evening and return Thursday evening. Representative key Users  from other countries were also used to support the imminent roll-outs. This helps to build an international network of key-users. The team will help and support each other in the future.

Testing is an excellent arena for the key-user to get confident with the solution and prepare training material to train the end-user in the local language. A more challenging exercise is to develop a program on how  to ensure the complete management team also are involved and  understand how to make the most of the new solution and to start the value capture process. 


The time available to run a cut-over is very short - often just a weekend ! 
This therefore needs to be rehearsed many times - just like a theatrical performance 

Cut-Over management is probably the most complex part of the project. It's the For multi-site and multi-wave SAP roll-outs the planning for the cut-over period needs to start well in advance. This is the critical step before turning your new SAP system on - and ideally your legacy system off! This typically occurs over a weekend (or new year vacation period!) to minimize disruption to customers and business. The detail of planning for the cut-over period needs to be done at a micro-level as the sequence of the cut-over steps are crucial. The planning is on a micro level and executed in a form of scrum-like sprints.  There's no room for errors, - so each step needs to be rehearsed many times - just like a theatrical performance. The Roll-Out manager needs to implement and  coordinate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd -line support during the first weeks after go-live. 


General Project Support
I can provide project support within many areas such as functional support with: 
  • Process evaluation (Sales, Order Processing, Logistical Processes)
  • Process mapping
  • Reporting analysis 
  • Data management analysis and strategy development 
  • Test management strategies
  • Project / program management support
As part of the requirements analysis phase (fit-gap) the future "to-be" business flows need to documented. This is a very important exercise in the project, as the documents provide the basis for discussion, and solution sign-off. It also help to avoid misunderstanding between the local units and the central projects - especially within an international project. Process flow diagrams are a common language which every nation understands. Good process documents supports other phases too - such as testing, training, end-user documentation including technical documentation for application management and support team after the project team have left ! It's highly recommended to produce good quality documentation (business process diagrams (to step level 4),  functional documentation documentation and process training documents early within the project to gain maximum ROI on this investment. These documents are often reused mainy times during the project. Example of Business Process Mapping is detailed -here



SAP Project Support, Global Template Test Management, Data Migration, SAP Roll-Outs/ Cut-Over, Project Management, Process Mapping, Lean Management,  SAP Business ByDesign, SAP Business 1