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Operational Agility. Business Intelligence. Holistic Visibility. Faster Time-to-Market. The need to achieve these organizational goals has never been greater than what it is today. Businesses in today’s data-driven landscape are betting on SAP S/4HANA implementation for an accelerated enterprise-wide agile transformation. S/4HANA plays a significant role in improving the scalability quotient of SAP-centric digital infrastructure by proactively applying artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics to existing business operations - taking business transformation goals to new heights with minimal disruption.
As an essential component, SAP S/4HANA fits within an organizational ecosystem, fostering a culture of enterprise-wide agility and innovation while driving significant improvements in their existing ERP systems. With the SAP S/4HANA transition in place, enterprises can navigate the complexities of digital resistance, respond to market disruptions, and transform into an agile enterprise by optimizing the core of business processes faster.
What’s more? Embarking on the SAP S/4HANA transformation journey enables the decision-makers to
- Break down departmental silos and turn insights into actionable outcomes
- Create frictionless experiences across cross-functional business processes
- Reduces resistance to digital change by optimizing the core of business processes faster
Maybe that’s why moving legacy systems to SAP S/4HANA has become more than a technical migration. However, the absolute success of the S/4HANA transition depends on adopting the right SAP implementation methodology regardless of whether the project involves greenfield, brownfield, or something in between. To accelerate SAP S/4HANA-centric transformation journey, enterprises typically rely on the SAP Activate implementation methodology because it employs both waterfall and agile elements, making SAP S/4HANA implementation more agile, intelligent, and innovative.
What is SAP Activate methodology?
SAP Activate primarily includes a set of best practices, tools, and accelerators to ensure better planning, execution, and delivery of SAP projects. The tools include guided configuration, pre-built integration scenarios, and pre-configured industry content.
The SAP Activate methodology comprises four key phases:
- Prepare: This phase is all about refining project fundamentals, i.e. when to begin, what complexities need to be solved, who will be involved, and what will be done. During this phase, SAP experts run an assessment of the current business processes, followed by identifying the target processes and creating a project plan.
- Explore: The SAP Explore phase of the SAP Activate methodology is where SAP experts are involved in prototyping and testing the target processes to ensure they meet all the technical and functional requirements. After the initial project planning and preparation, the project is initiated, and plans are finalized through a series of SAP fit-to-standard analysis sessions. Establishing all the key deliverables like standard business processes, migration templates, customer execution of standard processes, workflows, reports, integrations, conversions, and enhancements properly is the main purpose of the Explore phase. Gaps, deviations, and low-priority requirements are identified and classified.
- Realize: This phase involves the configuration and customization of SAP systems in accordance with the backlog document signed off to meet the business requirements. The goal of the SAP Realize phase of the SAP implementation methodology is to break down the requirements and backlogs into smaller deliverables and ensure all the configurations and custom objects are delivered within the agreed timelines. Rigorous testing of the configuration and developments are carried out in the development and quality assurance cycles which include unit test, system integration test, and user acceptance tests, to ensure error-free deployment.
- Deploy: This phase lays the foundation for the success of the overall SAP project. In this phase, SAP experts are responsible to deploy the new SAP system and the customer is expected to experience a business downtime for the cutover. It is usually done over a weekend or during business downtime.The deploy phase includes cutover plan creation for integration, performing the data loads, migrating configuration, production go-live and integration errors monitoring.
Each phase in SAP activate methodology has its own set of activities and deliverables, ensuring a streamlined implementation of SAP S/4HANA and other SAP solutions. The benefits of using the SAP Activate methodology include a faster and more efficient deployment of SAP software, a lower total cost of ownership, and a more sustainable deployment that is easier to maintain and upgrade.
Enable greater agility in SAP S/4HANA implementation using SAP Activate Methodology
SAP Activate methodology plays a crucial role in enabling agile implementation of SAP S/4HANA solutions by allowing enterprises to leverage a set of tools, templates, and best practices that are flexible and collaborative. One way that SAP Activate methodology unlocks agility in SAP S/4HANA implementation is through its modular approach followed by breaking down the SAP implementation process into more manageable modules, making it easier to prioritize and deliver functionality in smaller increments.
The use of agile work streams is another reason why enterprises rely on SAP Activate methodology when it comes to making SAP implementation agile. The work streams that are designed to support iterative and incremental development, help enterprises to work on multiple tasks in parallel and deliver outputs faster while delivering greater business value faster with greater efficiency.
What’s more? SAP Activate methodology emphasizes on continuous integration and testing, which is a core principle of agile development. Continuous integration and testing allow organizations to identify and resolve defects quickly, and facilitate frequent releases of functionality. This approach enables the project team to deliver value to their customers in an efficient and iterative manner, with testing and integration being performed continuously throughout the development process.
A user-centric design approach is another benefit that SAP Activate methodology brings to the table for enterprises aiming to unlock greater agility in SAP S/4HANA implementation. When SAP development is aligned with the end-user centric design experience, the increased user satisfaction can be achieved along with end-to-end enterprise intelligence. It involves users throughout the implementation process through feedback loops and user testing, ensuring the final solution meets the user requirements. This way user-centric approach enables iterative improvements and enhances user adoption, resulting in better business outcomes.
Additionally, SAP Activate methodology leverages preconfigured business processes, which contribute to agility in implementation. These preconfigured processes are based on best practices and industry standards, providing organizations with a solid foundation. They can be customized to meet specific business requirements, reducing implementation time and effort. By building on proven processes, organizations can streamline the implementation and focus more on value-adding activities, accelerating the adoption of S/4HANA.
The final words
SAP Activate methodology is indeed a comprehensive approach designed to unlock agility in SAP S/4HANA implementation. By embracing key principles of agile development, SAP Activate enables organizations to implement the S/4HANA solution in a flexible, iterative, and customer-centric manner using modularization, agile work streams, continuous integration and testing, user-centric design, and preconfigured business processes throughout the implementation process.