Anyone who has been around SAP for any period of time is reasonably familiar with the SAP ASAP Methodology. In fact I rarely see sales presentation materials from many system integrators which do not at least mention it. Even some of the bigger integrators with custom methodologies may reference it in passing and show the SAP Implementation Roadmap to demonstrate how their methodology has some similarity to it, or supplements some of the few gaps that may remain. In a previous post on Why Use the SAP ASAP Methodology? I evaluated the SAP ASAP Methodology compared to SAP partner custom methodologies.
As of today it seems there are few of the SAP partners who are familiar with the latest Roadmap Phase 6–, the “RUN” ASAP Methodology enhancement. This methodology enhancement is probably one of the most significant methodology changes offered since ASAP was originally introduced. This is the key phase which relates to IT organizational maturity, to integration of the SAP support organization into the business after you go live. In other words, this is one of the critical success factors for your SAP program. That critical success factor is that SAP Program Management Requires a Type of CMMI.
Before we go into the little known Roadmap Phase 6 “RUN” enhancement let’s take a quick look at the first 5 phases of the SAP ASAP methodology most of us are familiar with:
- Project Preparation (before the consultants begin)
- Project goals and objectives
- Clarify scope
- Schedule, budget plan, major milestones, and deliverables
- First pass at a WBS and task based project plan.
- Project organization, committees, and resources
- Business Blueprint
- Design the future state
- Revise and refine the project plan
- Gain approval of all project templates and deliverables
- Refine scope, resources, and schedule
- Build the solution
- Test / adjust / correct the solution
- Develop end-user training (courses, logistics, schedules, etc.)
- Final Preparation
- Finalize end-user based testing, user acceptance testing
- Perform final data conversion rehearsals (mock conversions with live data)
- Test the final cutover script
- Resolve any open issues or gaps
- Perform final setup activities related to printing, interfaces, external systems, third party software, etc.
- Transition the enterprise to the new SAP system
- Support the live environment with any needed fixes or enhancements
- Optimize system performance
- Transition to site support (help desk, etc.)
- Close the project
At a very high level this is the SAP ASAP Methodology (without the latest addition). But what about Phase 6? What about the RUN ASAP Methodology?
RUN SAP ASAP Methodology
A few years ago SAP introduced a stand-alone version of this approach and methodology for post go-live SAP system support. It is now incorporated as a key part of the overall ASAP Methodology in version 7.x onward.
While Roadmap Phase 6 is mostly focused on moving customers along to independent support, and toward an SAP Certified Center of Expertise (SAP CCoE) there is much more to this phase. The most comprehensive tools, resources, templates, and development are around empowering SAP customers to support their own systems. This is part of the “Internal” focus as I have described it in SAP Enabled Business Transformation for IT Leadership. From an SAP perspective there are 2 key reasons why this portion of the ASAP Methodology enhancement is “built out” 1) the more you support your implementation the less maintenance and support you need from SAP (i.e. you are carrying some of the cost of your own support), and 2) that is the relatively “easy” part of the support paradigm.
See the Series on SAP Competency Center or SAP Center of Excellence for supplemental material to make the transition beyond the “internal” focus to Enterprise and eventually External market focus.
While the Phase 6 RUN ASAP Methodology focuses heavily on areas of support which benefit SAP there are several areas which are critical for the strategic and business integrated IT organization. The SAP “Certified Center of Expertise” is the first step to ensuring you gain the trust and confidence of your business counterparts. The Phase 6 RUN ASAP Methodology does not end with that first portion which benefits SAP. Even though the material and templates are sparse for moving very far beyond this “internal” (CoE) focus there is still significant substance and some meaningful templates for moving your SAP organization to the next level of “enterprise” focus. This is where your SAP support organization begins gaining wider acceptance as a business peer. If you haven’t had the opportunity to get familiar with the Phase 6 RUN ASAP Methodology section you might want to do that today!
This phase should be reviewed during the Project Preparation phase and elements of the future state SAP organization incorporated into your overall SAP project plan, project approach, goals, milestones, deliverables, and especially any Organization Change Management program you begin. Part of that initial evaluation of the RUN Methodology enhancement would be an internal organizational assessment to get a baseline of where you are, as well as what it will take to go to the next level by the time the project goes live. THIS should be a critical part of your project planning right from the beginning.
If you are an SAP customer, or if you are considering an SAP solution and would like access to the SAP ASAP Methodology and tools contact me today.
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