Before embarking into implementing SAP or any industry specific technology, we need to have a well planned approach and a project specific methodology to guide us on every stage of the process.
There are several project methodologies available to carry out the implementation of an SAP CRM Project. We are going to take a look at SAP’s own most commonly used methodology ASAP (Accelerated SAP). This methodology is a proven and reliable approach to implement SAP Business Solutions across industry and business environments.
Let us take a look at the 5 phases involved in the ASAP Methodology and the tasks associated with each phase:
1) Project Preparation:
The main purpose of Project Preparation phase is to help carry out the initial planning and preparation for the SAP CRM project. The strategy that will be followed for the implementation, such as the resources that will be involved, the landscape strategy, the sequence of implementation and finally getting all the above mentioned approved and signed off by the client.
2) Business Blueprint:
The purpose of this phase is to understand the requirements of the client through requirements gathering. The resulting document is called the Business Blueprint. This also helps to achieve a common understanding of how the company intends to run its business within the SAP CRM system. The following would form a part of the Business Blueprint:
AS IS – Helps understand the existing business process.
TO BE – Based on AS IS, we look at how the business process can be mapped in SAP and if any changes have to be carried out to the existing business process if required.
Gap Analysis – This analysis is carried out to identify the inputs or business processes that cannot be mapped in SAP. Gap document is created to be analyzed further to identify a solution to bridge the gap.
Prototyping solutions and testing is done during the realization phase. In this phase we implement all the business process requirements based on the business blueprint. We define the test plans for system tests, data tests, data access tests and authorizations tests. We also establish the SAP CRM administration procedures.
4) Final Preparation:
In this phase, we finalize the activities to roll out the SAP CRM system to the end-user community. The end-user training, final tuning and approval for going live is obtained. Before the Go-live phase a Cutover strategy is carried out which involves the migration of the Master Data and the Transaction Data from Legacy system to SAP system.
5) Go Live and Support:
The purpose of the Go-live phase is to roll out the SAP CRM system to the end users in a live business environment. All the transactions, data and the system is monitored in the live environment. This phase also provides up to 2 weeks of post Go-live support, which is dependent on the agreement with the client. Any optimization that is required, is taken care of during this support phase. Normally, large companies have maintenance support contracts with SAP and get support on a global scale, up to 24/7 – based on the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Srini Katta (2008) Discover SAP CRM , SAP Press/Galileo Press.