Author Justin Valley outlines the steps needed for a successful SAP implementation. He also looks at the differences between SAP configuration and SAP customization.
- [Instructor] Implementing SAP at an organization is a huge undertaking. Let's take a look at the steps needed for a successful implementation. Depending on who you ask, there are multiple successful strategies to implement SAP. However they all follow a similar flow. Project preparation is first. Project cost, scope and resources are all decided during this step. The implementation team studies the current systems being used. Then, they determine which system interfaces are required.
This step also includes business blue-printing. This is where requirements for the new system are mapped. The second step is called realization. System configuration takes place during realization. Configuration is where SAP is matched with a company's existing business processes. All configuration is done utilizing the existing SAP structure and functionalities. In other words configuration ties together the way a company works with the out-of-the-box functionality of SAP.
Realization is also where customization occurs. Basically customization is making a change that is not supported by SAP's default functionalities. Customizations are expensive and can really extend the length of an implementation. They can also complicate future upgrades of SAP. The third step in typical implementations is testing. There are different types of testing. One type is called unit testing, which tests individual parts of the program. Next, integration testing tests how the systems are working together and how the program affects downstream business processes.
Business day-in-the-life testing is used to test the system by running entire processes, from start to finish. And finally, performance testing ensures the system can handle all the data and transactions. It makes sure the system is fast enough for the end users. The fourth step in an implementation is final preparation. This is where all master data, like customers, vendors and materials, is uploaded into the new system. Final preparation is also where security rules are set up and training is conducted for all end users.
The fifth step is go-live. This is when all cutover activities, basically switching from old system to SAP, happens. At this point end users start using the SAP production environment daily for their work. Finally, the last step is post-go-live support. This is where any production problems can be solved. And any non-business-critical or your nice-to-have customizations are developed, tested and implemented into the system. These processes, end-to-end, can take as little as six months up to four or five years for very complex implementations.
Companies often choose multi-wave implementations. This means they'll implement at one location and ensure the system works well before implementing at other sites.
- Benefits and limitations of SAP ERP
- Exploring the different SAP modules
- SAP security roles
- Menu tree and transaction code navigation
- Searching for data and using wildcards
- SAP basic reporting
- Editing SAP report layouts
- Printing and exporting reports