Pathways to Accelerated SAP Change Delivery: Multi Path Development and Release Management

Release ManagementOver the last few posts I’ve been discussing some of the things SAP IT teams will need to address on their journey to accelerated SAP change delivery. In my previous post I explained the need for process maturity and process automation. This time, we will look at the value of multi path development and release management.

Steps to success

By way of quick recap, here are the things SAP IT Teams will need to address in order to achieve accelerated SAP change delivery.

  • Process maturation and process automation
  • Multi path development and release management
  • Agile development and continuous integration
  • ALM integration and DevOps tool chain automation

Once change control processes are in place and automated, companies look to further ways to accelerate. These often include moving towards multi path development and release management.

Multi path development

Multi path development presents an opportunity for different risk profiled changes to be managed at different rates.

Often, process limitations result in little difference between changes and the way they are managed. This unnecessarily causes changes that could be processed quite quickly to bide their time until the other changes they have been grouped with are be ready for deployment.

By implementing a multi path development methodology, changes can be processed at the pace that makes most sense thereby accelerating the overall pace of change.

Changes that can be separated into faster process paths include the following examples:

  • Pre-approved changes
  • Low impact changes
  • Minor enhancements

In our experience, before SAP IT teams implement an agile methodology, they gain experience with managing changes by release. A well-considered release management strategy, combined with multi path development can significantly bolster accelerated SAP change delivery and set things up for the introduction of an initial agile path.

It is highly unlikely that every development will be managed in an agile manner. Although many changes can be delivered via agile methods (e.g. sprints), larger functionality roll outs, major enhancements and so on will need the changes to be gathered and released as a major unit of work. This means that the different methods will need to coexist, at least for a time.

Next steps

Once a multi path development and / or a release management strategy is in place, the introduction of agile development becomes a reasonable next step. Managing separate agile development paths and coordinating sprints can be achieved.

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