The Role of Process Maturation and Process Automation in SAP DevOps

process automationLast posting I mentioned some component areas, tenets for success, SAP IT teams will need to address on their journey to a fully implemented DevOps approach. In this post, I’ll elaborate on the first couple.

Process maturation

To progress towards a DevOps approach, change control processes need to be robust and clearly understood by all involved. Development, QA, Testing, Business and the Functional teams. There are different types of change, and so changes will be processed in different ways. It’s not rocket science, but it is still surprising how many teams still struggle with this relatively simple concept. Managing change with a ‘one size fits all’ single process will not work in a DevOps / agile environment.

Even in a DevOps / agile environment developed changes will carry varying degrees of risk. To accelerate as much change as possible, processes will reflect the risk variance and vary accordingly. It is also very unlikely that the team wakes up on a Monday morning as an agile development team. Therefore, there will need to be a combination of processes coexisting, at least for a time, that include traditional and agile methodologies.

Eventually though, a DevOps team will have bedded down its processes and have in place a method of improving and modifying as the approach matures.

Process automation

So then how does an SAP IT team manage its various processes? For example, which process is invoked when, and who decides? How are multiple processes managed without things getting tangled up? And how can one be certain the right process was followed for any change?

The answer is automation.

To be effective however, automation ideally needs to be able to deliver a range of automated capabilities within its feature set. For example:

  • Visibility into in-flight parallel development
  • Overtake and overwrite protection
  • Assignment of change process based on object type or analyzed risk
  • Cross release and within release dependency management
  • Facilities for the simplification of N +1 change processing
  • Deployment of approved changes
  • Communication workflow across multiple teams
  • Enforcement of process

Next steps

Mature processes and process automation will ensure a collaborative and automated environment upon which to build on the journey to a fully implemented SAP DevOps approach. Next post I will look at the role of multi-track development streams and the value of release management as additional components.

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