As many know, Revelation Software Concepts’ (RSC) focus is on developing world class change control automation software for SAP. Our flagship product, Rev-Trac is an ever-evolving automation platform to facilitate the simplification and transformation of managing SAP change. Regardless of an SAP IT team’s development or delivery method, Rev-Trac has evolved to ensure success.
It’s safe to say the end-user perspective for SAP change management is that the change and approval processes are indeed challenging. They’re challenging to learn, execute, change, audit, and so on. Over time as SAP systems and landscapes have become more complex, so have the associated change and approval processes.
In some organizations, the time to complete the approval and documentation process takes longer than the time required to create and test the new change.
That’s the million dollar question – and for many SAP customers, a million dollars is in the range of what it costs to manage their SAP changes each year. Based on feedback we’ve had from our customers and prospects over the years, the cost to manage SAP changes is typically in the $100 to $250 range per change. These costs are not the development, configuration and testing costs, but the overhead cost of managing SAP changes from the initial approvals and tracking, to the change being confirmed in the SAP production system.
As specialists in SAP change control automation, the team at Revelation Software Concepts see the level of an organization’s SAP change control maturity falling into one of four categories.
So if you’ve got a minute, take a quick look at this 1 minute video to see if you can identify your maturity level.
Forrester Research has issued their 2016 Business Technology (BT) Agenda playbook and I’m delighted that it supports a key point of a whitepaper in progress on my desk – CIOs need to stop clearing their desks before they tackle thorny issues. “Clear my desk first” thinking delays crucial SAP-related decisions all the time. CIO desks will never be completely clear. If you’re a CIO, embrace business technology (BT) opportunities quickly to move your organization and the industry forward and define your career in the process.
We’ve been having more frequent conversations with SAP customers about “checking the box” when it comes to SAP change management. In this regard, checking the box means having a solution in place just so you can say that a solution is in place. As a customer’s SAP change management processes mature, they realize that their processes need to improve – maturing from a solution which meets the minimum requirements of audit, compliance and safety (e.g. for SAP Production systems), to a solution which supports the business with agile, continuous delivery capabilities.
A few of our customers have asked us about the ability to put a change control process around Rev-Trac configuration modifications. It often a tricky subject to discuss, as there is an irony in the need to put Change Control around the Change Control tool. As Rev-Trac is written in ABAP and runs as a transaction in SAP, it is possible for organizations to benefit from the use of multiple Rev-Trac instances; at least a Development and a Production environment.
Process design takes time but can be worth every minute when crafting your SAP change control SOP (standard operating process). The PMO (project management office) generally crafts standards, identifies economies of repetition in project execution, and ultimately may even automate them. The PMO’s process design leads to creating the SAP change control SOP.
We kicked off a new four-part series in May’s SAP Change Control eNewsletter, which just came out. In it, we start thinking about over-complicated process design as clogged arteries. Yes – “clogged” gets the idea across awfully well. Things back up and just trickle out the other end of the pipe. Systems get this way over time as IT teams accommodate new conditions – mergers, reorganizations, regulatory changes in ITIL/SOX/FDA, major upgrades, HANA, new markets, you name it.
If you’ve applied a major SAP system upgrade, you’ve probably gone through what some call “upgrade anxiety”. It isn’t fun and you can’t avoid it completely, but it doesn’t have to eat away at your nerves if you know a few tricks.