In speaking with SAP IT teams who are successfully pivoting to agile SAP development, one theme continues to stand out. Control of the SAP change and release process needs to move from a single, centralized point of control to multiple, decentralized points of control.
Centralized Point of Control
In the more common, centralized way of managing SAP change, teams are organized typically by SAP modules. They feed their changes, production support, enhancement or project changes, to a change and release management team. This team ensures changes are approved, developed, tested, documented and moved to production on a scheduled and tightly controlled manner. The change and release management team is involved every step of the way.
Decentralized Point of Control
In contrast, in an agile way of managing SAP change, teams are organized into agile teams, typically at the SAP business process level. Then these teams have the capability to control the change process independently of the change and release management team, meaning the team only gets involved when there is an issue.
This decentralized approach supports the increased velocity goals of agile. The approach enables companies to move from quarterly or monthly release cycles to much more frequent cycles. Even down to weekly or daily cycles for certain teams.
In order to achieve the increased change velocity and maintain stability and governance, automation of the process is critical. For example, agile change control teams need to have a real-time understanding of how their changes impact other teams’ changes, how to manage the inevitable parallel development activities and how to determine if changes going into the production systems will fail, prior to moving the changes. The business also needs to be confident that all changes, agile or not, have been managed and governed well. Very difficult to achieve without the cross team visibility and process enforcement available through automation.
We’re helping our customers overcome these challenges. If you want to discuss your SAP agile change management plans, reach out to us at [email protected].