Susan Cannington

SAP Change Control: Effectively Manage Risk

Susan Cannington | August 30, 2017

A question our customers repeatedly ask  is: “How can we effectively manage risk that change introduces to production?“. An excellent question to include in your current portfolio of areas to address with your change management process plan.

To effectively manage risk, one must be able to identify and categorize risk. That is, could the change cause a problem, and what happens if it does (likelihood and impact)? For simplicity, I’ll cover two obvious categories, high risk and low risk.

High risk changes

High risk changes are those that may negatively impact an important area of the business. These could include corporate strategic goals such as revenue, productivity and critical customer relationship management. Changes to SAP objects that impact any of these goals would need to be managed tightly.

This could include:

  • A change process enforcing the appropriate level of communications for initiating and managing these changes
  • A test plan with a high level of detail and oversight, possibly involving external integration systems
  • A special production deployment plan (e.g. to ensure all impacted production processes are halted during the migration period)

By the way, communicating the risk with your business counterparts is vital to ensure the potential risk is understood and accepted.

Low risk changes

Low risk might be categorized as risk related to SAP objects that have little to no impact to critical production business processes, such as frequently made minor configuration changes. The change process for low risk changes should minimize the rigour for approvals and sign offs, production process change and timing of the migration into production environments.

This would result in (for example):

  • Lower level approvals
  • Fewer approval steps
  • Less rigorous testing
  • Flexible production deployment methods

Automatically manage risk

When using Rev-Trac to automate your SAP change control tasks and processes, you can use its ‘Sensitive Objects’ functionality to ensure that your high and low risk changes are automatically directed into the appropriate change control process. By automatically addressing these two levels of risk with Rev-Trac, we have customers who have sped delivery of low risk change by up to 260%, whilst better managing their higher risk changes.

For more information on how Rev-Trac can automate the effective management of risk for you, please contact us at [email protected] or at [email protected] and we will be happy to provide you more information on this topic.