A Guide to SAP Project Documentation for your SAP Implementation

Published: 26th November 2009
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To be a successful SAP Project Manager you need to understand the full lifecycle of your SAP implementation, and without prior SAP experience you will not have the benefit of other implementations, this article is a quick guide of SAP Project Documentation that forms the backbone of your SAP implementation. As with all SAP implementations it is based on the well know ASAP methodology (Accelerated SAP), so lets start there.

The basic phases of an SAP implementation start with:
Project Preperation. The documentation that needs to be created during this phase is typically. 1. The Project Plan - This obviously is the starting point for many project managers, but don't be so eager to get the first release out, wait until all your workshops (re-engineering process flows, or documenting as-is processes) are complete. This will open your eyes to what tasks are required or need more attention for your company. A sample SAP project plan is always a good starting point and build upon that.
You will Also need a Project Charter, most project managers understand the need of a Project Charter, but be sure to base it on the SAP technical people as well as the SME's and other business users, many SAP people see the project charter as the requirements for that project. It is also important to identify the leadership teams role throughout the project.
During the Project Prep Phase you will also need to define your SAP Landscape, this can be done by your BASIS people, but be clear to them to define the R/3, CRM, BW, SRM landscapes, and make the transport routed clear. Make sure all SAP Business Analysts sign this and fully understand the SAP landscape.
Now it's time for your Validation team to get to work! They are responsible for the project standards, that is, how do the technical team capture requirements, how do they write the requirements in full, and how do they capture what needs to be configured. Make your validation team design the project standards for:
Trace Matrix Standard - This is the Daddy of all standards, it describes the links from the scope document (requirements list) to the functional design document to the technical design document etc. Use the standard on http://escape9-5.co.uk/asapdocs.html as a starting point if you have not seen one before.
Functional and Technical Design Standard - This describes how the business is to write their requirements in full (after capturing the scope/ requirements). It describes the detail to go to and the general information required for the business analyst to configure. The Technical Design standard, tells the business analyst how to capture the configuration completed. Very similar standards are the Function Specification and Technical Specifications, these are basically the documents for non-configuration requirements, i.e. FRICE objects, thats; forms, reports, interfaces, conversions and enhancements.

So thats Project Prep over! While the validation team are busy writing the project standards, the SAP project team can be running the business workshops to capture TO-BE business processes and requirements, these should all be documented and captured in a scope document. So now your ready for the next phase:

Project Blueprint
The project Blueprint is a description of the TO-BE SAP implementation, broken down into each module it provides detail to the leadership team of what exactly is the SAP project all about. Here's a good sample of an SAP Blueprint

The next phase is the Realisation Phase
Your SAP team are now busy writing all there technical design documents (following the technical design doc standard of course)! While they are busy, you need to start thinking about the testing requirements, a typical document is known as the Opertational Testing Strategy. It covers the process of testing all the requirements have been setup/ configured as expected and has been tested in production like situations.
You will also need to start, if you haven't already, you data loading strategy, how exactly are you going to convert your old business data into sap data, things like your supplier names, customers, products etc. This wuld have been thought about in your Project Charter and Project Plan, but the procedure and standards should be clearly defined.

During the next Phase Final Preperation, you need to create a Go Live and support strategy. How exactly are your users going to be supported during and after go-live. How do users request changes to functionality and how do users create authorisation requests.

If you require examples of SAP documentation to aid you, please find them on my website: SAP Project Documentation

If you need SAP advice, or consultancy please visit http://www.escape9-5.co.uk SAP Recruitment

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