A Three-Step Process for Averting Downtime When Modifying Your R/3 System

  • by Kurt Bishop, Independent Consultant
  • March 15, 2000
/Project Management
Whether your SAP system is still in its settling-in phase, or is one that has been firmly entrenched for years, ushering in new changes is a nontrivial challenge. Even small, seemingly innocuous changes, like rearranging a screen, introducing new headings on a report, or revising your backup practices can introduce downtime. Large or small, IT teams obviously need to avoid downtime and make sure that a change does not have an adverse effect on users, partners, or customers. Kurt Bishop prescribes a three-step process for averting downtime: document the risk/reward and cost associated with each R/3 change request; categorize change requests according to their risk/reward profile; and safeguard, schedule, and implement the change in a manner that is consistent with its risk/reward profile. This article provides details on all three steps.

Kurt Bishop

Kurt Bishop is a retired member of SAP America’s Technical Consulting Team. He has experience in both application and technical support of the R/3 system, where he provided a variety of consulting and support services for customers and colleagues. Kurt started his seven-year career with SAP in 1994 providing project management consultation for customers with a specialization in technical project management. After two
years in this position, he began concentrating on performance and tuning. By popular demand from customers and SAP employees throughout North America, he then concentrated his skills on capacity planning services, where he worked to standardize and improve the process for both customers and vendors.

Prior to joining SAP, Kurt spent seven years as a management consultant for one of the “Big Six” consulting firms. In this capacity, he was involved in both management and information systems consulting for a broad range of firms and industries. He spent considerable time developing strategic systems plans for some of the nation’s most prestigious firms, as well as assisting many clients in reengineering their business practices
and related support systems. He also has eight years of experience “in the trenches” of information systems for the oil and gas industry, including positions from programmer analyst to project manager, where he developed the skills that prepared him for consulting. His skills are also augmented with four years in manufacturing and materials management, where he served as production manager.

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