Architecting a Document Strategy for SAP Solution Manager

  • by Marci Braybrooks, Senior RBE Plus Analyst and Solution Manager Consultant, IBIS America, LLC
  • May 24, 2011
SAPexperts/Project Management
The SAP Solution Manager process-oriented approach to storing documents using the Business Blueprint structure provides companies with a tool for facilitating communication, knowledge transfer, and conformance. Architecting a document strategy up front by planning, defining, and communicating standards and procedures to all team members ensures consistency and delivers the benefits of the tool.
Key Concept
The key to a good documentation strategy is to plan what to store, where to store it, and how to store it; document the defined standards and procedures; and then publish and communicate the strategy to all participants to ensure a disciplined, consistent approach. Document repositories that have not been properly architected can prevent the IT organization from realizing the original objectives.

Purchasing an expensive vehicle compels the owner to protect his or her investment with regular maintenance checks and timely service. An inherent trust and dependence is placed on the service technician to access the diagnostic instructions, technical diagrams, and maintenance checks to properly service the vehicle. Investing in SAP systems requires the same due diligence to protect the investment. Leveraging new functionality and upgrading when necessary are part of properly servicing the SAP system. But does the IT department have access to what it needs to perform this service?

Many IT organizations no longer have access to the original design documents that were created during the initial implementation. Moreover, continuous change to the SAP systems outdates the original design. Individual project teams generate and organize documentation according to the deliverable requirements for the project. Without centralized access to the SAP design documents, companies incur unnecessary costs in the redundant duplication of various materials, inhibiting knowledge transfer to new hires and contractors and preventing IT from flexibly adapting their SAP systems to changing business requirements or upgrading to newer releases.

SAP Solution Manager is designed to provide companies with a process-oriented storage device for key documents. The Business Blueprint structure links the components of business processes together, including design documentation, SAP transactions, configuration documentation, SAP IMG objects, test scripts, and training materials. The Business Blueprint approach to document storage is a centralized framework designed to assist project teams in the definition and build activities, for seamless knowledge transfer to the support organization at go-live, and for accessibility by the support team for on-going support and maintenance — ensuring the ability to properly service the SAP systems. I’ll outline the key considerations for architecting a document strategy for SAP Solution Manager.

Marci Braybrooks

Marci Braybrooks is a senior RBE Plus analyst and Solution Manager consultant for IBIS America, LLC. Marci has more than 25 years of experience in IT, and has worked with SAP systems for more than 14 years. IBIS America, LLC, is the US-based sales, service, and support organization for IBIS Prof. Thome AG, the recognized leader in reverse business engineering (RBE), providing licensed tools and services for RBE Plus analyses to SAP customers worldwide.

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