Techniques to Support Configuration Management in Solution Manager

  • by D. Russell Sloan, Implementation and Governance Specialist — SAP Solution Manager, IBM Global Business Services
  • April 10, 2013
Manager
Learn about the roles and responsibilities of the team members using Solution Manager during the configuration phase. Walk away with some recommendations on how to store your documentation and transport references to deliver a more fully documented solution to your support organization.
Key Concept
Defining roles, responsibilities, and procedures for the configuration phase improves the quality and consistency of the configuration activities. Establishing standard procedures for storing the configuration documentation and transport references enables you to deliver more complete solution documentation that can reduce the cost of future support activities.

The configuration or realization phase of the project is when the team sets out to build the solution based on the business requirements defined and discovered in the blueprint phase. I like to say it’s the time to realize the dream of the blueprint.

During this phase there are many activities happening concurrently that have the potential to conflict with one another. These activities include doing baseline configuration and final configuration along with technical setup and configuration to support custom development. Here’s what happens during those activities:

  • Baseline configuration: This is the configuration required to get the solution up and running. It covers the configuration activities required for the general operation of the SAP solution as well as the setup of business process functionality for normal business operations.
  • Final configuration: This is the configuration required to handle business process exceptions, support third-party bolt-on applications, and to support custom development required to fill the business process gaps not supported by standard SAP functionality.
  • Technical setup: These activities support the fundamental operation of the SAP solution. These activities activate application-level configuration for such things as cross-module and cross-system communication, standards for systems operation, enabling support functions, and other business process-independent capabilities.
  • Custom development: The categories that make up custom development known as WRICEF: workflow, reports, interfaces, conversions, enhancements, and forms. This is all the custom programming needed to meet the business requirements.
  • Configuration to support custom development: A significant number of WRICEF development objects depend on the presence of configuration. For example, an enhancement that uses plants or storage locations for decision logic needs the plants or storage locations configured before any testing is performed.
Note
This is intended to be a partner article to “Manage Configuration Through Solution Manager.” The mechanics of configuration management in Solution Manager are covered in that article.

 

D. Russell Sloan

D. Russell Sloan is a specialist in project and program governance for IBM. He focuses on the use of SAP Solution Manager for global rollout projects for IBM’s largest customers, having worked with SAP software since 1996. Russell has degrees in accounting and information systems and has been a team and project leader for SAP projects for more than 14 years. He has been developing and deploying software systems for over 30 years.

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