Life without SAP Change and Transport Release Managers

Digital Mines Jan 20, 2022

I have always felt how important change management could be when it comes to releases in an SAP environment. Managing changes across complex SAP Systems can be quite a challenge. Since the management of the change plays a crucial in determining its success. As manager of Change and Release, it is important the systems are stable throughout the release.

Table of contents

SAP Change / Transport Release Managers

A smooth release to the production isn't just about technology, you will also have to consider user acceptance. To consider that, a change or release manager can play a key role by identifying the change and handling the SAP Change control. They are the gatekeepers of the SAP system and they keep the life of SAP End users from falling into chaos.

The Impact of transport requests getting released into the SAP are plenty. With proper change management in place, an enterprise can :

  1. Understand the impact on existing business process variants
  2. Implement new authorizations or roles that could change the organizational structure of the system
  3. Avoid nonalignment across Business Process owners and Key Stakeholders
  4. Educate about the impact of transports and the change they bring
  5. Assess the impact on integration services
  6. Track the key users and end-users who could be affected by the change
  7. Handle overall testing and release

Without Change Management Team, there won't be anyone who could find answers to the above.

Worst, the entire landscape could have burning questions.

What will break and why?
What will change ?
What to test ?
What not to test ?
Who is my release approver from business ?
How long is my testing effort ?
What are my testing hotspots ?

Imagining a life without change / release managers

I don't think life would be so easy to think of an SAP system without a change/release manager. The Change management process itself could go all over the place without one. The Release management if not handled right can turn into a disaster

State of Releases without Change / Release Manager

Impact on Existing Business Process Variants

The Scope Item variants or Process Variants are the bloodlines of the SAP Systems. They are made up of numerous SAP Artifacts, Customizations, Configurations, and Data. Any change you make to any of the underlying SAP Object could alter the way Process Variants could work. Thus, It becomes very imminent to understand the impact of a request on the business process variants in the systems. (It is almost the same as creating an alternate timeline).

Implementing New Authorizations / Roles

SAP by itself caters to varied lines of business. The release of new functionality or an enhancement could be due to the introduction of new business processes. This would mean the implementation of New Authorizations or User profiles in the system. The Creation of new roles would also mean analyzing the impact on the existing organization structure and how the change in an authorization object affects existing users

Unstable Production System

A transport request released in the production can always have unexpected effects. Most transports can go, rogue. They could affect something that is linked through one of the standard objects and it could alter the entire business process. Hence, it is of utmost importance to test the entire change. The Software could result in unstable business operations and could affect the people involved in it.

Extended-Release Timelines

To Extend the above point, the need for testing becomes critical. The Knows and hows of the testing play a crucial role in the success of the project. Typically, it is always testing that takes the maximum amount of effort when it comes to SAP Projects. Business Continuity could take a huge hit when it comes to delayed releases. Every business requirement could come with a time and this could extend the time to release by an enormous rate.

To summarize, a life without change and release manager can indeed be catastrophic. A Change and Release manager can play a key role in the whole change management process and handle the sap enterprise release impact without business disruptions

Here's something we have developed that could Change / Release Managers, A Change Impact Mining platform that could help make releases much faster and smoother.

Check out more at Digital Mines - Change Impact Intelligence for SAP.

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Vignesh Barani S

Vignesh is the Head of Product @ KTern.AI who deals with the engineering of features and deals with functionalities for solving transformation-related problems.

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