SAP Activate Methodology for S/4HANA Migration

Digital Projects Mar 18, 2021

Table of contents


SAP recommends SAP Activate and the 893+ tasks which it covers, as the right methodology for ECC to S/4HANA migration/conversion.

SAP Activate supports the use of add-ons and extensions developed by SAP partners and enables a coherent, integrated experience even if you are customizing SAP S/4HANA for specific business processes. It is a modular and agile framework which ensures a reliable SAP S/4HANA conversion and is the heart of KTern, the product designed to automate, manage, and accelerate the transition from ECC to S/4HANA from start to finish.

In addition, KTern helps overcome different migration challenges. Some of which can be discovered in the article on “SAP S/4HANA Migration Challenges and KTern Solutions” and in our on-demand webinar “KTern: The Best Product for SAP S/4HANA Conversion”

In this article, let’s investigate what you get with SAP Activate and KTern, the phases and activities which they cover, and the value of KTern.

SAP Activate benefits

SAP Activate offers several benefits to organizations looking to migrate to S/4HANA, including:

Proven methodology: SAP Activate is a proven methodology that has been successfully used by many organizations to migrate to S/4HANA.

Reduced risk: The SAP Activate methodology is designed to minimize risk and ensure a successful migration to S/4HANA.

Improved efficiency: The SAP Activate methodology streamlines the migration process, resulting in faster implementation and lower costs.

Flexibility: The SAP Activate methodology is flexible and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different organizations.

Increased scalability: S/4HANA is an in-memory platform which can handle large amounts of data and support high performance, this allows organizations to scale their operations as their business grows.

Improved user experience: S/4HANA has a modern user interface, this allows a better and more productive user experience.

What do you get with SAP Activate and KTern?

With SAP Activate methodology and KTern, you get a disciplined project management approach for SAP S/4HANA migration.

The "Activate Methodology" aligns with best practices suggested by the Project Management Institute (PMI), assisting you to minimize risk, streamline and accelerate your project, and reduce the total cost of S/4HANA conversion.

A standardized work breakdown structure encourages project managers to define and manage project work and concentrate on deliverables and outcomes.

The methodology and in turn KTern, work based on the six phases of your migration project: Discover, Prepare, Explore, Realize, Deploy, and Run.

Phase 1: Discover

The Discover phase is the ideal first step for any organization considering an ECC to S/4HANA migration through a system conversion.

The activities covered in the "Discover" stage by KTern and SAP Activate are as given below.

  1. Strategic Planning
  2. Application Value and Scoping
  3. Trial System Provisioning

Phase 2: Prepare

The Prepare phase is the next logical step after the Discover Phase. This phase involves initial planning, preparation, and definition of project governance to start the project off on the right foot.

A high-level grouping of the different tasks covered in the "Prepare" stage by KTern and SAP Activate are:

  1. Project Team Enablement
  2. Prototyping
  3. Transition Planning
  4. Transition Preparation
  5. Custom Code Cleanup and Improvement
  6. Project Delivery Platform Setup
  7. Project Initiation
  8. Establish Project Governance
  9. Project Plan
  10. Project Kick-off and Onboarding
  11. Project Standards and Infrastructure
  12. Execution, Monitoring, and Controlling of Results
  13. Organizational Change Management Roadmap
  14. Phase Closures and Sign-off Deliverables

Phase 3: Explore

This phase provides a review of the solution functionality in scope in a series of show-and-tell sessions to validate that business requirements can be met with standard SAP Best Practices.

Solution design workshops and process-oriented documents illustrate how to run a business using SAP S/4HANA.

It is recommended to capture, prioritize, and document requirements and gaps in a solution backlog document.

A high-level grouping of the different tasks covered in the "Explore" stage by KTern and SAP Activate are:

  1. Phase Initiation
  2. Learning Design
  3. Activate Solution
  4. Fit-gap/Delta Design: Introduction
  5. Fit-gap/Delta Design: Finalize System Setup
  6. Fit-gap/Delta Design: Fit/Gap Analysis – Solution validation
  7. Fit-gap/Delta Design: Gap Identification
  8. Fit-gap/Delta Design: Delta Scope Prioritization
  9. GAP Validation
  10. Fit-gap/Delta Design: Delta Design
  11. Design Review
  12. Fit-Gap / Delta Design: Verify and Accept
  13. UX Activation and Design
  14. Fit-Gap/Delta Design: Central Finance Design
  15. Data Volume Planning
  16. Data Volume Design
  17. Custom Code Impact Analysis
  18. Test Planning
  19. Integration Setup
  20. Integration Design
  21. Sandbox (SBX) Run
  22. Development (DEV) Run
  23. Sizing
  24. Technical Architecture Definition
  25. IT Infrastructure Definition
  26. Technical Design
  27. Operations Impact Analysis
  28. Execution/Monitoring/Controlling Results
  29. Change Impact Analysis
  30. Phase Closure and Sign-Off Deliverable

Phase 4: Realize

This phase is primarily to build and test a complete solution environment that is based on the business processes and requirements identified in the explore phase and captured in the backlog document.

The activities covered in the "Realize" stage by KTern and SAP Activate can be broadly enlisted as:

  1. Phase Closure and Sign-Off Phase Deliverables
  2. Phase Initiation
  3. Plan Realize Phase
  4. Learning Realization
  5. Sprint Initiation (Iterative)
  6. Execution Plan for Realize Phase
  7. Configuration: Introduction
  8. Configuration: Handover
  9. Configuration: Main Configuration
  10. Configuration: Unit Test
  11. Configuration: String Test
  12. Configuration: Solution Walk-Through
  13. Configuration: Bug Fixing
  14. Configuration: Documentation
  15. Configuration- Central Finance Implementation
  16. Product Enhancements
  17. Sprint Closing
  18. Cleanup / Archive
  19. Data Aging Configuration
  20. Security Implementation
  21. Integration Validation
  22. Analytics Configuration
  23. Test Preparation
  24. Test Execution
  25. Integration Implementation
  26. Quality (QAS) Run
  27. Data Migration and Verification
  28. Cutover Preparation
  29. Sizing and Scalability Verification
  30. IT Infrastructure Setup and Test
  31. Operations Implementation
  32. Execution, Monitoring and Controlling Results
  33. OCM Alignment activities

Phase 5: Deploy

This phase is to deploy SAP S/4HANA for release, move to a production environment, and conduct sustainment activities. At this point, you have everything you need to run your business.

The activities covered in the "Deploy" phase by KTern and SAP Activate can be grouped together as given below:

  1. Phase Initiation
  2. Learning Realization
  3. Integration Validation
  4. Execution, Monitoring and Controlling Results
  5. Dress Rehearsal
  6. IT Infrastructure Service Finalization
  7. Operations Readiness
  8. Release Closing
  9. Production (PRD) Run – Cutover
  10. Hyper Care Support
  11. Post Go-Live End User Training
  12. Handover to Support Organization
  13. Project Closure and Sign-Off Project Deliverables

Phase 6: Run

This is the final phase during any SAP S/4HANA conversion. The new S/4HANA system is ready to use and guide enterprises on their path to digital transformation with continuous innovation.

This is a relatively simple phase and involves activities which help to operate the solutions and to innovate and improve the solution.

How does KTern add value to ECC to S/4HANA Migration Projects?

KTern adds value across each stage of SAP S/4HANA migration - From Discover to Run. On a high level, they can be split into two classifications – Value added before the project and value added during & after the project.

Before the project begins, KTern offers an Accelerated SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessment to analyze the technical, functional, licensing, and business impact of moving from ECC to SAP S/4HANA. In addition, the assessment helps to estimate the right effort needed to complete the conversion and draft an L1 plan for the project with the right timeline and minimum total project cost. Contact us to know more about the SAP S/4HANA Readiness Assessment.

During the project, KTern helps to automate and manage each stage of SAP Activate while providing a comprehensive collaboration platform and project management kernel to guide you through the complete ECC to S/4HANA Migration from start to finish. It structures the possible migration steps simultaneously with the migration phases and expedites a streamlined migration process.

Automation Capabilities
KTern primarily provides four key automation functionalities during any ECC to S/4HANA migration

  1. Custom Code Auto-Remediation – Up to 50 auto-remediated/auto-corrected custom code in one hour
  2. Automated and Simplified Testing – Simplification of up to 2/3 of the testing effort due to inbuilt automation focused test scripts, test cases, and test scenarios
  3. Automated Data Validation – Accurate and automated validation of master and transactional data within a few hours.
  4. Automated Training Hub – Simplified and easy to use end-use training based on automated suggestions

These 4 automation functionalities help to reduce the cost, effort, and timeline of any SAP S/4HANA Conversion Project.

Management Capabilities

KTern offers one of the most comprehensive project management and collaboration platforms for ECC to S/4HANA Migration projects. In addition, it has effectively brought forth the 893+ tasks defined by SAP Activate into a single project management kernel. During each phase, the project team can generate a prescribed set of deliverables based on the tasks defined by SAP Activate. Theses can then serve as input for the subsequent steps involved in SAP S/4HANA migration.

But that’s not all. KTern.AI offers guided aids not only throughout the migration project but also beyond, while running the solution in a production environment. It lets you demand updates and changes, so that your solution is always up-to-date without any disruption.

Next Steps

Intrigued to learn more? Schedule a guided demo to receive a 30-minute express session on KTern, its role & value in SAP S/4HANA conversion, and a walkthrough of the product.

P.S: If you are an SAP partner and would like to explore a potential partnership with KTern, kindly apply to become our partner.


Sabareesh S R

Helping organizations undergo smooth and effortless SAP Digital Transformation.