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The easy way to run your SAP project cutover

When one of my friends announced that he was giving up smoking as his New Year’s resolution I was dubious. He has tried to quit countless times before by going cold-turkey. Usually, these no-fag fads last a couple of days, hours even before he relents.

Three weeks into his latest attempt and I have to say that I am amazed by his success. His secret? A new-fangled electronic cigarette. Gone are the ‘old-school’ days of ways of quitting the hard way, armed only with steely determination and willpower.

He is now kicking himself for not having tried the ‘easy way’ before. But half of the battle is knowing that an ‘easy way’ exists. So, inspired by my non-smoking friend, I decided to invest some time to offer up an ‘easy way’ to run SAP cutovers and show you why you shouldn’t waste your time and effort on the ‘old-school’ methods.

Why are SAP cutovers so complex?

If you’re an SAP Release Manager, you’ll probably be reaching for a packet of cigarettes at the thought of those late or lost Friday evenings – whether you smoke or not.

I’m sure you’ll all be familiar with the hard way – the months of planning and preparation, lengthy meetings, ever more complicated spreadsheets bouncing back and forth from Release Managers to Project Managers and back again, lists of transports NOT to import, approvals, more meetings, import sequences, trial cutovers, errors – and back around again.

The list of required actions goes on – lengthy processes potentially riddled with pitfalls and errors that can so easily occur in a highly manual and complicated process. For example, I’ve seen additional transports accidentally added to import scripts when a filter was removed from a spreadsheet, or blocks of missing transports missed when cutting and pasting SE16 screens to spreadsheets, or from spreadsheets to import scripts.

Suffice to say, that there is a hard way of doing things when it comes to an SAP project cutover.

How do I make my SAP cutovers easy?

Just like my friend needed a piece of technology to solve his problem – the Easy Way for SAP cutover also involves technology. Here’s how ActiveControl will make your next SAP project cutover simpler, faster and less risky:

  • ActiveControl has a single, central tracking of cutover progress. You can see how many transports are left in the import queues at any time – no phone calls, e-mails or status updates from basis team – you have one place to go for a total view into your landscape.
  • ActiveControl performs automatic conflict and overtake checking – so if the project gets delayed, you just make a couple of clicks to move the un-required transports back in the process ready for re-approval when the time is right.
  • ActiveControl can analyze the entire transport list to check whether any of them failed going into the previous test or pre-production systems. This can save a lot of time during cutovers because the basis team already have a heads up of expected errors.
  • ActiveControl communicates on behalf of the team – automatically sending import and system errors to the basis team as they happen to ensure smooth running of cutovers
  • ActiveControl even enables you to document manual steps in the cutover process – meaning that an email is automatically sent to the person who needs to perform the manual step when it is needed. The import process is automatically suspended if required until the manual step is marked as complete.

Warning – ActiveControl is highly addictive!

In my experience of using ActiveControl for cutovers with various customers, the response is always the same whether we talk to the Basis team, functional and technical consultants, architects, release managers, testers or the business. Everybody is amazed at how easy the ‘easy way’ is and question why they ever did it the ‘hard way’ before.

To close with another story on bad habits – I even had one Release Manager using ActiveControl confess that she could now do her Friday night cutovers with a glass of wine in hand!

Although we wouldn’t advocate this as Best Practice, (out with one bad habit, in with another), it just goes to show how simple and hassle-free your next SAP cutover could be.

If you would like to see for yourself the specific features of ActiveControl that make SAP cutovers easy, take a look at some of our videos or contact us for a demo.

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