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What can a 5 year old teach you about managing SAP change?

My daughter had a breakthrough this morning. She managed to tie her shoelaces herself for the first time. After months of patiently showing her how to make ‘rabbit ears’ and follow intricate finger movements, she got it. And with a big smile on her face, she went out to play.

Her first step in becoming independent.

As a parent, you can’t help feeling a little sad as your children grow up – but at the same time – you realize that you have to let them take tiny steps in looking after themselves.

As an IT professional, I sometimes feel the same way – wouldn’t it be nice if more IT departments enabled business users to take more control of looking after their business changes?

We have a customer that did just this. They had spent years at the mercy of the IT department, in particular, the technical teams. When they ordered business changes to their SAP system, it would take over 6 months in some cases for the new functionality to go live. The Basis team was too busy to implement even small changes, even though they had been developed and tested.

This all changed when their CIO found a solution that would enable the business to take control of their own destiny. Changes could be implemented automatically when it suited the business, rather than the IT department. The solution was ActiveControl.

Within 10 days, their existing processes were configured. The Basis team and business process leads were also trained to use ActiveControl. The process now allows requirements to move through the Change and Release process automatically, with control points used to manage the sign-off at key points in the process.

SAP transports are moved automatically and sequenced correctly through the environments based on the owner’s sign-off within the process. Testing is completed when it suits the business, rather than at times that are prescribed by IT. Business changes are requested, developed and tested, and released to production when it suits the business, rather than the IT department.

The Basis team is also happy because they can concentrate on running the SAP system and other higher value tasks, rather than maintaining spreadsheets to make sure the correct transports are applied across the landscape. As the change process is automated and imports into SAP systems are based on business approvals the Basis team only needs to get involved when there are errors.

The rigor and governance introduced by ActiveControl allow both the business and IT teams to have confidence that SAP changes are being managed and deployed safely and those critical business systems are protected.

It has also allowed the business to become more agile as they can respond to market demands more quickly and in today’s competitive marketplace that is crucial to their success.

So just like our customer took control of they want to do, my daughter can now go outside and play without asking for her busy parents to tie her shoes and button her coat every time.

If you’d like a demo of ActiveControl, click here.

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