What is Agile Development for SAP Software?Agile Development Empowers Continuous Change
Agile development for SAP enables you to apply industry-leading development practices to your SAP landscape so you can develop and implement changes quickly to make sure you stay ahead of the competition. The goal is to enable delivery value faster and more often by breaking down large development projects into smaller, more manageable updates that can be rolled out more frequently. Agile replaces the outdated and inefficient SAP development workflows used by many organizations, which don’t allow them to adapt to changing business requirements as quickly as they need to.
Why Adopt Agile for SAP?
With traditional development methods changes to your critical SAP systems happen slowly, making it difficult to adapt to changing business needs or respond fast to problems. Agile development helps you make changes to SAP systems more quickly and safely by building and testing software in a faster, more iterative fashion, without the need for comprehensive up-front requirements (though an agile approach can still be a powerful aid to big projects that do require more holistic planning).
Key Components of Agile for SAP
Every organization applies agile differently but the process has a few core tenets. Despite the technical differences between SAP and other applications, many of these key considerations are just as relevant to SAP teams as to other developers. If you’re thinking about adopting agile for SAP the things you should consider include:
There are different approaches to agile development with two of the most common being Kanban and Scrum. Kanban is often used for unpredictable projects such as bug fixes and support tickets while Scrum is more often better suited to larger, more complex projects – such as SAP development. It’s important to determine which method is most appropriate for your teams in order for agile development to be successful.
Agile development is a very different approach to delivering changes in SAP than most experienced developers may be used to. You’ll want to ensure everyone involved in your SAP landscape, including Basis, QA, security, and anyone else is prepared for the transition. Starting with a small project is recommended so everyone can understand the process and benefits, but ‘big bang’ agile transformations can also be successful.
Stories and backlog
In agile development, work units are called “user stories” which are organized into “backlogs”. The backlog should prioritize the stories that generate the highest business benefit and differentiate between changes that can be published independently and those that need to go together. Backlogs are adjusted and rescheduled regularly as business needs change, so you need the ability to track and reprioritize requirements in SAP, and potentially re-plan whole deployments.
Instead of one large team working on a single project, as is typical in SAP development, agile distills the work down among multiple smaller teams which means it’s vital to keep everyone on the same page. It’s critical that each team retains open and transparent communication through daily stand-ups and cross-team collaboration. That way, SAP developments can be built, tested, and deployed more efficiently and with high quality.
Automation has become commonplace in development environments across industries, simply because it’s very difficult for agile to be successful without it. Adopting a tool such as ActiveControl enables you to automate your SAP change management and delivery processes so that you can manage your agile development process effectively and connect to other common tools like Jira or Jenkins.
With continuous change enabled by agile development, you’re able to get continuous feedback as well. Instead of waiting months for code to be tested or to be told the needs have changed, work is reviewed as it progresses so everyone is constantly learning and improving. Regular team performance reviews are part of the agile process, so ideally you’ll need a way to track SAP development metrics like cycle time, velocity, work in progress, and so on.
How Does It Work?
Agile development for SAP delivers business value faster than a traditional waterfall approach by breaking down requirements into small, bounded units of work that can be delivered more easily. Rather than designing, building, and testing everything in one slow, monolithic process, functionality is delivered iteratively, enabling fast user feedback within a framework flexible enough to adjust as needs and priorities change.
Automation Purpose-Built for SAP
Implementing agile development for your SAP environments is easier than you might think. The key is having the right tools in place. Basis Technologies’ products, such as ActiveControl, are specifically designed to enable automation and agile development within SAP.
The best way to get started with ActiveControl is to talk to experts who understand agile development and the challenges of SAP. With over 700 years of combined experience with SAP and agile development, our team understands your SAP challenges and is well equipped to help you achieve your business goals.