Phase II in the ASAP methodology – conceptual design

After establishing the organisational structure of the project and after developing the Project Charter and Regulations and after approving the results and the implementation phase, the second phase of the SAP system implementation – conceptual design can be started.
This is one of the most interesting phases in the ASAP methodology. Here the most interesting works happen, because they are carried out with the participation of end users (implementation teams). The implementation team consists of employees of the ordering party and employees of the implementation company. It is in this phase that employees get to know the system accurately and simultaneously articulate their requirements. Depending on the number of implemented SAP modules, the same number of implementation teams is created.
In phase II, the ASAP methodology provides for the creation of a test environment and defining processes. It is at this time that the individual functions of the system are parameterized and functional extensions are built.
In phase II, implementation works are carried out in two directions, on the one hand modular work teams develop a conceptual R / 3 model corresponding to the business processes, on the other hand the team responsible for technical issues prepares the R / 3 test and development environment with the necessary technical infrastructure .

The second phase consists of the following activities:
1. Training of working teams
2. Creating a test and development environment
3. Defining functions, processes and extensions
4. Agreement on the concept
5. Determining the infrastructure of the productive system

A. Training of working teams after preparation of the implementation scope in individual modules (included in the Project Charter), it is possible to determine what trainings should be undertaken by members of working teams to get to know the implemented functionality, become familiar with the terminology used in the R / 3 system and become partners to discussions on possible solutions in R / 3.
The trainings are based on SAP training materials and using the IDES R / 3 training system (a system provided by the SAP Poland Training Center, configured and prepared to conduct training).
The aim of the training is to learn by the participants how the system can perform specific functions and business processes and how the functions and processes implemented can be configured in accordance with the company’s requirements.
In addition to functional and configuration modular trainings, there are also trainings in the R / 3 system administration and ABAP language programming.

B. Establishment of a test and development environment. After determining in phase 1 the required technical specification of the test and development server (ensuring sufficient system performance) and the hardware provider providing the server itself, the technical team installs a database and an R / 3 system on the nirn. Then, the work environment is configured (including the parts of the system so-called mandants for the prototype configuration, prototype testing, training exercises, etc.), users are set up for members of work teams and consultants, system performance is tuned (average time) answers through the system).

Depending on the network infrastructure existing in: company, an existing computer network is created or expanded to ensure access to the R / 3 system to members of work teams. Access to the SAP Service System (OSS) is started. The technical team also assists in setting up a dedicated directory structure and access rights on a generally available network server in the customer’s enterprise for the purpose of storing the project documentation being developed.

C. Defining functions, processes and extensions.
The most important task in phase II is the development by working teams of modular concepts of implementing the R / 3 system. On the basis of system knowledge gained during trainings, knowledge of the processes and business functions in the company, taking into account the implementation goals defined at the beginning of the project, the working teams prepare a conceptual solution. The structure and substantive content of the implementation concept is based on the standard developed at BCC on the basis of over a dozen already completed implementations.
Relying on a ready standard allows working teams to focus on the right conceptual work. The concept is prepared so that all the information needed to configure the system’s prototype in the next phase will be included in one document. In addition to the description of the conceptual solution, there are also specific tables with settings that parameterize the R / 3 system. During the development of the “Implementation concept”, the following elements of the system are defined, among others:
• organizational structure of the enterprise – organizational model of the enterprise using the organizational units available in the R / 3 system (from the point of view of both finance and logistics); configuration parameters R / 3
• basic data – basic data used by the company (eg chart of accounts, structure of cost centers, data of suppliers, customer data, data of materials, etc.), types and attributes of fields with information in the basic data, connections between data; configuration parameters R / 3
• functions and processes – description of business processes implemented by the company consisting of economic events, performed activities, input data to the process and output data from the process, execution stations; configuration parameters R / 3
• reports – generated by the system for the purposes of the company’s operations (both standard, eg balance sheet and income statement as well as non-standard ones, eg combining data from many modules for the needs of the production process); depending on report requirements, configuration parameters R / 3 or technical specifications of ABAP programs
• forms – printouts of documents generated by R / 3 (eg invoices, interest notes, orders, workshop documentation of production orders); specification of requirements and description of information on printouts (corrections to standard documents R / 3, definitions of new forms)
• extension – if due to the specificity of the company’s operation it is not possible to handle a given process by properly configuring the R / 3 standard, it is necessary to create extensions (additional ABAP programs implementing the required functionality in the system); technical specifications of ABAP programs
• interfaces – specification with description of data transferred between R / 3 and the external system, operation and interface principles, communication methods used; technical specification of ABAP programs and interface requirements from an external system
• organizational changes – a description of the necessary organizational changes in the company in connection with the implementation of the R / 3 system and a new definition of processes and functions implemented (eg changing the document flow, separating a new type of position, decentralization of decisions, changing the responsibilities of employees).
During the preparation of modular concepts by individual work teams, a series of inter-module meetings takes place, during which the system integration issues are solved, so that individual solutions are consistent and allow to develop a system that supports processes at the level of the entire company and not its functional departments (finance, sales , supply, production, etc.).

D. Reconciliation of the concept After developing the R / 3 system implementation concept, presentations of proposed business solutions are carried out, doubts and responses to inquiries are explained .. In justified cases, changes and additions to the concept are introduced. Concept document (solutions adopted and described in it) it should be known, understood and accepted by all decision-makers who will be affected by the implemented R / 3 system.

E. Determining the infrastructure of a productive system.
The target SAP R / G system for work will be available on the so-called a productive system, it is a separate hardware and software environment (servers, database installation, R / 3 installation), to which a ready-tested prototype of the system will be transferred along with all basic data. In the case of large installations (number of users, number and type of system transactions to be carried out), many database and application servers can be a productive environment, often due to security reasons connected in the so-called cluster (thanks to this, in case of failure of one of the servers, its work is automatically taken over by other servers).
Depending on the company’s infrastructure, it is also necessary to define the target computer network that supports users of R / 3 along with the required number of PC end stations and peripheral devices.

Completion of the second phase – verification of results. After completing the activities in phase II, the results of the phase are verified. During verification, you should answer, among others for questions:
• whether a milestone in the form of the R / 3 system implementation concept was received in accordance with the requirements (compliance of the concept with the adopted objectives and scope of implementation, coherence and completeness of conceptual modular solutions, agreement and acceptance of solutions by selected decision-makers in the enterprise)?
• Is the documentation of the design work sufficient (documentation of the design works is one of the elements of the implementation product delivered to the client according to the BCC method)?
• Is the R / 3 test and development environment available for configuration and development work in the next implementation phase and has the technical specification for a productive system been established?
If the phase verification is completed positively, the project managers apply for the acceptance of the results of the second phase and consent for the commencement of the phase III work – the implementation of the prototype.