Describing the Methodology Structure


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Illustrate the SAP Activate phases and SAP Activate workstreams

Methodology Structure

Methodology Breakdown

The figure, SAP Activate Phases, outlines the phases of SAP Activate Methodology.

The core of the project delivery happens between the Prepare and the Deploy phases. These are referred to as the four core phases.

Discover and Run are additional phases that are described in more detail later.

In the Prepare phase, we define the scope of work, project governance, prepare the sandbox / starters systems, start the project, identify and define the resources, define the roles and responsibilities for the project team, and detail the management plans for running the project among other activities.

In the Explore phase, we run the fit-to-standard workshops using the SAP Best Practice content and demonstrate standard processes using the sandbox or starter systems. The objective of the Explore phase is to identify the fit of the Best Practices-based solution to the business, capture delta configuration requirements, and identify gaps and configuration values. All these are captured by the project team in the product backlog.

During the Realize phase, the project team adopts an agile approach to iteratively and incrementally build the functionality from the backlog. This build follows the prioritization given by the product owner (for example, the business users) that continue to be involved with the project team during the sprints. During the build, the team adds the configuration and development on top of the Best Practices content (Deltas). Additionally, the team performs unit and (at times) string testing during the sprints. In the Realize phase, the team also works on the integration of the overall solution to meet customer needs.

The Realize phase covers all the build and test activities required to prepare a release of functionality into production. This includes a full integration test and user acceptance test before the team can continue into the Deploy phase.

The objective of the Deploy phase is to set up the production environment and confirm readiness to switch into business operations with the new solution. The team also performs sustainment and hypercare activities in the Deploy phase once the system goes live.

Once the customer has switched over into the new environment, the project team helps the customer's IT and Business departments to adopt and use the functionality. The team stays on-site for a predetermined period of time, which is usually defined in the contract or agreed as part of the plan to transition to operations.

The figure, Additional Phases, shows two additional phases of SAP Activate.

The Discover phase is a non-committal phase where customers can discover and research all offerings available within the SAP portfolio, and determine which innovations are most applicable and suitable for their organization. SAP provides several discovery resources to existing and prospective customers, ranging from white papers and presentations, to trial systems and games.

Discover phase deliverables include:

Overall Innovation Strategy and Roadmap Creation:

In the first deliverable, customers create an overall company strategy for their digital transformation. This may include SAP S/4HANA as the digital core, but contains a broader perspective. Key topics like Internet of things, Big Data, Smart Data, Omni-channel, or Business Networks can also be captured in the strategy.

Value and Impact Analysis:

Customers should become more familiar with the value of other SAP products in general (that is, the new and simplified functionality in e.g. SAP S/4HANA, the new User Interface based on SAP FIORI, agile customer innovations using SAP BTP, and so on). A trial system in the Cloud can further support this.

Implementation Strategy:

A decision on the implementation scenario and comprehensive implementation strategy for any SAP Product implementation will be created.

In case of system conversion, the conversion readiness of the existing SAP ERP system will also be checked.

A learning needs analysis for the project team is important as this can impact other activities in the program. E.g. the completion of learning should be finalized prior to participating in project workshops.

Technical Architecture and Infrastructure:

The Technical Architecture and Infrastructure requirements should be clarified to support the innovation strategy and the proposed implementation.

The Run phase

Run is referred to as a phase in Activate but has a methodology of its own. Run is effectively the support or management of the productive solution post go-live.

SAP has several standards for running a solution optimally, which range from incident and change management, system and application monitoring, to upgrade management. There are 16 standards in total.

There are also different models that can be applied when running or supporting SAP solutions, some which are the setting up a Customer Center of Expertise (CCoE) or run SAP like a factory or premium engagement. Each of these are models and approaches related to the maintaining and supporting of the SAP solution once live, and tailored to customer size and needs. Additional information can be found on the SAP support portal.

Workstream Description

Across the following three diagrams, we detail the SAP Activate Methodology workstreams and their related descriptions. Those familiar with ASAP and SAP Launch should review the workstream descriptions as they have changed significantly from the previous roadmaps.

The workstreams are optimized and aligned with various implementation scenarios. They are also adjusted based on feedback from initial projects that used SAP Activate Methodology content.

The first workstream is Project Management, which covers all the aspects of setting up the project, running it, and delivering on the project objectives. The Project Management workstream is structured around the fundamentals of agile project delivery, and is aligned with Project Management Institute standard, the PM Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

There are a set of Application workstreams that deal with different aspects of the application itself. These include design, configuration, testing, and integration. These workstreams cover the core of the work done on the solution to adjust it to fit customer needs. This includes the design and configuration activities, such as running the fit-to-standard workshops or configuring the system. It also covers the development of extensions, testing including integration, performance, system tests, regression testing, as well as User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

The Solution Adoption workstream deals with what was previously covered in the Organizational Change Management (OCM) stream and training stream in ASAP. The adoption activities enable the organization and end users to use the solution in their daily work. The deliverables and tasks guide the project team in ensuring a smooth transition to operations, post go-live support, and change management.

The Analytics workstream covers the analytics aspects of an SAP implementation project.


The Extensibility workstream addresses all custom modifications to the solution from specification to custom development. Developers / Programmers fall within, and deliver custom programming activities in this workstream.

Data Management

All Data Management activities within a project are covered under the Data Management workstream.

Technical Architecture and Infrastructure

This workstream address all activities required for the technical end of the application. From operating systems, databases, installation, upgrades, and maintenance, all these activities fall within and are covered by the technical team 'Basis' in this workstream.

Operations and Support

Under this workstream, all deliverables relating to the support of the solution, upgrade, incident, and change management when the solution is live, are covered.

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes