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Being Agile with BPC – Project Prep

Rhys Blyth Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Blog

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

Alexander Graham Bell

In part one, I outlined my client’s problem and how ASAP methodology wasn’t going to fit due to its restrictions. Now, we’re going to dive into an Agile BPC implementation, starting with the prerequisites. Once again there is no “one fits all” approach or process. As a project manager and architect, I have had to solve many varying problems along the way, in order to make the process work. No courses can guarantee you anything; hands-on experience is key, over classical management methodologies. Before starting with the implementation, spend some time preparing for an Agile implementation:

  • Start with a formal management approval
  • Communicate your approach within the organization
  • Run basic SAP BPC training for business
  • Define development and implementation standards
  • Design a high-level system architecture

Formal management approval 

Make sure you are supported by a top management, the sponsor of the project and, if possible, the business owner. When using the Agile approach, you have to make sure all stakeholders understand and agree on the following:

  • Agile is about the delivery of value and value is the main criteria for decisions, not time or budgets.
  • Equip one person with enough power and authority within the organisation to make key, vital decisions.

Communicate your approach within the organization

Make sure everyone is aware of the fact that you will be working on the most important parts of the system first, and not all functionality will be immediately available. Be sure to manage expectations and inform all involved stakeholders about the process, statuses, achievements and plans.

Run basic SAP BPC training

Allocate enough time to teach functional users and analysts the basics of SAP BPC. This saves lots of time during an implementation. I like to use a 5-day BPC “crash course” for those involved in the project implementation. Training allows users to learn most of SAP BPC functionality, and configure functioning planning and forecasting prototypes. Having adept users will allow you to spend less time on explaining later design decisions and users can define better requirements.

Development and implementation standards

Agree on development and implementation standards with your implementation team. At the very beginning of the project, define your standards for code version control, configuration of reporting and input layout templates, proper use of modelling capabilities, proper use of different types of logic (VBA, Script Logic, Business Rules, ABAP, Dimension Formulas, Measures), authorisation modelling, and transport system. Defining these standards will save project time.

Also, if possible, reuse the same library of script logic functions, ABAP functions and VBA. In the case of my client, as both templates and functions were shared between all consultants and developers, there was no need to build something new. Adjusting the existing functions and templates to fit in new requirements and requested features was enough.

System architecture 

For a successful Agile implementation, have the whole team, including business analysts and users, participating in designing the architecture of the solution.

For my client, we spent 2 weeks designing the solution architecture. Business users and analysts joined design workshops every day for around 2-3 hours, while BPC consultants were involved in the design and brainstorming processes on a full-time basis. As a result, there were no major changes to the architecture during the whole implementation project. Don’t cut corners, however. Spend enough time on the architecture as it is the basis for a successful Agile implementation.

Preparation is key. It gives the entire team the opportunity to understand the approach, build connections, learn the system, synchronize by means of defined standards, and design a high-level system architecture.

 Andrei Loginovskiy

Andrei is a passionate Certified SAP expert, IPMA project manager and experienced Team Lead with over 10 years of proven service delivery. One of Plaut’s resident SAP BPC specialists, Andrei also hold a degree in Finance and Master’s in Radiophysics and Computer Technologies. 

Click here to get in touch with Andrei.

One Response to "Being Agile with BPC – Project Prep"

  1. Nicolas says:

    Hello, great article. l have a question. Do we need a functional specifiation document (business reauirements) when we implement BPC Agile? l would appreciate if you could just list me the steps in BPC agile. (especially which kind of documents shoud be prepares?

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