User-Blog for SAP Business ByDesign

How can SAP products be implemented with agility?


There are different ways to implement the SAP products in existing IT structures. The choice depends on whether the future user can define all requirements for his SAP system right at the start. If this is possible, the so-called ‘waterfall model’ will be applied in most cases. If it is highly probable that unknown requirements could be requested during the course of the implementation at the beginning, an agile implementation should occur. This is also referred to as “extreme programming” or in short “XP” among experts.

The advantages and disadvantages of XP implementation for SAP products

The greatest benefit of XP implementation involves the fact that changes and adaptations can also be made as part of the software integration in the existing sequences. In addition to this, the basic versions are available very quickly. New functions can be integrated flexibly and customized to requirements, both during and after the actual SAP implementation. To this end, the risk-benefit analysis, feasibility, prototyping and acceptance testing are carried out individually by the future user for each function to be implemented.

If the SAP implementation is agile, permanent communication between the future users and programmers is necessary, as up-to-date feedback is required. The risk associated with agile programming is that the total expenditure for the integration cannot be estimated in concrete terms from the beginning. In other words, the pricing for agile implementation of the SAP products must be flexible and dynamic in form. However, this risk is counterbalanced by the advantage that the customer always only receives the functions he actually needs. If the customer would like to utilize this advantage, he needs to describe the specifications of the complete project as part of technical specifications prior to the implementation.

The advantages and disadvantages of waterfall implementation for SAP products

A waterfall consequently forms a multistage cascade where various pools have to be fulfilled in succession. The next stage is only initiated after an overflow. This model of SAP implementation is recommended if the future user knows precisely what result he would like to have. A design is developed from these requirements (documented in the technical specifications), which is then integrated as a whole in the existing IT system. The handover occurs after a final check.

The advantages of the waterfall implementation for SAP products lies in the fact that the processing of the individual steps can be monitored very effectively. The customer also gains a specific, predefined solution, whose price can be calculated exactly. The implementation of individual areas usually progresses very quickly. The disadvantage of SAP waterfall implementation lies in the fact that no extensions or adaptations can be made to newly emerging requirements during the actual integration process.

Conclusion: Whoever would like a customized SAP product should choose agile implementation. If you are looking for a fully ready product for a specific, calculable price from the start, you should opt for the waterfall implementation. If a customer would like to quickly use at least the basic functions of the SAP software, only agile implementation should be considered, as all processes necessary for the implementation and adaptation run parallel to one another here, while all steps are executed in succession during the waterfall implementation.

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