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Project Delivery Framework for SAP ISE (Intelligent Sales Execution)

11 min read


Project Delivery Framework for SAP Sales Cloud ISE version 2005

SAP Intelligent Sales Execution (SAP ISE)   works with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to generate new business, manage your pipeline, accurately forecast revenue, and grow customer accounts.   With SAP ISE, you can explore a new approach to managing your pipeline and customer relationship for opportunities. SAP ISE provides a graphical visualization of your pipeline, and helps you understand the true health of your opportunities and close more deals in less time. As a sales manager, you can slice and dice your pipeline using a variety of key filters like region or opportunity type. As a sales representative, you can easily focus on deals with a high value but a low deal score and take actions to get these deals back on track. To deliver these solution benefits, we use a hybrid methodology of project phases and agile iterations to deliver SAP ISE projects.

Overview of SAP ISE (Intelligent Sales Execution) - Pipeline Manager Functionality

Overview of SAP ISE (Intelligent Sales Execution) - Forecast Tracker Functionality

Table of Contents

Project Delivery Framework Fundamentals

Before going into the details on how each phase works, there is a set of fundamental principles and practices that need to be understood for SAP ISE. These principles are important across all phases. 

  • SAP Activate is the combination of SAP Best Practices, assisted implementation, and agile methodology.
  • Build the cloud solution rapidly to accelerate validation activities and initiate realization.
  • Fit-to-standard analysis
  • Leverage key system design principles and recommendations.
  • Use iterative build of capabilities (sprints) and prototyping. Additionally, frequently validate the results with business users to facilitate adoption and product release.
  • Manage project and perform normal risk and quality management, with a structured quality management plan and pre-defined quality gates, from the start.
  • Do not treat change management as an end-state. Instead, acknowledge that continuous enhancements will be the new way of operating.

Delivering SAP ISE by Project Phases

The project delivery framework for SAP ISE has been adapted and aligned with the below phases, which have been summarized for quick reference purposes. The five phases and high-level stream view are presented below.


The Prepare phase provides the initial planning and preparation for the project. During this phase, the project has started, plans are finalized, a project team is assigned, and work to start the project optimally is underway.

Prepare Activities

  • Define project goals, high-level scope, and a project plan
  • Identify and quantify business value objectives
  • Secure executive sponsorship
  • Establish project standards, organization, and governance
  • Define and secure approval for the implementation/upgrade strategy
  • Define roles and responsibilities for the project team
  • Validate the project objectives. There can be one of two flavor for implementing SAP ISE as follows:
    1. SAP ISE is to be implemented along with SAP Sales Cloud. Project deliver framework for SAP Sales Cloud can be used for implementing SAP Sales Cloud
    2. SAP ISE is to be implemented for existing implementation of SAP Sales Cloud. Existing implementation of SAP Sales Cloud opportunity management sales hierarchy shall be used/adjusted as per SAP ISE need
  • Develop a project team training strategy and start project team training
  • Establish project management, tracking, and reporting mechanisms for value delivery
  • Document all initiation activities in the project charter
  • Pre-assemble (or establish) the project environment, infrastructure, and IT systems
  • Prepare for the Explore phase


The Explore phase is where you perform a fit/gap analysis to validate the solution functionality included in the project scope, and confirm whether the business requirements can be satisfied. You will also identify gaps and configure values, which will be added to the backlog and used in the next phase. 

Explore Activities 

  • Prepare, set up, and conduct solution validation workshops
  • Confirm potential business processes
  • Refine business requirements for Forecast Tracker, Pipeline Manager and Pipeline Flow feature of ISE
  • Identify sales hierarchy structure to be used for sales team's forecast roll up and individual sales team members revenue forecast. ISE relies on using Sales Cloud's Territory Management for Sales hierarchy. Therefore Sales Hierarchy must be setup using Territory Management
  • Sales Cloud Machine Learning feature should be enabled for deal score calculation
  • Associate business requirements to the process hierarchy and the solution components
  • Collect end user information, analyze learning needs, and develop a learning deployment strategy
  • Establish project management, tracking, and reporting for value delivery

During the Explore phase, solution experts from SAP lead a series of structured show-and-tell and solution design workshops. The workshops are designed to review the best practice functionality of the SAP solution, identify delta requirements or gaps, and document the conceptual design of the SAP enterprise solution to-be delivered.


The Realize phase is to build and test the integrated business and the system environment, using the business scenarios and process requirements identified in the previous phase. During the Realize phase, data is loaded, operations are planned, and adoption activities begin. 

Realize Activities

  • Establish the solution landscape
  • SAP ISE can be enabled for each SAP Sales cloud environment. SAP Sales Cloud ISE 2005 is beta release can be enabled on customer request.
  • Integrate SAP ISE with SAP Sales Cloud. Here is the CX works video explaining the integration setup: Integrate SAP ISE with SAP Sales Cloud
  • Enable Opportunity scoring machine learning mechanism of Sales Cloud to calculate deal score
  • Validate daily data sync between SAP Sales Cloud and SAP ISE
    1. Communication activity sync from SAP ISE to SAP Sales Cloud
    2. Opportunity changes (occurring in SAP Sales Cloud) sync to SAP ISE
  • Test the solution end-to-end in the sandbox environment
  • Maintain business roles and finalize screen layouts
  • Set up user access rights and restrictions
  • Conduct performance testing if required
  • Conduct project team and key user training
  • Finalize end user training materials and documentation
  • Track and report on value delivery

During the Realize phase, the project team uses a series of iterations to incrementally configure, test, confirm, and document, the entire end-to-end solution. They will also create legacy data conversion programs and work with business representatives, to make sure the built solution meets the requirements from the backlog. Towards the end of this phase, the project team releases the results of multiple iterations to business users (accelerates time to value) and provides early access to the completed functionality. The release is then thoroughly tested during the end-to-end integration and the user acceptance test. 


The Deploy phase sets the production system, confirms customer organization readiness, and shifts business operations to the new system.

Deploy Activities                                                                                                                                                                   

  • Resolve all crucial open issues
    1. Conduct system tests
    2. Check that system management is in place
    3. Proceed with cut-over activities, including data migration, and end user setup
  • Execute transition and cut-over plans including organizational change management (OCM) plans
  • Complete all scheduled end user training
  • Identify and document all issues encountered while transitioning to the new solution
  • Monitor business process results and the production environment
  • Track and report on value delivery


The Run phase optimizes and automates the operability of the solution. Operability is the ability to maintain IT systems in a functioning and operating condition. Operability guarantees systems availability and necessary performance levels to support the execution of the enterprise’s business operations.

Releases and Iteration

A large project is normally divided into slices or increments called a release. The size of a release can vary depending on the context and the feature’s complexity.

An example would be breaking down a 12-month project into 2-3 smaller releases, of relatively equal duration, with each release containing all the project phases. We recommend scheduling releases with relatively equal duration, whenever possible. Smaller releases can reduce project risk, improve time-to-market, and give more immediate visibility to the business and end-users. However, they need to be balanced with the overheads involved starting/ending each release.  

Consider the following points:

  • Before planning a release, it is necessary to know approximately when the customer team would like to release the working software to the business (frequency and approximate dates).
  • The team also needs to know the relative priorities of the project backlog items that are based on input from the process owner.
  • Backlog items are prioritized and sequenced by the customer, with input from the implementation team.
  • Effort estimates in ideal person days are converted into calendar time, using known or estimated velocity. Velocity indicates the amount of work effort the team can complete per day, per work week or per sprint.
  • It is often necessary to estimate a team’s initial velocity. Be conservative for the first few sprints and calibrate the estimate from sprint 1-3.


This project framework is applicable either as a standalone implementation or part of the overall SAP Customer Experience solutions. You can refer to Overall SAP Customer Experience solutions Project Framework to learn more about the project setup with multiple solutions across the portfolio. Visiting the  SAP Activate Methodology for SAP Sales Cloud Roadmap  helps you to set up your implementation project aligned with SAP Activate. 

Some key links: 

To access all our community or out-of-the-box product documentation, please check out our List of Online Resources.