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Project Delivery Framework for SAP Field Service Management



Deliver consistent experience using SAP Field Service Management with this established framework

SAP Field Service Management enables companies to digitally transform their Field Service business, using AI automation to allocate resources for projects and service request, enable end users with defined workflow steps, and signal Environment Health and Safety (EHS) standards for an enhanced field service execution. Combining SAP Field Service Management with SAP Crowd Service can extend your field service delivery capacity, which is crucial in today's 24/7 on-demand economy. This is why use SAP Activate framework to run our projects. This allows us to benefit from an agile and iterative approach that has been tested in many projects across various regions and industries. 

Project Delivery Framework Fundamentals

The delivery framework described in this article, for SAP Field Service Management, aligns with SAP Activate and adapts with the different phases below. But, before we explore the delivery framework, you need to understand the following principles because they are the foundation of your SAP Field Service Management project. 

  • Use industry knowledge in Field Service to achieve desired business outcomes.
  • Iterative approach and working.
  • Deliver a pre-defined scope that quickly starts using key areas of the solution.
  • Leverage key system design principles and recommendations
  • Build the cloud solution rapidly to accelerate validation activities and initiate realisation
  • 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 Field Service Management with SAP Activate

Project Phases

The project delivery framework for SAP Field Service Management in this article aligns with SAP Activate and adapts to the different phases below. SAP Activate is the next generation SAP implementation framework. It gives customers the freedom to get up, run quickly, and innovate continuously with SAP Field Service Management. SAP Activate is the guiding methodology for the Prepare, Explore, Realize, Deploy, and Run phase. This section will cover the importance of each phase, at a high level.

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.
  • 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.
  • Communication Plan (Crowd Service specific).

Explore Activities

  • Gather customer requirements and map customer flows to SAP Field Service Management flows.
  • Determine user roles.
  • Identify possible gaps and evaluate risks.
  • Inform customer of system requirements.
  • Inform customers of different functionality in different mobile clients and help them understand what devices will be used.
  • Verify number of objects to be handled.
  • Discuss system limitations.
  • Execute Communication Plan and adapt over sprint iterations based on learnings (Crowd Service specific).

Realize Activities

  • Configure for performance and desired business outcomes;
    1. Use real databases with the number of objects customer expects to have, sync to the cloud and use mobile app to assess performance.
    2. Use advanced data sync rules to limit the data synched to the cloud.
    3. Use permissions to limit the data displayed in the client.
  • Confirm proposed devices complies with system requirements.
  • Design User Acceptance Tests, detailing step-by-step flows.
  • Perform iterative sprints for configuration, testing, and evaluation.
  • Validate each user test with process owners.
  • Test for performance and validate whether performance is acceptable.
  • Onboard Customer / Vendors to Crowd platform (Crowd Service specific)
  • Feedback loop to Communication Plan based on on boarding status and make applicable changes (Crowd Service specific).

Deploy Activities:

  • Release configuration in a production environment that has been validated during sprint iterations.
  • Conduct an end-to-end system test.
  • Organize trainings around functional and secondary roles;
    1. Technician
    2. Back-office Dispatcher
    3. System Administrator
  • Consider Train the Trainer” strategies.
  • Create documentation for customer-specific flows
  • Engage Community Crowd users with the platform (Crowd Service specific).
  • Prepare scale plan for Community (customer / vendors) engagement (Crowd Service specific).

Run Activities:

  • Assure go-live support is available.
  • Address possible pain points.
  • Review backlog for quick wins after go-live.  
  • Identify future needs for continuous development.
  • Scale project down and Support hand over activities.
  • Execute a scale plan for Community (Crowd Service specific).
  • Review Community engagement and adjust from learnings (Crowd Service specific).
  • Review Communication execution and adjust from learnings (Crowd Service specific).

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.

Conclusion

The iterative approach is ideal for SAP Field Service Management projects because it deploys the main business flows rapidly, delivers the highest value to impact business outcomes, and allows follow-up releases to target additional business workflows. But most importantly, it gives immediate results to the business group and end users, provides a structured environment for delivering the initial scoped commitment, and accounts for scope changes received from targeted end users of the solution.

This project framework is applicable as a standalone implementation, as part of the SAP Service Cloud, or the overall SAP C/4HANA program. You can refer to Overall SAP C/4HANA Project Framework to learn more about the project setup with multiple solutions across the suite. 

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