Friday, April 29, 2011

Implementing SAP with Scrum


Implementing SAP with Scrum is the same as using Scrum for development operations in general. Build your backlog, prioritize your backlog, and execute your backlog in sprints with demoable results at the end of every sprint. Executing Scrum well will cut your deployment time in half.

SAP is running course in the the Netherlands in how to do this and has an Agile Whitepaper that may be of interest to you.

5 comments:

Walter Ariel Risi said...

Hi Jeff,

Very interesting. At the company I work for, we've being using a "Scrum Inspired" approach for the implementation of solutions based on Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft Enterprise Project Management Solution (EPM, a.k.a. Project Server and related products). We also used a Scrum Inspired approach for implementing BI solutions using QlikView.

Although the complexity maybe somewhat less than a full-blown SAP implementation, it shares some aspects with the former. Both Sharepoint and EPM are platforms which provide some core functionality that normally is extended or customized to provide a customer solution. QlikView is a lightweight BI solution which provides very flexible scorecard / dashboard functionality over which data exploitation solutions are built.

One of the things that best worked for us, in words of our clients, is that "while other consultats are pushing us towards signing off a specification, you've already shown us working prototypes upon which we can see if we're in the right path". All the solutions I mentioned do not benefit much from written specifications, but benefit much from demos. You can specify Sharepoint solution or a QlikView dashboard, but the user will know if it's right or wrong only when it sees it.

Best regards,
Walter.

tintoverano said...

Hello,

I wonder how the RFQ process is going down in case of an scrum/agile ERP sale?

Regards,

Zoltán

Walter Ariel Risi said...

In our case, we're the guys mostly answering RFQs and RFPs ... although sometimes we're hired as consultants to write them.

Our approach to answering RFPs with an agile flavor is far from original and sophisticated. We propose the client with a "cascade" plan, and offer to approach it with an iterative "scrum inspired" approach. Most clients agree.

In any case, it is a "scrum inspired" approach, but agility is somewhat "confined" to the fixed budget the project has (and thus, to a fixed number of sprints). We allow changes to occur from sprint to sprint, but both the client and us keep a close eye on using the "available sprints" wisely.

It may not be Scrum ... one may even say that it is not "true agile" at all. But, it works far better than overlapping cascade and its relatives.

Regards,
Walter.

tintoverano said...

Dear Walter,

Thank you for the insight.

Perhaps both You and the Customer could gain something when finishing the job by less sprints. Working out the details in the contract can be done together and then there's a bit more of agility.

Zoltán

Unknown said...

Walter, Thank you for your insights. I would love to get your input on how to structure the actualstatement of work for such projects as yours. I just followed you on Twitter as @samadaidane.

Thank you.