Emergency Kit: Test approach tips & tricks for SAP template rollouts in different countries

January 27, 2021

Evgeniia Antonova SAP

Many say software should be like electricity, it should just work. And together with delivery methodology and expert team it should create an electrical impulse to make the entire project heart to contract in one coordinated motion – the heartbeat.

Process standardization and harmonization, business continuity… all of them go hand in hand with each other and are often supported by SAP-software as a powerful tool of choice. The tool which can either accelerate the business heartbeat or cause significant collateral damage.

Classically, if we are talking about SAP template rollout across different countries, there are two main deployment approaches: 
• Rollout in country after country (optionally plant after plant). It can be especially useful for countries commonly considered as “difficult”. A good example is Brazil, which has special treatment due to high complexity of their tax legislation. 
• Rollout in several countries simultaneously, when these countries can be bundled, based on their similarities or because they are extremely closely bound together, from the Business point of view.

By test approach definition, the chosen deployment style influences mostly the test organization and capacity planning. In bundled rollout, the overall coordination complexity level is obviously higher, especially in the UAT phase, as the number of involved stakeholders is greater. Because of that, the introduction of additional layer of test coordinators (on plant level or country level or sometimes even E2E business scenario level) as well as prolonged test preparation phase, are normally recommended.

Regardless of deployment approach though, there are several considerations important for test planning, specifically for higher test levels (System/Integration Test, UAT):

Structured approach and detailed documentation. It may sound quite cliché but it´s a vital component for a successful and efficient rollout testing:
• Clear traceability between template & local requirements and test coverage, incl. affected interfaces 
• Repository of documented template processes and localized processes 
• Repository of test cases 
• Repository of test protocols
The availability of such information is an important asset also for further rollouts which can reduce preparation time for testing and significantly contribute to establishment of the strong template governance.

Test Optimization. On the one hand, the repetitive rollouts of the template represent a perfect opportunity for test optimization which should be , for example, used for setting up a proper requirements risk assessment in early stages, incl. impact analysis for non-SAP and legacy SAP systems or for Regression Automation. On the other hand, this opportunity shouldn´t be stretched to its limits, for example, by skipping the Key User trainings and replacing them with UAT phase guided by the deployment core team which will lead to delays in UAT, probably greater number of new Business Requirements popping up late and longer Hypercare Phase.

Test Scoping. Generally, the test scope must include: 
• Extensive E2E testing of business processes, incl. non- SAP systems integration 
• Representative test data identification & data constellation testing in E2E processes 
• Role-based & authorization testing 
• If the template has already passed the pilot phase, the test focus should lay on the template localizations (legal & regulatory country specifics, translations, etc.)
Additionally, it´s a good idea to go through the forms (especially legal relevant ones) together with the local Business already during the phase of Integration testing.

Template Regression/Regression for live countries, incl. integration between template and legacy systems. The test automation in this area has a strong savings potential.

We can also measure your project heartbeat.