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Mission impossible? Applying agile to the world of SAP enterprise resource planning

Early in March Twan van den Broek, SAP solution architect at TopForce, got in touch with me if I would be interested to coach an agile SAP project at a very large logistics organization. We have been using accelerators from our agile Accelerated Delivery Platform in SAP project before, including smart use cases, smart estimation and Tobago MDA, our model driven code generator,but this sure was an interesting opportunity. And it still is. I am not aware of any previous attempts to do an SAP project fully agile, applying Scrum and a number of best practices from Smart, again including smart use cases and smart estimation.

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Because of the innovative interest in this particular project Therefore, Twan and I took the opportunity to share our experiences, and wrote a proposal for the upcoming Integrate Agile conference. Here’s the proposal.

Mission impossible? Applying agile to the world of SAP enterprise resource planning

Applying agile processes and techniques is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of implementing SAP in a service oriented architecture at a very large public logistics organization. However, challenged with ever changing requirements and fast approaching deadlines, this project was facing severe challenges that could never be met with the traditional approach of this particular customer. This situation called for groundbreaking measures – introducing agile processes, principles and techniques in an highly waterfall oriented organization and development platform. This session reports live from the trenches.

Outline

During this highly interactive session Sander Hoogendoorn, principal technology officer and agile thought leader at Capgemini, and Twan van den Broek, managing consultant and SAP solution architect at TopForce, will show how the worlds of agile and SAP meet in a complex service oriented project. After illustrating the complexity of both organization and project, its environment and the underlying service oriented SAP technology, Twan and Sander demonstrate how agile processes (Scrum and Smart) and techniques (think of smart use cases, dashboards, workshops) were introduced to manage the project.

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Questions answered by the enthusiastic speakers include the following. Can agile processes and techniques be applied to SAP projects? Does Scrum offer sufficient techniques to meet with the complex requirements and architecture of a service oriented project? What is a good unit of work in agile SAP projects? What are smart use cases? Can SAP projects, that typically know all kinds of specialist roles, work with agile teams? Is it possible to manage highly complex project environments using agile techniques? How do you motivate an SAP project team in a high-paced agile project that is so used to doing waterfall style projects? Experienced speakers Sander and Twan will illustrate this interactive session with lots of diagrams, pictures and real-life anecdotes from the trenches of probably the first agile SAP project executed in the Netherlands.

For more information: www.accelerateddeliveryplatform.com

3 thoughts on “Mission impossible? Applying agile to the world of SAP enterprise resource planning

  1. I am a Director for a US company. We run SAP and are trying to implement agile/scrum methodologies, moving away from waterfall methodologies. I have concerns – I see areas where scrum would work, but i don’t see where a strict definition of scrum can be effective in our environment. Your blog seems to address this, and i am interested to read/hear more. I would appreciate additional links/information that you may have.
    THANKS!

    1. Hi Brad. I was going through the earlier posts on my blog – and I re-found your nice comments. Since then we've gone a long way with agile SAP (in SOA projects). We've gathered a lot of experience and knowledge about how to handle this type of projects. I was curious how you got along in the meantime?

  2. Hi Shoogend,

    I am also interested in knowing how we can implement SAP using Scrum.

    It would be nice if you could share some documentation on how this can be done.

    Thanks

    Mohammed.

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