SAP® Solution Manager (SSM) is the SAP® tool that supports the plan, build and run aspects of IT solutions based on SAP® NetWeaver and covers all needs for ITIL-compliant application lifecycle management (ALM). SAP® describes ALM by the Run SAP® operational support methodology and the Accelerate SAP® (ASAP) project methodology. SSM serves as an interface between technology and business processes.
The ASAP methodology is a guideline for solution development consisting of six project phases. The Blueprinting phase captures the business and compliance requirements and scopes the SAP® standard for organizational needs. The output of this phase is a Business Blueprint which defines a list of development and configuration tasks for the realization of the SAP® solution in the subsequent ASAP phases .
The procedure and methodology applied is called Business Process Management (BPM). It divides the Blueprinting phase into working packages with specific BPM for SAP® related tasks.
SSM offers best practice like roadmaps, project accelerators (templates, guidelines), reference business processes from core ERP and SAP® Industry Solutions as well as a variety of SAP® project management tools. The project team needs to deal with both the business and the IT perspective of a solution. SSM covers mainly the IT view, while the business aspect is handled using a BPM tool for business process analysis and optimization.
SSM defines the Blueprint as a reduced three level hierarchy comprising scenarios, processes and process steps with assigned SAP® transactions. It is a structured extract from business processes that contains only SAP® supported activities, describing the IT configuration view of the business processes. The Blueprint neither contains non-SAP®, nor manual activities, workflow logic or dependencies between processes and organizations.
Business process optimization with SAP® support is achieved through the BPM tool on the basis of business process analysis (BPA). The BPM tool improves the horizontal and vertical communication between business participants, stakeholders, BPM and SAP® consultants, system integrators and other IT team members.
Additional benefits using a BPM tool for SAP® blueprinting are
- complete end-to-end process description
- expression of the process logic
- description of the entire process level hierarchy
- RACI roles assignments (responsible-accountable-consulted-informed)