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How Agile is your SAP Organization?

Have you ever questioned yourself, on how Agile your “SAP Organization” is? Possibly not since the words “SAP Implementation project” are still synonymous with the Waterfall model. Although to the credit of both SAP, and many companies using SAP, great strides have been made in the direction of Agile.

Here are few questions you may ask, in respect to your organization: 

“Are you operating in Agile-Fall?” 

One of my scrum masters who was executing a large scale implementation project in Agile mode chuckled during a retrospective meeting (conducted after few sprints) and said, “Naveen, we are doing this project in Agile-Fall.” Intrigued by his note, I asked him to elaborate his comment. His explanation sounded very logical – The Design and Build part of the project is executed in Agile mode however the documentation, testing, change management, basis and security activities were still Waterfall. Hence the combination of two aspects led to the word “Agile-Fall”. 

“How comfortable is your team with challenging the status quo”?

The purpose of sprint planning in the Agile world is to discuss, debate and negotiate on the story points, prioritization and acceptance criteria. However sometimes team gets into a relaxed mode of planning where they accept whatever stories are brought into the backlog with or without proper acceptance criteria. Have you seen that occur in your team? As leaders try out this quick litmus test – Go around your Agile teams and ask them how many times the team rejected a story brought my the product owners into the backlog. You may find the answers surprising. 

“How do you nominate a Product Owner?”

For most SAP practitioners the word “Product Owner” is still a new buzz word. Organizations (some, not all) are still trying to map this role into either Manager or Solution Architect career paths. The reality being Product Owner doesn’t have to be evolving from one of the two branches. He could be an end-user who is uber passionate about the product and dwells in a world to enhance the experience of the product. Do quick profiling of your product owners in the company and share the results in the comments section.

Come to my Free Webinar on this Topic on Wednesday

What’s your methodology to scale in Agile. Did you figure out, that as granular as one can breakdown a feature into User stories with 1 story point, one can also scale an Agile program with multiple workstreams to realize a traditional SAP project? Do the terms scalable Agile framework, increment planning, or Scrum of Scrums sound familiar or interest you? Do you want to know the best practices on how you can utilize Agile methodologies to effectively run your large scale S/4 and User Experience projects? If this topic intrigues you tune in to my upcoming webinar on “SAFe” as an Operational Approach to the User Experience Journey in S/4” Details and registration HERE



Naveen Rokkam is a technology leader with a strong passion for strategy and management. In his role as Vice President of Strategic Accounts, he leads large scale digital transformation projects. He is passionate about exploring new ways to create remarkable solutions by leveraging the latest technologies. He is a regular speaker at SAP events including SAP TechED, SAPPHIRE, and ASUG events.

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