BAE Systems Adopts Best-of-Breed Application Lifecycle Management
Client:BAE Systems’ Global Combat Systems (GCS) Division
- Solve multiple pain points related to application changes, documentation and management
- Create an ALM roadmap
- Implement SAP Solution Manager functionality
- Adopted a clear path to a best-of-breed ALM environment
- Implemented a robust, traceable and fully auditable change-management process
- Reduced the effort required to administer changes by 50%
An Application Lifecycle Management Journey for BAE Systems’ Global Combat Systems Division
BAE Systems’ Global Combat Systems (GCS) operate a variety of leading edge SAP solutions; including ECC, Business Warehouse, Enterprise Portal and Content Server. Whilst this comprehensive SAP environment has enabled GCS to take advantage of a number of business functions, the increasing complexity brought about by the differing technologies and sheer number of systems, coupled with the desire to adopt common processes across multiple operating regions, has presented a number of challenges in the area of Application Management.
A Roadmap for the Future
Through the delivery of the CSC-run SAP Assessment Service, CSC began work with GCS to identify specific challenges and pain points across the full scope of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM): Requirements, Design, Build & test, Deploy, Operate and Optimize.
The two days of workshops culminated in the creation of an ALM roadmap, identifying a number of challenges that needed to be addressed in order to further optimize GCS’ approach to ALM for SAP centric environments. In addition a clear strategy was developed to allow GCS to take full advantage of SAP Solution Manager – SAP’s ALM toolset.
SAP Change Control Management with ChaRM
Managing SAP system change and the subsequent propagation of the transports (SAP changes) across the GCS landscape was identified as one of the major customer challenges. Providing visibility of the changes in progress, their current status and having an audit trail of test evidence and approvals, was seen as key to facilitating a more controlled approach to system change whilst still allowing for flexibility and a high number of system changes.
To address this challenge CSC implemented the SAP Change Request Management (ChaRM) toolset in SAP Solution Manager. This has provided GCS with a transparent, fully auditable, controlled change management process, enabling an approximate saving of 50 percent in the efforts required to previously administer changes in the SAP landscape.
A Single Source of the Truth
A common pain point for customers is the loss of system and process knowledge that occurs upon the completion of an implementation project. Typically this happens because the implementation team is not retained to carry out ongoing support and the associated documentation is stored on project drives not centrally accessible by those groups that will continue to support and enhance the delivered solution over its complete lifetime.
To prevent against such issues, SAP Solution Manager can be used as a central repository of ‘to-be’ processes and associated documentation, supporting all stages of the project delivery. To assist GCS’ usage of Solution Manager in this manner, CSC created a comprehensive Solution Documentation concept to provide a uniform and consistent approach to documentation of the SAP solution.
The SAP Solution Manager system was configured to enable the realization of the concept and subsequent training of the implementation and support teams delivered. All major GCS change projects now use Solution Manager to document the blueprint and configuration of the ‘to-be’ processes, ensuring all associated documentation is created and stored against the correct business process structure, thus improving visibility and handover of knowledge to the support organization.
Additionally, training content creation was optimized by implementation of SAP Productivity Pak and the Solution Manager Integration adaptor. This allowed for the recording and authoring of training material directly via the blueprinted process in SAP Solution Manager, with the published training assets becoming immediately visible via the training tab of the project.
Providing an audit trail of conducted tests, in a single repository, that also allowed for visibility and reporting of the testing progress, was considered key during the rollout of the SAP systems and processes to another operating region.
To assist GCS in this manner CSC implemented the Test Management Workbench functionality of SAP Solution Manager. This provides a single toolset to manage all aspects of the test phase without the need to populate and monitor a multitude of spreadsheets.
The test scope is captured in functional test plans and further subdivided into test packages to allow the tracking of dependencies between tests. The testers themselves have full visibility of the tests they need to carry out and a central place to record the results of the test execution as well as any identified defects.
In addition the toolset allows for real time reporting of test progress, therefore allowing everyone involved in the test process to have clear visibility of the progress made and the work outstanding.
Just the Beginning
The GCS ALM Journey does not end here. CSC is continuing to work with GCS to deliver the ALM roadmap with the next phase being an upgrade to SAP Solution Manager 7.1. This will allow for advances in ChaRM and a new Systems Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure to be capitalized upon, thus continuing to bring more proactive and innovative solutions to fruition.