Using AIP methodogy to implement SAP Business One sucessfully

This article explains about what is a SAP AIP project methodology, its phases and how it helps to implement the SAP Business One ERP project successfully.

Accelerated Implementation Program (AIP) is a proven methodology for SAP business One implementation and SAP recommends it to avoid time and budget overruns. This methodology is based on the practical experiences of SAP and many implementation partners.

This methodology has been used in several thousand implementations worldwide and has become the standard for best-practice implementations of SAP Business One.

Within this methodology, we will find project plans, best practices, documents, guides, tools and templates to help you to be successful.

For a successful SAP Business One implementation, we should have a careful planning and execution program. Well-planned, customer-focused implementations that follow a structured framework are likely for success.

SAP Business One Implementation Phases

AIP Implementation Methodology divides an implementation into five phases. For each phase in the implementation, the relevant activities, events and deliverables are explained below.

The phases are:

1.Project Preparation

This is the project Kick-off stage. Below are the key activities and events happens in this phase.

  • (Conduct a handover with the sales team) Meeting (consulting / implemetation team) with sales team and with customer team.

The customer project manager and other key team members should have been appointed during the sales cycle. The sales team has responsibility to ensure that the customer has staffed the project team and that the project is supported by the company owner or sponsor.

Any project requires project manager from both partner side and from the customer side. Also from the customer side, A functional lead representing each area, such as sales, purchasing, accounting, warehouse, etc. A technical person to perform administrative functions on the new system in production, such as creating users, setting authorizations is also required.
  • Sales team hand over the customer requirements, pain points and goals, risks or constraints and importantly overall business processes which are documented in Pre-Sales Business Analysis report to the Implementation team. Implementation team ensure that customer expectations are feasible and product capabilities have not been oversold.
  • Assess hardware and infrastructure. Ensure that IT infrastrcture is in place for setting up product (both for production and testing)
  • The major deliverable in this stage is the software – the SAP Business One software. Deliver and Install the software ideally with the demo database. By demoing the product, customer get to know of product features. Using the demo database, we can create master data and documents using the customer’s business partners and products.
  • The main focus here is creating a implememtation project plan and get ready for the implementation project with this initial project plan. After Project plan is agreed by the customer, the stage two phase commenses. Official sign-off for this phase by the customer. This sign-off signifies that the customer agrees wit the projectplan and schedul

How to create a AIP Project Plan

A Complete implememntation project plan for a SAP Business One implementation, aligned to AIP methodology (phases) is embedded in the SAP Business One client application with the Implementation Center tools. This can be used for both On-premise or Cloud deployments.

The project plans embedded in the SAP Business One client are easy to use, include all the recommended project activities, and integrate tasks with the configuration screens. ▪You can generate your own project plan from one of the templates, or create a blank plan in the system.

The project plans are designed to be used as templates.

An implementation project template contains a hierarchical list of all the steps you must complete to perform an SAP Business One implementation.

For example you could add the Handover from Sales AIP document to the Project Preparation task, Enter estimates for a task or (in hours). (link to be given to implementation project)

2.Business Blueprint

At this stage, the main focus is a detailed analysis of the customer’s business processes and requirements and mapping a solution and also configuration settings in the new system to support the customer’s business processes are documented in the the Business Blueprint. It is a key implementation document.

Below are the key activities and events happens at this stage.

  • Gather business requirements by conducting BPs workshops usually by a process wise for example, sales, purchase, inventory. The business consultant runs the business process workshops and produces the Business Blueprint. in the subsequent phases, the technical consultant installs and configures the system per the Business Blueprint. Often the tasks might be divided between a business consultant and a technical consultant or performed by one person.
  • During requiremnets gathering workshops to ascertian the details of customer business processes Blueprint Process Questions template will be used which is explained in detail below. Questions are listed for each business process.
  • In the workshop, functional leads from customer team describe their existing process and operations. Implememtation team then demonstrate these processes in the system. Demo includes master data and reporting in each workshop.
  • Business process workshops are completed and documented in the Business Blueprint.
  • Perform fit/gap analysis (Map the processes to a solution and identify any gaps) and define the change approach
  • Create Business blueprint. This will serve as a technical and functional guide during the following phases of the implementation project.

Tools and templates you can leverage in this phase include:

  • Blueprint Process Questions
  • Blueprint Configuration

The Blueprint Process Questions and the Blueprint Configuration are key implementation documents for SAP Business One. Like all AIP documents they are provided as templates, and you can edit,extend and configure them for your use.

What does Blueprint Process Questions template contains?

It contains list of questions for each business process aimed for the system users. These can be used in workshops. They will fill the questionnaire and return to consultants. This process helps the consultants to understand how business is done and how they can implement the best processes by implementing SAP.

These two documents work hand-in hand.

Use the information gathered from the detailed questions to document the requiredsystem configuration and settings in the blueprint configuration document. capture the required setup and configuration changes needed to implement the business process.You canuse the blueprint document as a checklist when making the setup and configuration changes in the company database.

You should record the setup and configuration changes needed for each process.

Suggest using your own chart of
accounts instead of creating a new
one, as this will significantly reduce
effort for data migration and openbalance

Data Migration Assessment (only)

3.Project Realization.

This is the main execution phase. Production system is configured and customized in the customer’s company database to run business processes and the data from the customer’s legacy system is migrated.

Customer performs validation of system by carefully plan and execute the test cases. Test cases usually covers not only the business processs within SAP Business One but the end to end process including external system interfaces.

Interface and reports implememtation

During this phase the consultant should planthe training of end users. The training will occur in the next phase, but you should get a commitment from the customer now for users’ time to attend training.

customer to create operational procedures now. much easier to create these at the same time that the business processes are being validated.During the customer validationthere is the possibility of changes to scope. Make sure you document all requested changes and discuss with the customer any impact on the project scope and costs. The project plan should be updated to reflect any change of scope or timeline.

The Data Migration Guide gives you a step-by-step approach to importing legacy data including arecommended order for data migration and opening balances.

4.Final Preparation.

the end users are trained and a decision is made to go-live. A readiness check should contain a list of criteria that must be met before go-live. The end users should be fully trained, the hardware and infrastructure in place, and operational procedures documented, and so on. Right before the switch to production, final data is migrated over including the current balances for the general ledger and the outstanding customer and vendor balances.

Reconciliation of accounting between the legacy system and the new syste

Get ready for the go-live.

5.Go-Live and Support.

Make sure the customer’s new system is functioning as planned for a predefined period beforehanding over the customer to your support team.

Go-Live and Support is the final phase in the project. As the name suggests, the newly-built system is now running in production.

Go-Live and Support is the final phase in the project. As the name suggests, the newly-built system is now running in production. Support in this context means that youresolve any issues related to the new system, for a period of time which should be specified in the contract.▪When all critical issues are resolved, the implementation team “hands over” the system to the customer teamand to the partner’s support team, and toSAP. Make sure that the customer’s IT administrator is fully trained and able to support thesystem in operations. Also your own support department should be prepared to support the new customer.

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