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SAP Activate Methodology

Prepare Phase Activities

The SAP Prepare phase sets the stage for the success of the S/4HANA implementation project. Here plans will be finalized and the project is initiated.

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Purpose of SAP Prepare phase

The SAP Prepare phase is the second step of the SAP methodology within the SAP Activate framework. It involves a set of activities developed by SAP to guide businesses through the transition to SAP S/4HANA.

After SAP stakeholders have worked through the activities during the Discover phase, they can move to Prepare phase. The overall goal of the SAP Prepare phase is to finalize the project plan and complete the S/4HANA business case.

After this phase, the implementation project is initiated and plans are finalized. It’s important that team members and stakeholders are on board to validate the core set of activities.

During this phase, all roles are finalized to ensure strong governance procedures which steer the project towards success. The project team may go through a few iterations to align and confirm project goals.


Prepare phase activities

The following SAP Prepare phase items are the general activities for S/4HANA implementation, however, each deployment option (Cloud vs. On-Premise) has more specific requirements.

The main activities to complete during this phase are to (in order of Best Practices):

  • Establish project governance
  • Analyze SAP ECC processes
  • Identify key KPIs and benchmarks
  • Create landscape reports
  • Map business capabilities
  • Finalize a high-level project timeline

The outcome of this phase is to prepare SAP customers for the most important phase of the methodology (the Explore phase). It answers any questions they might have regarding the SAP solution and implementation roadmap.

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Understand each phase

Establish project governance

The first activity of the SAP Prepare phase is to establish an oversight function that is critical to the success of the project.

SAP governance provides a framework for consistently managing the project. It provides tools for decision-making, role definition, responsibilities, and accountability – and it aligns stakeholders around the purpose and goals of the project.

Establishing project governance is a straightforward process, and is made even more simple if the company has an established SAP Center of Excellence. Project managers will first define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. This step should take into account the qualifications and availability for the whole project time frame.

The project managers will define the organizational structure of the team, and support the management & subsidiary plans on the basis of the project scope. 

Analyze SAP ECC processes with SAP Signavio

During the SAP Discover phase, business processes and their owners have been identified. This provides the right requirements for the consultants and teams implementing the project. Using SAP Signavio BPA, teams are able to analyze the current processes of their SAP solution. For many, this will be SAP ECC. 

The Business Process analysis conducted in the Discover phase provides documentation that identifies bottlenecks, improves operational efficiency, and defines the scope of the project. 

Project teams will create implementation models which are automatically checked using SAP Signavio Process Manager each time it’s saved. This is an easy way to identify and improve all possible processes and diagrams. During this activity project managers should also establish a teamwork environment using the Collaboration Hub to leverage the whole corporation.

SAP Signavio also equips users with process analysis functions to monitor costs, improve business operations and mitigate risk.

The outcome of this activity is to map the business processes, giving stakeholders an overview of SAP ECC processes which will inform the next phase.

Identify key KPIs and benchmarks with SAP Signavio

Business process analysis informs which KPIs and benchmarks businesses need to create to make the implementation project a success. This is done by determining a business process performance baseline which will uncover areas of improvement that should be prioritized.

The procedure for this activity involves identifying areas of interest based on the insights gathered through SAP process mining in the previous phase. SAP process discovery allows teams to analyze the process performance, identify process areas and determine the business best practices.

From here teams will create KPI-based industry-peer performance benchmarking. Using SAP Signavio, users will be able to understand the business process performance from the old SAP ERP system.

The outcome of this activity is to create alerts, predictions, automation, content, and guided recommendations for end-to-end process improvement using BPI tools. The results of this activity will be used during the Realize phase of the SAP Activate methodology.

Create landscape reports with LeanIX EAM

While Business Process Transformation tools (Signavio) deal with an organization’s process landscape, EAM tools provide architects with a holistic overview of the IT landscape.

Based on the findings made during the Discovery phase, teams are now able to create configurable landscape reports. These reports help facilitate project planning and play a crucial role in mapping business capabilities to value drivers.

Landscape reports depict IT landscapes at specific points in time or within a given timeframe. They can be grouped according to Business Capabilities, Processes, Consumed/Provided Interfaces, IT Components, and a wide range of other technical and functional requirements.

Using the report views, users can create color-coded heat maps of their IT landscapes. This helps users visualize their S/4HANA project in a proper way and get actionable insights. Landscape reports are easy to update and edit. The edit pane in the report view lets users quickly edit tags, attributes, and relations to LeanIX Fact Sheets.

SAP Business Capability Landscape

Project managers can then use the landscape reports, to map business capabilities throughout the organization.

Map business capabilities with LeanIX EAM

Based on the findings in the Discover phase and landscape reports, teams will now be able to map business capabilities to value drivers.

The LeanIX EAM provides enterprise architects and S/4HANA project managers with business capability modeling. A technique for the representation of an organization’s business anchor model. This is independent of the structure, processes, people, or domains.

Business capability models enable the discussion of strategic decision-making and can serve as the structuring element to uncover potential IT redundancies.

The EAM tool offers pace-layered overviews of business capabilities. Pace-layered views help teams look at the application landscape in terms of the relationship between business capabilities and strategic objectives.

Based on business capability maps, architects can align corporate objectives with both SAP and non-SAP IT initiatives, and build or refine transformation items. Business capability maps encapsulate what a business is doing right now and what needs to be done to meet current and future challenges. They provide a clear link from strategy to execution. It is a vital activity in the SAP project timeline.

Finalize a high-level project timeline

Using all the information gathered during the Prepare phase, SAP teams can finalize the project plan and timeline for the S/4HANA transformation. During this activity, roles and responsibilities are completed along with the identification of project team members, governance procedure, and escalation matrix.

The finalized plan will include specific activities and key goals which will guide the SAP project. These include:

  • Project Management Plan: Plan the appropriate management strategies and engage stakeholders. 
  • Scope statement: The project scope statement evolves during the planning of the project and explicitly defines the deliverables of the S/4HANA project plan.
  • WBS: Create the work breakdown structure (WBS) for the project. It is vital for the organization and coordination of the project.
  • Project schedule: The project schedule defines the work to be performed, resources, associated time commitments, and the individual phases of the project.
  • Plan budget/risk/communication: The budget baseline will be finalized and the project risks are identified and assessed. A communication management plan is defined which outlines the communication requirements for the project.
  • Plan procurement: Prepare the guidelines for all procurement activities, including materials, products, or services identified for outside procurement.
The goal is to finalize a high-level project plan based on the business capability map and other data gathered during SAP Discover and Prepare phases.



The SAP Prepare phase sets the stage for the upcoming Explore phase – arguably one of the most important steps in the SAP Activate methodology. SAP provides plenty of internal tools such as assessments, roadmaps, and templates (RICEFW) to make the transformation to S/4HANA a more straightforward and structured process.

They also endorse third-party apps such as the LeanIX EAM to supplement migration efforts. Using the EAM on its own or in tandem with SAP Signavio, the tool helps alleviate the complexity inherent to IT landscapes.

The LeanIX EAM is the only EA solution to be part of SAP's “Endorsed App” catalog. 

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Ace SAP Activate phases and accelerate SAP S/4HANA Transformation

Discover: Strategic goal definition and roadmap planning


Prepare: Project scoping, planning, and team enablement


Explore: Fit-to-standard analysis and process modeling


Realize: Configuring, building, and testing the new environment


Deploy: Setting up a system in production and moving


Run: Driving adoption and continuous improvements

Answers to frequently asked questions in the SAP Prepare phase

What is the Prepare phase in SAP?

The Prepare phase is the second phase of the SAP Activate methodology. It can only be completed after the Discover phase. During this phase, the implementation project is initiated and plans are finalized.

What happens in the SAP Prepare phase?

During the Prepare phase, SAP project teams will leverage Business Process Transformation and EAM tools to analyze current processes and IT architecture. Using these findings, business capabilities can be mapped and key KPIs and benchmarks are identified.

A finalized plan will then be produced; outlining the governance procedure, escalation matrix, and target architecture of SAP S/4HANA transformation. 

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