POCs, Pilots, and Rollouts
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click Beyond the very rare situations where installing the generic Enterprise Project Connection (SAP-EPC) out-of-the-box template is sufficient, the deployment of an advanced solution, or an implementation is required. Sometimes scope can be defined well-enough to do this in a one-step process. Often, though, proven approach for implementing a SAP-Primavera integration solution in a complex organization is to follow three sequential steps:

  • 1. Proof of Concept
  • 2. Pilot
  • 3. Rollout

 

In this context, a "complex" organization consists of multiple plants, locations, or divisions of significant size.

 

go to site 1. Proof of Concept (POC)

A POC using SAP-EPC addresses all core functional requirements of an implementation. This may not be a small task. Its main goal is to ensure that (often re-engineered) integrated processes do indeed correctly achieve functional goals, and can technically be implemented. This is achieved through a demo of the data flow between SAP and Primavera, across a typical project life cycle. For this to be valuable, not all mappings and logic needs to be reflected, but all core pieces need to be in place. POCs are even more powerful the more they use realistic data and configuration of the integrated applications.
POCs often also involve the establishment of an infrastructure at the client's site, including dedicated SAP-EPC servers. This is not absolutely necessary, though. Often relevant configuration and data can be duplicated in another environment, mimicking key process components and thus achieving the key goal of a POC.

A POC does not need to be performed as a separate project component, but can also be used as a project implementation milestone to help validating specifications and "flush out" detailed requirements.

 

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While the POC for an SAP-Primavera integration solution using EPC demonstrates the in-principle ability to deliver functional and technical goals, a pilot results in a live site where production processes are managed using the new fully integrated solution. Here the rubber hits the road. Its role is to satisfy all specifications in detail, using "real" client data in "real" technical environments and verified by "real" people. This also involves documentation and know-how transfer.
Additional tasks include support or input for cutover, regression testing, performance optimization, user acceptance testing, error handling, and data alignment. EPC Pilots are by division and kind of processes. This means, for example, that a pilot for a manufacturing division is unlikely to satisfactorily be applicable to a service delivery division, or that a pilot for integrated outage management cannot be expected to work for capital investment or IT projects.

 

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Once a pilot has proven the ability to satisfy a division's or functional area's requirements, and function in a production environment, it is save be rolled out to other entities. This process can overlap with a EPC Pilot or be totally separate. It can be performed as a "big bang" or in stages - that is totally up to logistics determined by the specific business, organizational and technical context.

 

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Implementations of EPC should be compared to implementations of SAP ERP. This means that they require process standardization and the locking of specific processes. Apart from "simple" mappings of data between SAP and Primavera, changes should never be made ad hoc. Like other business processes reflected and configured during an ERP implementation, the transfer of data between ERP and an external scheduling and execution application is part of often complex interdependent processes.