SAP MDG for managers


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Top 10 questions to ask before a SAP MDG implementation project. IT Directors, Senior Managers often rely on pre-sales teams and implementation experts to learn about MDG implementation process and best practices. Following document lists several items to research (and questions to answer) before embarking on a SAP MDG project.

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SAP MDG for managers

  1. 1. SAP MDG for IT Managers, Directors and other Stakeholders Senior IT managers, Directors and other stakeholders know about the importance of an accurate Master Data. These are also highlighted well in pre-sales discussions. But, before a MDG implementation, do all the participants have an accurate understanding of: - the implementation costs involved? - risks and dependencies? - SAP infrastructure pre-requisite to ensure a smooth implementation? - the implementation process? - how workarounds affect the end results and benefits? While these factors are specific to each implementation, following are some questions that help stakeholders make the right decision and choose the right timing. We do offer an hour of unbiased technical evaluation (at no cost to you). We can be reached at We urge you to include the following information in your request: Your name, title, corporate email id and link to your LinkedIn public profile. This is to help us address genuine requests with priority. *mdm in this white paper refers to 'master data management' project and not to Netweaver MDM product. Is MDG right for your IT landscape? MDG is built on top of SAP ERP as an add-on. If you are trying to maintain master data that is relevant for SAP ERP (for instance, Suppliers, Customers, Cost Center, Profit Center, Material, Company, Consolidation Unit etc, that are based on SAP ERP and other business suite applications SAP CRM, SAP SRM), then MDG makes a perfect choice for a master data maintenance system. On the other hand, if the enterprise systems, and its processes that use the master data are non-SAP (like Peoplesoft, Oracle, Seibel etc) then MDG is another master data tool in the market. It is no longer an obvious choice and has to be evaluated for its features alongside the other master data tools. How do I prepare for a master data maintenance project? Before making a choice of the software or launching mdm project, pl. research to evaluate the quality of existing master data. Perform data-analysis to identify major areas of concerns with existing master data: is it duplicates, errors in data etc. This will help answer questions like the level of data cleansing to the performed during cut- over, identify loop-holes in existing processes that caused these issues etc.
  2. 2. Data quality analysis can be performed using SAP tools like BOBJ Data Services, Information Steward etc The results of such an analysis, validates the effectiveness of existing processes. It can be used not only to build an effective business case for master data maintenance project, but, also creates a baseline to measure progress over various phases of the implementation. Why MDG? A primary benefit of using MDG is a short implementation cycle. A lot of MDG's underlying technical components are model driven and support a coding-free implementation. These technical components (SAP Business Workflow, BRFPlus, WDA FPM, ABAP Dictionary) have been around for a long time and are also used across several SAP products. They have evolved over time and each is a mature component in its own right. MDG is built upon a very stable platform. MDG is a relatively new solution and has evolved within the last three years. But, the fact that it is based on very mature technical components, gives it immense stability within a very short time span. How to staff a MDG project? The team size for a MDG implementation project is typically small. Staffing considerations include skills needed; number of resources and duration of their engagement; project phases when a skill is needed. For an MDG implementation, you would need Basis administrator, Functional resource (domain expertise in master data and its processes), technical expertise in underlying technologies (Workflow, BRFPlus, Webdynpro for ABAP- FPM, ABAP development), project management, Security. Basis skill is needed in the initial phase of the project to build servers, configure transports, set up RFCs connections (in MDG Hub installations) Functional resource is needed in blueprint, testing, cut-over activities. Security skills are relevant for building custom roles, provisioning end-users, admin- users etc. Most of the skills are already available in a typical SAP shop. Does SAP supply an out-of-box solution for my master data? While MDG is an effective platform to implement applications, to maintain custom master-data-models, SAP supplies several data models out of the box. So before embarking on a custom-implementation, pl. confirm if there is an out of box solution or one that is in immediate product-roadmap of SAP MDG. Due diligence also needs to be performed on the extent of this functionality in terms of data model and creation processes. Notes (like 1701437) and how-to guides provide ample information.
  3. 3. Concerns about Implementation process, cost, time-line & project plan. Depending on if an out-of-box solution is available for the data model, MDG implementation starts with enabling the SAP delivered functionality. For instance, to maintain Material, Supplier, Customer data models, the project would start with a rapid deployment of delivered solution followed by a gap-fit analysis. Following the ASAP methodology, Blueprinting in this case involves a gap-fit analysis phase. During this phase customer specific requirements related to data model, Change Request process, user interface, validations & derivations are documented. Realization includes a fairly short implementation process using various model-driven development tools. Subsequently the project follows the traditional process of integration-testing, training, cut-over and go-live. Can we reuse transaction codes that already exist in ERP, to maintain the master data? Most of the master-data models have existing maintenance functionality. This is true in the context of SAP ERP as transaction codes. For example FS01 for General Ledger Account, MM01 for Material, CS01 for BOM etc. A major step within the gap-fit analysis is comparing the existing mdm processes versus the proposed solution. Depending on the master data being maintained and the client systems for the master data, validations and derivations from the underling system may be reused. Is SAP RDS solution a good fit? SAP delivers Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDS). These are packaged services that go with various SAP product offerings. For instance, SAP CRM has several RDS solutions that are suited for customers. There are SAP RDS offerings for MDG implementation as well. Some implementation partners also provide similar services. Please contact us for a comprehensive review of these packaged services. Weather a RDS solution is right for you depends on several criteria and is very specific to your requirements. In general, these packaged solutions are very specific in what they implement. What are the infrastructure and licensing costs? Master data maintenance is typically not a high volume, resource intensive process, as compared to systems that support transactional data. The infrastructure costs are often low for such an implementation. Primary deciding factor here is system landscape design (number of technical components added to the landscape and if they are co- located/how they share resources). Some of the technical components in the landscape may also be reused.
  4. 4. What are the long-term objectives? Before embarking on a MDG project, like almost any other initiatives, it is good to list the long term objectives. In this case, following are couple of options: - What other master data objects can be maintained using this MDG installation? Research on existing support for those data models as well as maintenance processes around that data model. - How to effectively split the requirements across implementation phases? One way to do this is to go with a technical implementation in the first phase with minimal business functionality. This ensures that you get the technical components into your landscape with minimal risk to business processes. Once the MDG system, Enterprise Search, data & change request analysis and other components are in place, plan to extend with additional technical components, business processes and data models. MDG implementation is a great opportunity to 'improve' on the mdm processes in your organizations. This is a better alternative to simply 'migrating' your existing mdm processes. We wish you the very best for a successful MDG solution in your organization! In addition to helping you evaluate SAP MDG, we can also assist you with: - Interviewing candidates for MDG positions - Help you develop a project plan - Develop system landscape plan and architecture - Evaluate the implementation-in-progress at various stages. Please let us know if we can be of assistance.