Focused Build SP08 to be released soon

It’s already July 2021, the year is half-way through which means it is time for a new Support Package for Focused Build. As in the previous Support Packages, we are working hard on closing the last gaps that we identify and provide as many roundoffs as possible to simplify the activities in the Requirements-to-Deploy process. Again, we talked to customers, partners and internal colleagues who are working with Focused Build and took their feedback seriously and included several improvements in our delivery scope. At this point it is simply not possible to describe all new features, but at least I want to highlight some of them.

New interface to SAP Analytics Cloud

By default, Focused Build delivers various reporting dashboards that allow Project Managers to constantly monitor the ongoing implementation project. If those reporting capabilities are not sufficient customers and partners set up additional reporting, e.g. based on Excel. With the new interface to SAP Analytics Cloud it is possible to create extended and more flexible reporting for Requirements, Work Packages and Work Items of Focused Build managed projects. A new extraction report is provided to collect regularly the required data, and with the delivered OData service it is possible to read these data and created analytical dashboards.


Examples of data visualizations in SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP S/4HANA Conversion Project Support

The integration of the SAP Readiness Check result with Focused Build has been enhanced deeply in Support Package 8. Feedback from our partners and customers showed that the whole application was partly to restrictive and did not provide the flexibility which might be necessary to process Simplification Items and Conversion Activities in an efficient way. The following functionalities have been implemented:

  1. Combination of several Conversion Activities in one Follow-Up Document – this helps to reduce the number of Requirements and/or Work Packages in the Conversion Project as activities with a rather low effort can be collected and processed
  2. Assign or Reassign of Conversion Activities – in case an assignment to a Follow-Up Document was forgotten or done incorrectly this can now be solved quickly within the Simplification Item Management application
  3. Integration in Mass Change Application – this feature simplifies the Release Backlog Planning as well as the Wave Backlog Planning. Conversion Activities do have phase information which is important to know when these activities must be done. By filtering on a specific phase (e.g. before conversion), customers can select the related follow-up documents and hand them over to the Mass Change Application where these documents can be assigned to a specific project and wave.
  4. Integration of custom transaction types – so far only Requirements and Work Packages where available for selection as Follow-Up document to Conversion Activities. For those customers that have a mature and well-established Change Management process in place it is usually not an option to change the implementation methodology just for the S/4HANA Conversion. With the option to maintain custom transaction types as Follow-Up document we allow those customers to use their own processes together with the SAP Readiness Check integration.

New interface for DevOps

More and more customers are heading to the direction to integrate Development and Operations activities. Continuous Innovation/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) is an important part when companies implement this new culture, and there are various tools available in the market that support CI/CD. For customers who want to take benefits from both sides, CI/CD one the one hand, Focused Build on the other hand, we provide with SP 8 a new API to integrate these external tools with the Work Item process.

Via an OData service it is possible to read Work Item Information remotely, upload new attachments, add new texts or changing the status. This allows an automated integration of DevOps processes in Work Items for deployments in SAP and non-SAP landscapes.

Usability improvements

As written at the beginning, all the responsible Product Owners of Focused Build regularly exchange with customers and partners to get their feedback on the Focused Build methodology, exploring pain points and gaps. Those were also addressed in SP8. In Project Management for example, there is now the possibility to add a build project to a synchronized main/build project structure which helps customers that onboard an additional project to their ongoing implementation. In the process management area, it is now possible to see also deleted objects which is an important reporting factor, for example for FDA-compliant companies. In the Requirement Management application, we added the Solution and WRICEF sub classification as search and result field for a better transparency and simplified processing of Requirements. Defects can only be withdrawn by the person who has initially created this defect. And in Test Suite, we enabled a customizing for the defect creation dialog so that every customer can decide on their own which fields should be displayed and which are mandatory.

Although the provided information in this blog are already quite long, still it is only an extract of all functions and features that we deliver with SP 8. If you are interested in more details and a complete overview, you are more than welcome to join our Webinar “What’s new with Focused Build SP08 for SAP Solution Manager” which is scheduled for August 11th. There you will get beside the information on slides also valuable demos directly in the system.

So I hope the provided information about the newest Support Package of Focused Build are beneficial for you and you got a first insight what to expect with this new release. Please feel free to provide feedback either directly here in the comment section or, in case of questions, you can submit them here.