SAP Activate Methodology Agile Releases

SAP Activate Methodology uses an agile release schedule in order to reflect ongoing feedback and learnings, where the main goals are customer satisfaction and a successful implementation.  This approach breaks down a project into releases and sprints.  Each release has a sprint with a fixed length, usually two weeks.  The team has a predefined list of items to work through for each sprint.  During a two week sprint, the team participates in a series of scrum meetings where the team does the following:

  • Plans what to accomplish in the sprint
  • Share any concerns that may block progress
  • At the end of each sprint, the team shares a demo of what they have accomplished
  • After each sprint, the team comes together to talk about what worked well and what didn’t, so they can improve the process moving forward for the next sprint

A sprint consists of a sprint planning meeting, scrum calls (there are usually four scrum calls during a two week sprint), release sync meeting, and a review and retrospective meeting.

Sprint Planning

The purpose of the sprint planning meeting is to plan the SAP Activate content that will be worked on and delivered for the upcoming sprint (within the next two weeks) based on feedback from customers, partners, and users.

Scrum calls

The purpose of the scrum calls is for the team to provide a short status on the following:

  • What did you work on?
  • What are you working on?
  • What are your roadblocks?

Release Sync

The purpose of the release sync is for the team to review and confirm the sprint content to be released to production the following Monday (after the sprint is over).  Themes are collected for the next sprint on what type of content to focus on.

Review and Retrospective

The purpose of the review and retrospective is for the team to demo the changes that they completed during the sprint that will be released to production.  After the demos are given, the team talks about what worked well, what didn’t and what can be improved upon so that the team can continue to improve the process moving forward for future sprints and releases.

Here is an example of what a typical two week sprint release looks like for our team (for example, Sprint 54).

Sprint 54 (March 14 – 25) with release on March 27

Week one:

Monday

Sprint Planning (one hour)

Our team uses JIRA to create backlog items for the content that will be worked on; learnings from ongoing feedback from customers, partners, and internal.  During the sprint planning call, each team member goes through and discusses their JIRA items assigned to the sprint that they plan to work on and complete for the release.

Wednesday and Friday

Sprint Scrum Call (30 minutes each)

Each team member provides a status on what they worked on, are working on, and if they have any roadblocks especially any roadblocks that need to be addressed by management.

Week two:

Monday and Wednesday

Sprint Scrum Call (30 minutes each)

Each team member provides a status on what they worked on, are working on, and if they have any roadblocks especially any roadblocks that need to be addressed by management.

Thursday

Release Sync (30 minutes)

Each team member provides a status of what has been completed and ready for consumption and review for production as well as which JIRA items will be pushed to the next sprint if needed.  During this call, themes are collected for the next sprint so that team members are aware of what type of content should be focused on while creating their JIRA items for the planning meeting of the next sprint.

Friday

Review and Retrospective (one hour)

Each team member gives a demo of the changes that they completed during the sprint.  After the demos are given, the team discusses what worked well, what didn’t and what can be improved for the next sprint.

Here is an example of a past sprint release schedule for our team:

Once the content has been released to pre-production and reviewed, it is then released to production the Monday following the end of the sprint, and is available to both internal and external audiences via the Roadmap Viewer.  The Roadmap Viewer provides access to SAP Activate methodology implementation roadmaps.  Roadmap viewer provides resources and project phase in an easy to consume format, which offers a comprehensive view of a project teams’ associated activities, deliverables and tasks with accompanying accelerator assets.  A new sprint begins the same Monday the previous sprint goes live for the next scheduled release.


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