Anyone who's had success mixing agile in large SAP projects?

Last post 12:26 am August 17, 2021
by Ian Mitchell
1 reply
05:18 pm August 16, 2021

Anyone who's had success with agile practices particularly the 2 below in large SAP projects?

- Doing just enough planning

- Setting up teams cross functionally


To give you an overview of my latest engagement:

- It uses SAP Activate methodology and SAFe (both top-down heavy).

- Involves heavy upfront planning and design (most of our deliverables each sprint are process designs and lots of documentation).

- Mostly sequential activities (config and/or development -> unit testing -> test review -> transport reviews -> demo, etc).

- Teams don't write the features and stories (the activities above are the "stories").

- Component team structure (we're setup by function eg, accounts receivable team, treasury team, data team, integration team, security team, etc).

- Geographically distributed teams. We always have to consider 5 timezones when setting discussion meetings and in a day, we only have around 2 to 4 hours of common time to meet virtually. Our standup meetings are even just 2x a week.


Given how large the project is, there are lots of cross-dependencies. Each teams usually have to collaborate with other teams and with our current setup, just imagine the amount of handoffs and therefore, delays. We even have "Waiting" column in our Kanban board to mark "stories" awaiting feedback from other teams.

"Stories" sized from extra small to medium mostly have the same cycle time (around 6 days) due to above. I asked if we can just adopt throughput instead of velocity but program management wants the latter.

Looking at how we're structured, I can say there's only so much we can get from agile let alone scrum. So far, the most appropriate method I can see for our teams is Kanban or Scrumban.

12:26 am August 17, 2021

Looking at how we're structured, I can say there's only so much we can get from agile let alone scrum

I'd look at it slightly differently. Given how you've been structured by others, there's only so much you're allowed to get from agility and Scrum. Is there a sense of urgency for the situation to change? You've established at least some transparency over organizational constraints via waiting columns for example.