Managing changes and maintaining the stability of enterprise software landscapes can be quite a daunting challenge in the fast-paced and ever-evolving realm of information technology.
This is where SAP Change Request Management (ChaRM) comes in.
SAP ChaRM is more than just a surface-level change management solution; it offers a comprehensive framework to ensure a structured, efficient, and controlled approach to handling software changes, from conception to deployment and everything in between.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the core functionalities and advantages of SAP ChaRM, how it empowers businesses to achieve seamless change management and enhanced collaboration, and where our SAP consultant team can come in to ensure unparalleled system reliability across the board.
What is ChaRM in SAP?
SAP Change Request Management (ChaRM) is an intelligent tool provided in the SAP Solution Manager and designed to help companies streamline their most critical change request management activities, like planning, developing, testing, approving, and deploying changes across their SAP landscape.
The SAP ChaRM solution offers a comprehensive change management platform to give users better control over system changes and transport requests, facilitate integrations between other solutions in the SAP Solution Manager, and improve the efficiency of their entire SAP system landscape.
Understanding Change Request Management in SAP
The SAP ChaRM solution offers advanced change request management capabilities to help organizations manage activities involved in their change process, including tracking change requests and transporting them throughout all areas of the production environment.
It utilizes a workflow-based approval procedure for change transport management, allowing users to facilitate better audit-proof documentation of all the functional changes in the production system, extend TMS functionality, and ensure all transports are correctly moved into the development system.
With automated TMS functionality and more accurate integration and regression testing processes, companies utilizing the ChaRM SAP platform can better track their change requests and manage maintenance projects more efficiently before they are transported into the development environment.
User Roles Involved in the SAP ChaRm Process
Here are a few examples of key user roles that support Change and Release Management in SAP:
- Requester: Responsible for raising the change request in the SAP Solution Manager
- Developer: Responsible for facilitating changes as per the change management request, typically including both technical and functional consultants
- Change Manager: Responsible for determining and approving the change request
- Tester: Responsible for testing change requests to ensure proper functionality for end users
- IT Operator: Responsible for operating the IT environment and any related SAP systems
Pre-Requisites for SAP Change Request Management (ChaRM)
Here’s a closer look at the main prerequisites required to implement and leverage SAP ChaRM:
- Ensure proper configuration of the new system in the landscape by leveraging a proper configuration path in the SAP Solution Manager.
- Establish a core RFC connection between the SAP Solution Manager and the satellite system.
- Configure SAP Transport Management System to meet requirements for transport requests.
- Determine transport routes between systems in the predefined SAP landscape.
- Initiate extended transport control in the SAP TMS solution.
- Deactivate quality or test client assurance approval procedure and activate single Transport strategy for an individual change request.
Main Steps of the Change Request Approval Procedure in SAP
The SAP Change Request Management (ChaRM) process plays a critical role in ensuring the integrity and stability of an organization’s SAP landscape over time. It involves a series of predefined steps designed to control and manage changes to SAP systems effectively and efficiently.
Here’s a look at the main steps of the change request approval procedure in SAP:
1) Change Request Creation
The first phase of the change request management process involves creating a change request in the SAP Solution Manager by a change initiator, providing detailed information about the change and the specific reasons for it.
2) Review and Approval
In this phase, relevant stakeholders and other members of the change management team review each change and approve or reject it based on its impact on the target systems and the company as a whole.
The development phase refers to the step in the change request management process in which the change is developed and tested by the testing team, and all the testing documentation is completed properly throughout the entire system.
4) Transport Request Creation
In this phase, a transport request is created to move the change and its proper documentation from the development system to the quality assurance (QA) system.
5) Quality Assurance
The approved change request is tested in the quality assurance system to ensure it meets predefined quality standards and does not negatively impact the production system.
6) Release to Production
In the release-to-production phase, users follow the standard transport process to release the approved change request to the production environment.
The monitoring phase is ongoing, meaning that change management teams continuously monitor changes in the production system over time to ensure it functions as expected and has no unintended consequences for users.
Advantages of SAP ChaRM for Business Users
SAP Change Request Management (ChaRM) is a component of SAP Solution Manager that helps organizations manage and streamline their change management processes.
Here are the top five advantages of using the SAP ChaRM solution:
Improved Change Control:
SAP ChaRM provides a structured and standardized approach to change management. It helps organizations control and track changes to their SAP systems, reducing the risk of unauthorized or untested modifications. This leads to a more stable and reliable SAP landscape.
ChaRM offers real-time visibility into the status of change requests and their associated documentation. This transparency allows stakeholders to monitor progress, identify bottlenecks, and make informed decisions, leading to better change planning and execution.
SAP ChaRM facilitates collaboration among different teams involved in the change management process. It provides a centralized platform for communication, documentation, and approvals, fostering better communication and coordination between development, testing, and operations teams.
Versioning and Auditing:
ChaRM maintains detailed records of all changes made to SAP systems, including who made the change, when it was made, and why. This audit trail is valuable for compliance and regulatory requirements. It also helps organizations troubleshoot issues by tracing changes back to their source.
Change Documentation and Testing:
ChaRM encourages thorough documentation of change requests, including technical specifications and test plans. It supports integration with testing tools, allowing organizations to plan and execute comprehensive testing before implementing changes in production. This reduces the likelihood of errors and system downtime.
How Can We Help?
Whether you need help implementing SAP Solution Manager applications for the first time, additional support navigating complex change request document statuses, or just an extra hand building a reliable quality assurance approval procedure across your organization, Surety Systems is here to help.
Our senior-level, US-based SAP consultant team has the functional knowledge, technical skills, and real-world experience to handle all your most important project needs — from first-time implementations to complex system integrations, software upgrades, product enhancements, and everything in between.
Getting Started with Our Team
Interested in learning how SAP ChaRM can facilitate more efficient change document and project management or where our SAP consulting services can fit in your organization?
Contact us today for more information!