Sunday, November 15, 2009

BPX Process Design Slam 2009

Marilyn Pratt organized the BPX Process Design Slam at SAP TechEd 2009 for the second time. There are some wiki pages dedicated to the event.

What was the idea?

  • Marilyn welcoming us and explaining what BPX Process Slam is about
  • Greg, who took his role as a major very seriously, explaining the process that needs to be modeled
  • Twan telling about agile and the methodology to be used during the evening
  • Marilyn introducing the business matter experts
The goal was to work in 3 iterations of 30 minutes on four deliverables:
  • Process design
  • UI design
  • Rules design
  • Data model/enterprise services
More on my SDN blog about the event.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

SAP TechEd 2009 on Twitter

Twitter is a great platform to follow event attendees, type in the hashtag in some Twitter app and you read all about the event. Try it this week with SAP TechEd Bangalore, use the hashtag #sapteched09.
SAP did a great job integrating Twitter into the event. They were promoting to use it on beforehand. And during the event @sapteched kept us up to date. You just could not get by all the #sapteched09 tweets, SAP installed screensavers all over the place.

  • @ttrapp You are a real #sapteched09 die hard. Still in a session and tweeting. I am at airport, good to have met with you.
    Thu Oct 29 17:33:38 +0000 2009

  • Closing my MacBook, feel exhausted. Need at least twice the time to process all the #sapteched09 material ;-)
    Thu Oct 29 16:09:49 +0000 2009

  • Thanks to @fotolouis I could complete our wiki for the #bpxslam09 #sapteched09.
    Thu Oct 29 16:05:30 +0000 2009

  • RT @jpenninkhof: Feeling a #sapteched09 after-dip coming up.. :S << Already in it, don't want to leave so many great people!
    Thu Oct 29 16:03:21 +0000 2009

  • - Open discussion on experiences with agile and SAP at 14:30 in expert lounge 5, #sapteched09.
    Thu Oct 29 13:21:41 +0000 2009

  • Just got interviewed by @thomas_jung together with @marilynpratt about the #bpxslam09 for Enterprise Geeks at #sapteched09. << Feel honored
    Thu Oct 29 13:03:11 +0000 2009

  • Share experiences and ideas on Agile and SAP at 14:30 in expert lounge 5 at #SAPTechEd09. Feel free to join and participate.
    Thu Oct 29 12:58:13 +0000 2009

  • I am allowed to host an expert session on Agile and SAP at 14:30 in L5, please join me. #sapteched09
    Thu Oct 29 12:32:13 +0000 2009

  • RT @NopaTechEd09: @tbroek #SAPInsideTrackEindhoven love to join you on my BI experience #sapteched09 at #SAPInsideTrackEindhoven << Great!
    Thu Oct 29 10:21:19 +0000 2009

  • Want to share your #SAPTechEd09 experiences, join #SAPInsideTrackEindhoven
    Thu Oct 29 08:32:26 +0000 2009

  • @thorstenster Like on the #bpxslam09 you mean? Or between #SAPInsideTrackBonn and #SAPInsideTrackEindhoven ;-)
    Thu Oct 29 08:30:40 +0000 2009

  • RT @ttrapp: @thorstenster Do you have an idea how to promote #SAPInsideTrackBonn at last day of #sapteched09? << Tweet a lot!
    Thu Oct 29 08:27:55 +0000 2009

  • Agile meet up in community clubhouse at 14:00. Come join me discussing making SAP more Agile at #sapteched09.
    Thu Oct 29 08:21:27 +0000 2009

  • RT @aahoogendoorn: @tbroek Promoting our new book on agile SAP SOA at #sapteched10 I guess? << Sure, we can give away signed copies ;-)
    Thu Oct 29 08:20:06 +0000 2009

  • @aahoogendoorn Next year both of us doing an Agile SAP story at #sapteched10 #sapteched09?
    Thu Oct 29 07:51:56 +0000 2009

  • - Live story on SAP NetWeaver BPM at L2. Story by Eneco and Creetion. #sapteched09.
    Thu Oct 29 07:36:50 +0000 2009

  • First session for today: BPM113: BPM at Stedin/Eneco. Real world implementation with Creetion. #sapteched09
    Thu Oct 29 07:17:56 +0000 2009

  • Preparing for last day at #sapteched09. First have a breakfast at my hotel. It was already a great event to learn and to meet the community.
    Thu Oct 29 05:57:54 +0000 2009

  • Finished BPM264, good session. Hope I can reproduce it at home. Now time for evening event at #sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 17:47:09 +0000 2009

  • @luislanz Too bad that we can not meet at #sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 16:10:18 +0000 2009

  • @luislanz BPM262 was interesting, got caught in modeling bugs. Process didn't want to run correctly. Didn't get to fun VC stuff #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 16:09:46 +0000 2009

  • OK advanced sessions should skip intro and marketing slides on BPM and SAP NetWeaver, let's get our hands dirty @sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 16:04:54 +0000 2009

  • Final session for today: BPM264 async communication with SAP NetWeaver BPM at #sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 15:56:53 +0000 2009

  • Replay of @marilynpratt interviewing Wout, Caspar and me about #bpxslam09 at #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 15:42:32 +0000 2009

  • BPM262 starting of with CE 7.2 disclaimer ... #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 13:34:36 +0000 2009

  • RT @jpenninkhof Is it a coincidence that Java sessions seem to be in the rooms at the very far end of the Messe? #sapteched09 << it's a sign
    Wed Oct 28 13:33:13 +0000 2009

  • Now attending BPM262: BPM integration with Visual Composer. Hope this one is really advanced ;-) #sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 13:28:07 +0000 2009

  • RT @sapteched Twan van den Broek #sapteched09 LIVE from VIENNA. << My daughter was waving to me from the NL ;-)
    Wed Oct 28 13:26:33 +0000 2009

  • RT @pimdewit: @tbroek great job NL leading in BPM Innovation #sapteched09. Please do smile ;-) << I tried to :-)
    Wed Oct 28 13:21:14 +0000 2009

  • "This was my last slide": Great end of a presentation at #sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 12:06:52 +0000 2009

  • At 13:30 live interview on #sapteched09 with @marilynpratt, Wout, Caspar and me about #bpxslam09.
    Wed Oct 28 11:53:20 +0000 2009

  • BPM107, BRFplus - business rules in ABAP stack in stead of CE environment. Wonder if designtime is better, hope 2C that later. #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 11:47:12 +0000 2009

  • @thorstenster What about collaborative UI design via #gwave. Together with #gravity: concept can't be beaten. #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 11:35:19 +0000 2009

  • RT @thorstenster: @tbroek Better than check-in-check-out, isn't it? << #Gravity is so much better!!
    Wed Oct 28 11:32:53 +0000 2009

  • @thorstenster Sure! Even worked with it for #bpxslam09. Great stuff #gravity for collaborative modeling.
    Wed Oct 28 11:29:56 +0000 2009

  • With the new business friendly modeler (CE7.2), business to model can be done with SAP NetWeaver BPM as well. #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 11:28:54 +0000 2009

  • BPM107: Traditional approach first Aris then SAP NetWeaver BPM. When will business to model take place in SAP as well? #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 11:26:57 +0000 2009

  • Now at BPM107 Real life SAP NetWeaver BPM at Kaeser. #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 11:18:59 +0000 2009

  • Tried to attend ALM208 Test management, but rather want to work at #bpxslam09. I still have to put our stuff on the wiki. #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 10:07:38 +0000 2009

  • Ai BPM162 got cancelled :-( BPM monitoring, debugging and tracebility. Very important in BPM context, too bad to miss that. #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 10:04:03 +0000 2009

  • Leaving BPM260, good to see ES workplace example data and simple sample applications. #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 09:01:55 +0000 2009

  • BPM260, advanced session: change process - replace percentage 0,03 with 0,25. SAP is overestimating us ;-) #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 08:53:38 +0000 2009

  • RT @ttrapp Horst Keller: "form ... endform." is obsolete #sapteched09 << That will deliver a lot of work ;-)
    Wed Oct 28 08:32:47 +0000 2009

  • Advanced session BPM260, speaker is demoing all exercises - that's not advanced. I want to play around myself :) #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 08:30:01 +0000 2009

  • BPM260 Simple Sample Application comes with a NetWeaver BPM process diagram - looks promising #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 08:20:03 +0000 2009

  • Now Simple Sample Applications at BPM260 #sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 08:10:33 +0000 2009

  • hmm exercise BPM260: Could not resolve id:BBFE7E42E0A24C70B6D8A1F54E7B9100 :) #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 07:55:58 +0000 2009

  • Great BPM260 showing test data for enterprise services. That will sure save time in finding the right service for your process #sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 07:48:51 +0000 2009

  • @erwintenhumberg What session are you in?
    Wed Oct 28 07:42:21 +0000 2009

  • - The line for BPM260, popular session ;-) #sapteched09
    Wed Oct 28 07:29:50 +0000 2009

  • New blog: Agile approach lessons learned for #bpxslam09 at #sapteched09.
    Wed Oct 28 07:20:16 +0000 2009

  • In line for BPM260, best practices with SAP NetWeaver BPM. Bit early and forgot the clubhouse coffee :(
    Wed Oct 28 07:13:25 +0000 2009

  • Even the end result is for BOBJ at demojam #sapteched09. Congrats!
    Tue Oct 27 19:25:52 +0000 2009

  • RT @njames: wisdom of crowds? #sapteched09 not sure I agree with the crowd tonight ... #demojam << +1
    Tue Oct 27 19:24:45 +0000 2009

  • RT @se38: suggestion for next year: online voting via twitter #sapteched09 << +1
    Tue Oct 27 19:23:33 +0000 2009

  • RT @jonerp: RT @MartinLang #sapteched09 Yoooowwwiiiiieeeee >>>> +1 C'MON YOWIE! << OK Yowie won on Twitter ;-)
    Tue Oct 27 19:18:09 +0000 2009

  • RT @wolf_gregor: in my demo you would have seen SE80 and eCATT :-( #sapteched09 >> Too bad we missed that.
    Tue Oct 27 19:16:38 +0000 2009

  • Who will be the winner, Yowie or No hands? #sapteched09.
    Tue Oct 27 19:13:23 +0000 2009

  • DemoJam lost its develop-within-6-minutes challenge. Still great demo's, but different. #sapteched09
    Tue Oct 27 19:12:22 +0000 2009

  • Live demo with picture taken of demojam crowd at #sapteche09.
    Tue Oct 27 19:10:46 +0000 2009

  • RT @se38: Need a Yowie Robot in #gwave #sapteched09 << There it is!
    Tue Oct 27 19:05:37 +0000 2009

  • Yowie is social SAP. Great demo with a ' Schnitzel store' in Vienna :) #sapteched09.
    Tue Oct 27 19:03:40 +0000 2009

  • And again BOBJ and Xcelsius are taking over the #sapteched09... What's wrong with developing in SAP NetWeaver?
    Tue Oct 27 18:59:36 +0000 2009

  • RT @ewH: The next time I see an iPhone at demo jam, I hope its in a "will it blend" demo #sapteched09 << Currently live the next entry.
    Tue Oct 27 18:56:41 +0000 2009

  • McGyver live on stage at demojam #sapteched09. Creating something out of nothing ;-)
    Tue Oct 27 18:53:43 +0000 2009

  • DemoJam BOBJ submission for #sapteched09 is only showing not developing. Still nice demo on iPhone.
    Tue Oct 27 18:44:15 +0000 2009

  • RT @dgraversen: Gravity demo at #sapteched09 #demojam is it cheating to use slides. Was it minus 1 minute or 30 sec pr slide? << allowed :)
    Tue Oct 27 18:34:46 +0000 2009

  • @wolf_gregor Hey you're still with us as @ccmehil is mentioning you at demojam09 #sapteched09.
    Tue Oct 27 18:31:30 +0000 2009

  • @rhirsch Ring a bell? Look familiar?
    Tue Oct 27 18:26:05 +0000 2009

  • Come back to that later, with 2 min left :D #sapteched09.
    Tue Oct 27 18:25:37 +0000 2009

  • One day at #sapteched09, and battery of nokia died on me during the day - where is electricity when you need it :(
    Tue Oct 27 17:48:44 +0000 2009

  • Live music for DemoJam, great preparation at #SAPTechEd09.
    Tue Oct 27 17:45:19 +0000 2009

  • @erwintenhumberg Great so far, now in the middle of BRM. Concept is great, usage is area of attention.
    Tue Oct 27 16:58:00 +0000 2009

  • @ttrapp Sorry guys, still in BPM160.
    Tue Oct 27 16:39:48 +0000 2009

  • @finnern Still in BPM160, thought you would start at 18:00? Is there another timeslot?
    Tue Oct 27 16:38:24 +0000 2009

  • RT @thorstenster: @wolf_gregor Tonight at the #demojam we should keep 6 minutes of silence...#sapteched09 << and have a beer on your health!
    Tue Oct 27 14:21:08 +0000 2009

  • - New style BPM and very old style mouse ;-) at #sapteched09.
    Tue Oct 27 14:17:35 +0000 2009

  • Ralf Schaub referred to ABAP process before output at the mapping step in a BPM - back to the ABAP future ;-)
    Tue Oct 27 14:11:44 +0000 2009

  • @NopaTechEd09 Use ubertwitter for your blackberry - great tool!
    Tue Oct 27 13:59:45 +0000 2009

  • - Wow just featured on the #sapteched09 screensaver ;-)
    Tue Oct 27 13:31:00 +0000 2009

  • Time for first handson workshop at #sapteched09: bpm160, bpm for bpx.
    Tue Oct 27 13:23:44 +0000 2009

  • Skipped my first session to prepare for #bpxslam09 at #sapteched09 “<<“ going to be a great event tonight!
    Tue Oct 27 12:03:47 +0000 2009

  • - Great demo from Ian at #sapteched09 << this is SAP NetWeaver!
    Tue Oct 27 09:42:04 +0000 2009

  • OK really missed @sagassi and Ian at #sapteched09 during keynote.
    Tue Oct 27 09:32:07 +0000 2009

  • What about BPM or Web Dynpro for ABAP at #sapteched09? Am I that impatient?
    Tue Oct 27 09:21:51 +0000 2009

  • Business Objects taking over #sapteched09. SAP NetWeaver is much more than BO, BI or dashboards.
    Tue Oct 27 09:18:40 +0000 2009

  • Now looking at collaboration demo at #sapteched09. is that sap stuff? Great bobj integration.
    Tue Oct 27 09:16:18 +0000 2009

  • RT @jpenninkhof My little secret: What Valero just demoed at #sapteched09, was what I expected the SAP portal to be. << +1
    Tue Oct 27 09:11:35 +0000 2009

  • Valero portal nice pimped sap portal. Looks like high performace portal from @rkleijn and @peter_mayringer from demojam08. #sapteched09
    Tue Oct 27 09:02:38 +0000 2009

  • RT @dhague OK, we get the business case. Can we move on how attendees can use SAP technology 2 implement the business solution? #sapteched09
    Tue Oct 27 08:47:22 +0000 2009

  • RT @thomas_jung: Lego + Playmobil can work together with Glue - the way some software is forced to work together - nice image. #sapteched09
    Tue Oct 27 08:45:05 +0000 2009

  • Anyone also missing @sagassi at #sapteched09?
    Tue Oct 27 08:43:39 +0000 2009

  • Keynote #sapteched09 about speed of change? In stead of ppt with figures I like to see real SAP stuff, come on.
    Tue Oct 27 08:41:14 +0000 2009

  • We want some live demo's during keynote #sapteched09!
    Tue Oct 27 08:29:15 +0000 2009

  • #sapteched09 is for Training, Connections and Inspiration according to @markyolton.
    Tue Oct 27 08:11:40 +0000 2009

  • @NopaTechEd09 Where are you seated?
    Tue Oct 27 08:09:03 +0000 2009

  • @wolf_gregor Too bad, sad news. get well soon!
    Tue Oct 27 07:57:00 +0000 2009

  • Almost keynote time at #sapteched09, already spotted some famous mentors, gonna shake some hands now.
    Tue Oct 27 07:47:19 +0000 2009

  • Checkin at #sapteched09, no pen, no notepad, no bag. Hmmm economic recession??? Bit cheap though.
    Tue Oct 27 07:34:25 +0000 2009

  • Having troubles with #sapteched09 agenda. All sessions were imported in Outlook, but not synchronized to my mobile :-( Lot of manual work.
    Tue Oct 27 06:00:27 +0000 2009

  • @HarryFTF Thanx, keep you posted via twitter.
    Mon Oct 26 22:48:06 +0000 2009

  • - Great pre- #sapteched09 experience.
    Mon Oct 26 21:11:03 +0000 2009

  • @ingridbos also showing her badge proudly with Ingrid Bos Consultancy name. -
    Mon Oct 26 18:59:07 +0000 2009

  • - Paul proudly showing his badge with Oxolution, fresh name of his own company.
    Mon Oct 26 18:57:08 +0000 2009

  • - Great service #sapteched09 checkin at Vienna airport.
    Mon Oct 26 18:53:46 +0000 2009

  • Out of office activated, now packing and heading to Schiphol for #SAPTechEd09. Finally ;-)
    Mon Oct 26 11:49:19 +0000 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Agile SAP Meetup

During SAP TechEd 2009 in Vienna I would like to organize an Agile SAP meetup. Let's sit together in the SDN Community Clubhouse with a nice cup of coffee and share thoughts on:
  • Experiences with Agile approaches (Scrum, Smart, Lean, ...) in SAP projects
  • Ideas on making projects more Agile
  • Brainstorm on suggestions to transform ASAP to something more Agile
Want to join? Meet us at the community clubhouse:
- Thursday 29 October at 14:00.

Monday, October 19, 2009

SAP TechEd 2009 Top 10

It is SAP TechEd Season, every year it is the same story: how to select out of 256 session and build your personal agenda. While browsing through all the sessions I kept a small Top 10 of SAP TechEd topics (*):

  1. (1) SAP NetWeaver (88 sessions)
  2. (10) BusinessObjects (25)
  3. (6) ABAP (16)
  4. (5) BI (16)
  5. (4) BPM (15)
  6. (2) SOA (10)
  7. (9) Web Dynpro (9)
  8. (3) Java (8)
  9. (8) Composition Environment (6)
  10. (7) Enterprise Services (5)
Between brackets the results from 2008.
So what can we learn?
  • Java dropped down to #8, ABAP raised to #3. Investments in ABAP paying off?
  • Business Objects climbed to #2, with BI on #4 a lot of 'suit' sessions are entering the SAP TechEd schedule. BO and BI are not real 'geeks', they are suits playing with technology ;-)
  • SOA is falling down to #6. The hype is over?
  • BPM lost one place to BI. I would have thought that BPM would climb some places this year.
  • Runner up topics: Xcelsius (3) and Sustainability (3)
(*) Disclaimer: This Top 10 is a result of filtering the Title column on specific words. It is for fun only and I do not claim that this is the single truth.

Preparing the Agile SAP presentation

Some time ago Sander and I sat together to prepare our Agile SAP story for the SOA symposium conference. We still have to finalize, it will be a just in time delivery ;-) But hey - the main line is set:

By the way we also appear in an expert (what about that ;-) panel discussion on Agile development and Service Orientation.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

12,5 years CIBER NL

Last Friday we celebrated 12,5 years of CIBER NL. The band was formed by 10 colleagues.

A good atmosphere and a good party!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

SAP TechEd season

With SAP TechEd season coming up, this is a great video to have a look behind the scenes from last years SAP TechEd.

4500 attendees, 1000 laptops, 3.5 kilometers of truss, 12000 square meters of carpet and 15000 sandwiches

How about that ;-)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

SDN Virtual Community Day

Last Thursday was my first webcast at SDN: Agile SAP, Mission Impossible? The replay is, just as the other sessions, available on SDN.
With a webcast it is a kind of difficult to interact with the people that are connected. Known pitfall is then to start talking faster and faster. I sure hope that the message got through. And for those who want to view the presentation again - it is available via SlideShare:

On the last slide some interesting links to more information are available.

During the session some questions arose in the chat window.
  • Use cases instead of user stories: We thought that user stories are very well applicable to web environments. But in our situation we also had a lot of backend functionality and processes to be realized. Therefore we decided to model everything with use cases.
  • Bigger size teams (>=100): Our team developed 1/3 of the total solution. The other teams did not work according to scrum. But if they did there is a scrum of scrums approach to share the information of all the scrum teams. Dagfinn Parnas: "scrum does scale very well, but it does require some extra thought with regards to organization, tools etc. Craig Larman has a few good books on the topic.
  • Using Scrum with non collocated teams: We were all located together, one of the biggest advantages for the project to minimize communication issues. So no experience yet. With online dashboards and nowadays conference call possibilities it can be made a success. As long as you keep to the basics of the approach: Working together during all phases of a sprint. I am curious to hear on experiences using Scrum and an offshore team.
  • How did the SAP team work together? An ABAP developer will not do CRM customizing. That's for sure. But everybody can help designing the solution, documenting and testing it. All team members are expected to help each other. We saw some pair programming activities during the project: CRM and ABAP consultant working together.
  • Resourcing scrum team: A project running at high speed needs a team that is almost 100% available. If not, people will miss a lot and have to catch up every time when they are back. Make sure that people that enter the team somewhere during the project that they get a proper introduction on how business is done within the scrum team.
Best advice according to Harald Reiter: Go out and do it!

Thanks to those who were attending my session. Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic with me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Agile SAP Roadshow

Coming weeks are story telling weeks. Sander Hoogendoorn and I have our Agile SAP story on the agenda at the following events:

September 24, 17:00 (GMT+1)
2009 Virtual Community Day
An SDN webcast open to everyone who is interested. After my slides I hope to have an interesting discussion with fellow SDNers on this topic. This will be my first webcast, I will try to prevent any technical flaws ;-) Follow the Twitter updates to get the link where the session is broadcasted.

October 22, 14:15
SOA Symposium, Rotterdam
Sander and I will do the “Agile SAP: Mission Impossible” show together for the first time. Hope we have enough time for all our slides and stories ;-)

October 27 – 29, SAP TechEd Vienna
During the SAP TechEd in Vienna I hope to find a timeslot to organize a meet up with other agile enthusiastic participants. Maybe we can find each other in the community clubhouse and have a cappuccino together.

November 25, 14:00
Landelijk Architectuur Congres 2009 (Dutch Architecture Congress)
Our story is divided in two sessions:
First mine: A recipe for an SAP SOA project: from spaghetti to lasagna.
Then Sander: Designing service oriented projects with smart use cases.

Currently I am busy starting up the next Agile SAP project at the Dutch Railways. But first we will do a review on our first project. The results will most certainly end up in a blog entry ;-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Agile SAP on frontpage BPX

Wow, Agile SAP, Mission Impossible? made it to the frontpage of Looks like more and more people are interested in making SAP agile ;-)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Agile SAP: Mission Impossible?

Just posted "Agile SAP: Mission Impossible?" on SDN:
Applying Agile to the world of SAP projects, well that is an impossible mission. Right? Lots of die hard SAP people still believe so. Even so described by the ASAP project approach. I personally feel that this is going to change very soon, just as SAP projects are changing rapidly with all the possibilities that SAP NetWeaver as business process platform is offering.

Read more on SDN.
See what Agile can do to your team:
Please share your experiences on Agile and the world of SAP as a reaction on this blog or on our Agile SAP twibes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

First experiences on doing the SAP Scrum

In my blog on doing the SAP Scrum I described that we wanted to follow the Scrum approach for the second phase of the project. In the first phase we lived according to the traditional waterfall method and experienced the traditional issues.

Now we are three weeks on route and this week we started our first realization iteration, our first sprint. The past three weeks we focused on delivering the product backlog, the scope in deliverables so to say. Scope that is to be realized with SAP BPM, SAP XI, SAP CRM, ABAP and some minor (*) web development. Now I would like to share some experiences that we gathered over the past three weeks.

(*) Main focus is to realize backend components for an administrative process.

The traditional process of writing all relevant documentation first is taking too much time. Writing business requirements – evaluate. Writing functional specifications – evaluate. Writing technical specifications – evaluate. Realize / Build. Test, if there is still time left ;-)

So we decided to go for a Scrum, an agile approach that does not foresee in documentation templates. We had a scenario document that described the desired processes. On base of that we created sequence diagrams and with our agile coach Sander Hoogendoorn we decided to use Smart use cases to model our deliverables. With a training for the team we got up to speed and on the same knowledge level.

And then … modeling our first SAP Smart use cases:

After modeling it was time for estimating the use cases. Not in a traditional way of thinking how much time was required to realize, but with points. These points identify the complexity. As a team we decided per use case how many points were to be assigned: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 10 points. Ten points for either very complex stuff or for use cases with still some unclearness in it that has to be resolved before assigning the real points.

As a result:

284 points in total. With six iterations of 2 weeks and an estimation of 50 (best guess) points per sprint, it looks that we are able to manage. At least theoretically. In two weeks (after the first iteration) we get a better picture how realistic this is. We then know how many points we have realized in the first iteration. Keep you posted in two weeks ;-)

Recap up till now:

  • Whole team (IA, CRM, BPM, XI, ABAP, Test, Web) working collaboratively on the use cases and everyone is on the same knowledge level
  • Flaws in specifications early identified
  • Flaws in solution early identified
  • Involvement of all parties (business representatives) concerned in daily scrum meetings
Points of attention
  • Availability of key players
  • Involve all content specialists (business and IT) while designing the product backlog
  • Implement team availability rules: Plan individual meetings after 15:00; After the daily scrum max 15 minutes extension have discussions outside of the team; Make sure that you do not hold the rest of the team; Focus on project activities only
And interesting to see that team enthusiasm goes up and down, it is new to every member of the team. Within the SAP world agile is not wide spread (yet). So it is understandable to hang on to processes and approaches that someone is used to. However with the time we have left to our final delivery mid June, I still believe this agile approach is our only option.

SOA, after the hype

Oscar Mulders, a colleague, posted an article in Computable, a Dutch IT magazine.

"Customers do not ask for SOA, they long for the expected business advantages"
"Service orientation combined with BPM means shortening the throughput time and less effort required"
You can read the whole article at the Computable site (In Dutch).

Monday, March 09, 2009

Interesting Twitter discussion

After my last post on doing the SAP Scrum at my current project an interesting discussion evolved on Twitter:

Well I am a bit flattered that @yojibee thought that I was an SAP employee ;-) With "Doing the SAP Scrum" I was only looking for a catching title.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Doing the SAP Scrum

Today I finally finished my blog on the SAP Scrum. We started the second phase of the project by doing things differently, not the traditional waterfall but doing a Scrum.

In this blog you can read about some thoughts that kept me awake:

Why is it so hard to deal with changing requirements? Why is time pressure in a project forwarded to teams that are last in line, like developers and testers?

Read more in SAP Scrum: An agile approach to deliver what is really required.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

SAP NetWeaver CE Install party

On January 13th we gathered for our TopForce Knowledge Night: SAP NetWeaver CE 7.1 EHP1 install party. Goal was to get the CE installed and running on the participants (16) laptops. After installation we planned to build the demo scenario as described in my SDN blog Easy process implementation with SAP NetWeaver BPM. Quite a full program, and we almost made it to the end. As we had to leave the office at 21:30 sharp we ran out of time and could not deploy and test run the application. Despite that we had a great evening with a lot of fun, strange issues (with 16 laptops you can get 16 different error messages) and new SAP NetWeaver BPM enthusiasts.

Temperature is rising, will it work or not?

See Tim looking really seriously to his process composer "Great stuff".
Conclusions of the evening:
  • Without the install manual it is very hard, installing CE is not plug and play
  • Installing the downloaded SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio is even more complicated. Lucky for us that is described very well in the manual as well. But it is still strange that after installing you immediately have to update the installation.
  • Great fun, we can plan a second handson session on BPM

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tutorial on BPM / BRM

It took some time to get the movie recorded and uploaded to the internet. Finally my demo scenario of the last two posts is visible available in a tutorial movie on BPM/BRM.

I hope it will help you explore things in the new SAP NetWeaver BPM world, despite the fuzziness of the movie.

I have added it to the SDN blog, Easy process implementation with SAP NetWeaver BPM / the BRM sequel.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

BRM troubles resolved

Pff, thanks to Arti from SAP Product Management BRM I found out that my BRM troubles were caused by my download release of SAP NetWeaver CE 7.1.

I was using: Build id: 200809132152, downloaded in October 2008. After a fresh download and a complete re-install of CE, I am now using Build id: 200811082206.

Installation of both CE and the IDE is still nog plug and play. But fortunately a very well written manual is delivered with the download: Install&Configure_CE_Preview71EHP1-Dec2008.pdf.

When you experience an error during the CE installation, just click 'Retry' somewhere around step 20. And do that again when the same error pops up. That did the trick during my installation.

I started the installation at 11:06 and it was finished at 12:42, including starting up the CE environment. A new record, 1,5 hour!

The new installation resolved my BRM issues and you can read more about this in my SDN blog: Easy process implementation with SAP NetWeaver BPM / the BRM sequel.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

BRM troubles

During SAP TechEd08 I really got enthusiastic on SAP NetWeaver BPM, formerly known as Galaxy and in 2008 again branded as Galaxy. Especially the integration of the Business Rules engine made me want to try this at home. Personally I feel that BRM is not optional within BPM, it is not a feature, it belongs to the total concept of process orchestration. Without it, BPM is not complete.
So I built a BPM demo for the TopForce Learning Day. A recap of this demo can be found in my SDN blog Easy process implementation with SAP NetWeaver BPM. A simple process but effective enough to show the power of the concept.

I updated this process to implement BRM:

Now I want to implement a business rule with BRM. But unfortunately I can’t get this to work. What I want to do is extend the process with a mapping step in which the rule get called. Within this rule the expense amount gets checked: Under €25 the expense gets validated automatically and above that the manager needs to approve or reject. In BRM this looks like:

In the mapping of the mapping step (strange line ;-) the rule gets called:

On base of a tip given by Arti from SAP on my forum question: Integration of BRM within BPM doesn’t work, I even created a new context in stead of re-using the Web Dynpro context:

Creating a new context is a bit strange, re-using is better/easier. But anyway I tried as I can no longer think of any other options myself.

Unfortunately I can’t get it to work. The process will start but the rule does not behave as expected. Every expense statement gets rejected.

The one thing that is different compared to what I heard during TechEd08 and what I read on SDN, is that I implemented the rule directly in BPM. I did not create a stand alone BRM application that contains the rules and gets called via Java code in a Web Dynpro application. Maybe it will work that way, but that is not how the targeted users of BRM want to implement business rules. They, the BPX-ers, don’t read or write Java code. They orchestrate the business process and rules should be directly implemented while modeling the process.

Who has the answer or solution? I personally think that the integration of BRM within SAP NetWeaver BPM is not finished completely.