What is SAP ChaRM?
SAP Change Request Management (SAP ChaRM) is part of the Solution Manager and is often included in its license. With its predefined processes, this component covers many cases of software change management requirements required for SAP standard environments. It enables tracking of change orders and transport of orders.
Functionality and general processes in SAP ChaRM
SAP ChaRM uses the Central Change and Transport System (cCTS or CTS+). The heart of SAP Change Request Management is an approval workflow for transport management. The central roles and steps in SAP ChaRM are:
- Proposer – posts and justifies change requests
- Change Advisory Board / Change Manager – evaluates the changes in different dimensions and decides as a committee on the change request.
- Developer – develops the change
- Testers – test the changes before releasing them
- Administrator – creates and transports the changes.
- Request for Change: Description of the change request with all important information as well as the expected effects for the processes and users.
- Change Document: The change document results from the approved change request. This describes the change tasks for developers, testers and administrators.
Properties of Change Request Management
Like many SolMan processes, the SAP ChaRM processes are based on the ITIL framework and DevOps mechanisms. You can thus easily integrate yourself into other processes of this process model. In addition, the role model is established and can be easily mapped to responsibilities between IT, test, department, and system operation. Using ChaRM, the responsible departments also bundle many changes in releases and thus automatically set up the release calendar. In this way, change request management supplements or expands pure transport management (TMS).
Benefits and risks with SAP ChaRM
The big advantage of SAP ChaRM: with comparatively little integration effort, all change requests and change documents are located at this central point, from here SAP administrators manage all change activities based on a predefined workflow. All responsibilities, but also the overview of all changes is here. With the release concept, those responsible can verify the consistency of the most varied changes with one another. In this way, you ensure and document the final consistency of the productive landscapes for the release. In this sense, SAP ChaRM not only serves to ensure functional security, project and cost efficiency, but also as a compliance instrument. However, ChaRM also has weaknesses. There is no explicit backend logic. Change Request Management thus masters …
- No versioning of any customizing
- No dependencies between individual components
- No test methodology for objects and their use in target systems
- No automated cross-system checking mechanisms for transport control
SAP ChaRM and SAP S/4HANA
SAP ChaRM is part of the Solution Manager. As such, ChaRM can generally be used for all SAP systems, but SAP S/4HANA offers a native method for handling change requests with HANA Application Lifecycle Management (HALM) . To avoid two parallel change management components, the CTS+ can also be configured for HANA. With this basis, Change Request Management can continue to do its job
Possible uses and costs for SAP ChaRM
ChaRM is part of the Solution Manager and is therefore included in most cases free of charge.
Change Request Management - Implementation via SAP ChaRM or with a third-party tool?
In general, the use of SAP ChaRM in SAP environments is a measure to make change request management clearer. In simple, near-standard environments, ChaRM is a good thing, especially because of the included license. However, in complex environments with a high transport volume, ChaRM also has its technical limits, which are solved either through extensive customizing, strict organizational regulations or with an additional third-party tool. Firnkorn & Stortz consultants can provide support in both fields: organizational and process consulting, or support through the TIA (Transport Impact Analysis) tool. Firnkorn & Stortz advises you on keeping your transports and thus your SAP system highly consistent.
Also, read more on related topics
Your contact at Firnkorn & Stortz on the subject of SAP ChaRM
Firnkorn + Stortz GmbH