The Crucial Role of Project Landscape in your ERP Data Migration, Separation, or Merger Projects 

Published: January 17, 2024

In the realm of data migration, separation, or merger projects, the term “project landscape” refers to a dedicated test environment strategically crafted to be independent of both the source and target environments. The project landscape stands as a neutral ground, detached from the intricacies of both the existing source system and the intended target environment. This separation is crucial to conduct comprehensive testing without the risk of interference with live production systems. 

Whether it is SAP, JD Edwards or any other ERP system, embarking on the journey of data migration, separation (carve-out), or merger (carve-in) projects requires a meticulous approach, and at the heart of this process is the establishment of a proper project landscape. In this blog, we explore the importance of creating an optimal environment and delve into key considerations, additional aspects, and an understanding of what a project landscape entails. 

One of the primary motivations for setting up a dedicated project landscape is to facilitate robust and accurate testing. This involves assessing both performance and functionality to identify potential issues before they impact live production systems. Additionally, this is an opportunity for the project team to build familiarity with the new ERP system. 

A well-defined project landscape minimizes the risk to live production systems. By creating a controlled testing environment, you reduce the chances of unintended consequences and disruptions during the migration, separation, or merger process. 

Isolating the project environment eliminates the possibility of accidental external communication, ensuring that sensitive information remains within the confines of the testing phase, protecting the integrity of your data and systems.  It also prevents cross-talk with other live systems.  This separation is crucial to maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of data, preventing any interference with ongoing operations. 

Creating an optimal project landscape enables multiple test cycle iterations and allows the project team to reset the environment between cycles. This iterative approach refines the migration and transformation processes, fine-tunes functional systems, and facilitates integration testing, resulting in a more robust and thoroughly validated solution. This iterative approach is instrumental in identifying and rectifying potential issues before they can impact the live production systems. Having a clean backup of your source and target environments allows for defined reset points and shorter reset times between test cycles. 

The ability to conduct multiple test cycles translates to a more optimized final process. This minimizes production downtime during the cutover phase (typically a weekend), ensuring a smoother transition from testing to live operations.   

For accurate estimations of timing for the final cutover, it’s imperative to mirror the final target landscape in terms of performance and sizing. This alignment provides a realistic preview of how the systems will behave in the live environment. 

In addition to technical sizing, the project system should start with a copy of the source system’s data.  This will ensure comprehensive testing of both the transformation process and the business processes within the system itself. 

Granting appropriate access to the project and testing teams is a crucial consideration. Adequate permissions, procedure, and clear roles streamline the testing process and enhance collaboration among team members.  Security will need to be thoughtfully considered to ensure each team member only has access in a timely manner to the data required for their work.  In the case of a separation, there may be legal considerations regarding sign-off of data leaving the source environment. 

In addition to replicating the production ERP system, a well-designed project landscape may include select critical ancillary applications and/or interfaces. Verifying the seamless interaction between various components ensures that the integrated systems functions as intended, minimizing post-implementation issues. 

Establishing a project landscape offers a myriad of benefits: 

  • Risk Mitigation: Minimizes the risk of unintended consequences and disruptions to live production systems. 
  • Isolation: Eliminates accidental external communication and cross-talk with live systems, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of data. 
  • Multiple Iterations: Enables the execution of multiple test cycles, refining the migration processes and minimizing production downtime during cutover. 

In essence, the project landscape is the cornerstone of meticulous testing, providing a safe and controlled space for project teams to perfect the intricacies of data migration, separation, or merger projects. It is an indispensable element in the pursuit of project success and the seamless transition from testing to live operations. Ultimately, helping the project hit milestones within an expected period and staying within budget. 

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