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Types of SAP Projects

Updated Apr 14, 2024

SAP implementation has a lot of riding. Thus, a single mistake will cost you so much. A poor SAP implementation will lead to adverse customer experience, brand damage, high loss of revenue, and excessive operational expenditure. Hence, it is crucial to have the best SAP implementation projects.

In this article, you will get to know in detail about SAP implementation projects and other SAP projects along with their functioning, pros, and cons.

Types of SAP Implementation

  1. SAP Implementation Project: It is the collection of effective practices and workflows to design, tune, and build an SAP landscape.
  2. SAP Support Project: In it, the team handles the issues and queries of users, using an already implemented SAP system.
  3. SAP roll-out Project: It refers to be using the existing implementation business process and cycle at a different location.
  4. SAP up-gradation Project: It is undertaken with the motive to upgrade the existing system to the latest released version of SAP.
  5. SAP expansion Project: It refers to expanding the existing systems to new locations, companies, and departments.

SAP Implementation Types

1) SAP Implementation Project

SAP implementation refers to the collective practices and workflows intended to create, design, and tune an SAP landscape. Each SAP implementation is unique. The project is undertaken to reach high-level goals like better communication and an increase in return on information. Therefore, SAP implementation projects require extensive planning and execution with a solid method.

Let's have a look at the phases or steps involved in SAP Implementation Project.

ASAP implementation comprises of five simple steps that are:

  1. Project preparation: In it, you will implement SAP by identifying scope, priorities, and objectives. Your goal is to game support from stakeholders while arranging the resources.
  2. Business blueprint: This step is all about defining the business process for landscape address.
  3. Realization: It is the actual step where the implementation project starts. Using the business blueprint you will start building, testing, and refining the landscape. From this step onwards the work of the functional team will end and the technical team will start playing a major role.
  4. Final preparation: Now, is the right time to make preparations for migration and go-live.
  5. Go Live support: In short, it means flipping the switch to look after the newly implemented landscape project of SAP.

The list of pros and cons of the SAP implementation project is:


  • Streamline Workflows: The SAP implementation project will allow you to handle multiple models in one centralized location.
  • Better Financial Planning: Due availability of forecasting and reporting the data SAP project aids in financial planning and provides real-time data to make the best decision.
  • Improvement in data security and accessibility: A common control system for the organization allows the company to improve its data security and accessibility standards.


  • Slow implementation: It takes a lot of time to adapt to SAP implementation projects.
  • Expensive: a new SAP implementation project will cost you thousands especially if your hardware system is outdated.

There are two common methods of SAP implementation that are Big Bang implementation and phased project implementation.

  1. Big Bang Implementation
  2. Phased Project

Big Bang Implementation

Under Big Bang implementation all your computer systems will start using the project on the same day. Briefly, all the medals will be live at the same time. It is just like turning off your old working system and immediately using the new one.

Generally, organizations select this implementation approach because it is a faster and cheaper option. In this approach, detailed and end-to-end testing along with data validation can aid you to identify problems and bugs if any but will never help you to get the idea of the problem in a single area.

Some common pros and cons of Big Bang implementation are:


  • Quick to implement: You can implement the new system in a single day in your entire organization using this approach.
  • Uniformity: Big Bang implementation allows the usage of a single system in the entire company.
  • Cheaper: As the entire company is using a single system it involves fewer funds.
  • More focused training: Under this system, the training is offered with more focus as no one can identify the issues of a single area.


  1. Difficult testing: Full testing is quite difficult under this approach before going live.
  2. Wider scope of issues: Due to the implementation of a new system in the entire organization the scope of potential system issues increases.

Phased Project

Under this approach, you will roll out the software in a sequence by introducing the new software piece by piece. The phased project does not have one big go-live date but it has numerous small go-live dates. Thus, offering your system and staff more time to adapt to the changes.

Some common pros and cons of the phased project are:


  • Better Adjustment: Due to the piece-by-piece SAP implementation of the entire system everyone gets enough time to properly adjust and adapt to the new system.
  • Comprehensive Testing: More comprehensive incremental testing is possible under this approach.
  • Easy to fix smaller problems: Phased SAP implementation allows you to find out the smaller bugs and issues in a single area which allows the technical team to fix them quickly and with the utmost ease.


  • Costly: The longer timelines result in higher implementation and consulting costs. Even sometimes you need to spend some amount on the development of interface tools. Thus, making it an expensive option.
  • Delay in ROI: Return on investment is delayed due to the last time gap between this starting and the final date of implementation.

2) SAP Support Project

SAP support project is also known as an issue tracking system because it handles tickets. Under this project, the errors and bugs from the end-users are forwarded to the support team to categorize them into the level of severity i.e. low, medium, or high.

For example, a company is continuously upgrading its software i.e. moving from older versions to new ones (4.5, 4.6 ECC5 to ECC6). In such cases, the support team will assist the entire organization for better SAP implementation.

Each level of severity has its own duration to fix so we need to fix the error between the duration.

The pros and cons of this project are similar to that of SAP implementation projects. However, no one can deny that the SAP support project is the foundation for improving the functionality and increasing SAP knowledge to the community of users. Show respective of your situation try to optimize SAP and surrounding business processes for boosting user satisfaction by implementing SAP support project.

3) SAP Roll-Out Project

SAP rollout project means reusing the traditional implementation cycle and business processes at the new place.

For example, for one client if the company develops a global template solution and go-live with a few countries. Subsequently, it adds local processes in the solution of another site and again went live is termed as an SAP roll-out project.

For this project, you need to do some fundamental settings as per the location of the implementation. There is no need to do the entire work from scratch. All you have to do is to work on logos, company code, and printouts. Also, change the people integration and Management as per the company’s requirement.

However, while implementing the SAP rollout project you need to pay special attention to geographical concentrations.

Pros and cons of SAP roll-out projects are:


  • Speedy: It increases the speed of the new implementation project and helps you to meet the timelines or deadlines.
  • Controlled budget: Under SAP Roll-out projects don't need everything new, so helping you to implement the new system within the control budget.


  • Existence of old systems: The only disadvantage of this project is that you still need to use some software from your current system.

4) SAP Upgradation Project

It is a periodic project that companies implement to upgrade their system to the latest version. Under this project, the goal of the company is to technically upgrade and to cover the evolution of the SAP technical enhancement package.

For instance, if a company wishes to upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0, it needs to implement this project. As a company needs to change its operating system hardware and database platform. Plus they need to perform a Unicode conversion.

This up-gradation project allows the companies to select from the two strategies that are resource minimize strategy and the downtime minimize strategy. The technical team needs to select this strategy for this project after a deep evaluation of technical considerations and economic needs.

Steps involved under the SAP up-gradation project are:

  1. System Preparation
  2. SPDD phase
  3. Upgradation of the system
  4. SPAU phase
  5. Testing
  6. Z programs
  7. Post-program upgrade activities


  • Benefits from Innovations: An upgrade project allows your company to enjoy the benefits of innovations and upgrades of SAP.


  • Critical Testing: The SAP up-gradation project requires deep testing to identify critical issues which can lead to the failure of the entire system which is a time-consuming and expensive process.

5) SAP Expansion Project

All companies opt for the SAP expansion project during its growth years. However, there are certain cases under which an organization is obliged to opt for this SAP project that is:

  • At the time of acquiring a new company from the same industry.
  • During the opening of a new branch at a new geographical location.
  • When a company needs a fresh Logistics and allocation plant due to the installation of new facilities.

These scenarios involve the expansion of the company or the growth of the company. Thus, needs an implementation of the SAP expansion project.

The pros and cons of this project are similar to the implementation project as it is part of SAP implementation.


This was all about the SAP implementation projects, their types, approaches, pros, and cons. Select an SAP implementation project as per your requirements, factors, budget, and methodology.