SAP Best Practices: Definition, Meaning and Use

Those who use SAP Best Practices benefit several times over. The standards simplify and accelerate business processes and make companies more flexible. They also help with the changeover to SAP S/4HANA.

What is meant by SAP Best Practices?

SAP Best Practices are preconfigured, integrated, out-of-the-box business processes. SAP has optimized the Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA.

Simply put, these are "turnkey" solutions, tried and tested standards. Basically, it is always about the best way to implement a business process - for example, in accounting or logistics.

Best-practice solutions enable companies to meet their basic requirements. In addition, companies can use best practices to accelerate the implementation of SAP's software suite.

The individual, activatable units of the best practices are called scope items. Scope items are therefore instances of SAP Best Practices.

SAP Best Practices are based on the experience and knowledge gained from a large number of customer projects: Any company that decides to purchase an SAP system therefore does not just acquire the pure software. It also benefits from the experience gained by other companies in the same sector or industry, which is then incorporated as know-how into the development of SAP software and, in particular, the Best Practices.

SAP Best Practices are an integral part of SAP Activate, the implementation methodology for SAP S/4HANA. SAP Activate is a methodology that is suitable for the implementation of cloud, hybrid and on-premise systems.

The SAP Best Practices for cloud solutions are particularly interesting - here, the proven processes serve as a basis. With the help of the best practices, companies can build their architecture faster and then also go live more quickly.

The extensibility of such cloud architectures is also guaranteed: Suitable SAP Fiori apps based on the standards are available for almost any requirement. Programming your own apps is also possible.

For which processes are SAP Best Practices available?

There are best practices for almost all processes of companies, both from an industry-specific and a business perspective. Best Practices exist for

  • Business processes (for a wide range of requirements and industries),
  • analyses (e.g., ready-made reports), for the
  • user experience (e.g. SAP Fiori overview pages), migration (from
  • migration (from SAP or non-SAP systems to SAP S/4HANA), the
  • integration (e.g. with SAP Ariba or SAP C/4HANA), the
  • transformation or even the
  • Configuration of SAP S/4HANA.

In the area of business processes, there are best practices - for example, in the area of FI (Finance) - for accounting and financial statements, for accounts payable and accounts receivable, and for profit and cost analyses.

Almost all relevant areas are therefore already covered in the standard. This also applies, for example, to the best practices for user and role management and corresponding authorizations and authorization concepts.

The predecessors SAP BAiO and RDS

Best practices were first introduced at SAP with the SAP Business All-in-One (SAP BAiO) solution for small and medium-sized enterprises. That was over ten years ago. At that time, the preconfigured solution packages were based on the SAP ERP system and made implementation easier and faster. The packages were available for download.

With Rapid Development Solutions (RDS), SAP later extended the concept of best practices to large companies. Unlike earlier solutions such as RDS, however, with SAP Activate the best practices are now already part of the product, in this case SAP S/4HANA.

Are there best practices for installing and configuring SAP S/4HANA?

With SAP Activate, SAP also provides best practices for the transformation, migration, integration and configuration of SAP S/4HANA. This simplifies the entire implementation and leads to a shorter payback time.

Read more about the importance of SAP Best Practices when implementing SAP S/4HANA and choosing a suitable target architecture.

What is the best practice process for moving to SAP S/4HANA?

The methodology for implementing SAP S/4HANA is called SAP Activate. This approach, developed specifically for SAP's ERP solution, is designed to facilitate and simplify the implementation and operation of SAP S/4HANA. SAP Activate therefore includes

  • Best practices for business processes, but also
  • implementation methodology (Methodology) and guided configuration (Guided Configuration).
  • Guided Configuration.

SAP Activate is a unified approach for different operating models (on-premise, cloud or hybrid) and different scenarios (greenfield, brownfield or selective migration). The methodology can be used by small companies as well as by corporations, by new SAP customers as well as by existing customers.

The Activate methodology is a framework that is divided into phases. These phases must be worked through one after the other. The phases, in turn, are divided into further steps and activities. SAP Activate is - despite this sequence - a hybrid project method, i.e. a mixture of a classic waterfall model and agile methods.

The framework is divided into six phases:

  • Discover,
  • Prepare,
  • Explore (Analyze),
  • Realize,
  • Deploy, and
  • Run.

The basis of the Activate methodology are the so-called Accelerators. They are available for every phase and every work area of an implementation and include checklists, templates, instructions, and tools. With the help of these tools, the implementation of SAP S/4HANA can be accelerated and simplified.

With the so-called Model Company, SAP provides a preconfigured test system in the cloud. It is based on SAP Best Practices and includes predefined structures and sample data. Companies can get to know the software suite and the HANA in-memory database "in practice" under these conditions.

With the SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance - a fully activated test version - SAP S/4HANA can be tried and tested in an even more differentiated manner. Thus, different scenarios can be tested - in the cloud or on-premise - which contain more or less SAP Best Practices in terms of scope. In addition, companies can also use the appliance as a proof-of-concept and development system.

The SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance can be hosted or installed - as a personal instance - within a few hours in the cloud or within a few days on an on-premise system.

What is the role of SAP Activate?

SAP Activate is the foundation for the implementation of SAP S/4HANA - a methodology that includes best practices, methods for implementation, and tools for guided configuration. SAP Activate is the successor to the ASAP (formerly for on-premise implementations) and SAP Launch (formerly for cloud implementations) methodologies.

Why does it pay to consistently rely on best practice processes?

Using best practices has many advantages:

  • ready-to-use, preconfigured solutions
  • proven business processes as a basis
  • more simplicity, flexibility and speed
  • faster and easier implementation
  • lower risk during the implementation of SAP S/4HANA
  • structured guidance for further improvements
  • foundation to realize innovations faster
  • easier maintenance and service

What is SAP Best Practice Explorer?

The SAP Best Practice Explorer was a web-based tool. The service was discontinued at the end of June 2023.

Many functions of the SAP Best Practice Explorer are now covered by the SAP Signavio Process Navigator, which can be used together with the SAP Signavio Process Explorer.

All incoming requests to the SAP Best Practices Explorer are automatically forwarded to the SAP Signavio Process Navigator.

What is SAP Signavio Process Navigator?

The SAP Signavio Process Navigator is a free service that is integrated into SAP for Me.

The SAP Signavio Process Navigator - in addition to the SAP Signavio Process Explorer - provides the details for use specifically for the SAP portfolio.

According to SAP, it contains solution scenarios such as Lead to Cash or Plan to Fulfill, solution processes, test scripts, implementation details and solution components.

To access the SAP Signavio Process Navigator, you need to log in and have the appropriate S- or P-user access.

What is SAP Signavio Process Explorer?

The SAP Signavio Process Explorer provides value accelerators and resources. It was launched at the beginning of 2023.

These include business capability and solution maps, process models, metrics, best practices from numerous industries and recommendations for SAP best practices and products.

Is there an overview of "SAP Best Practices documents" from SAP?

If you are interested in a specific best-practice solution and its functions, you will find all the information you need in the SAP Signavio Process Navigator.

Matthias Mueller01 1444x1444px

Matthias Müller, Senior Sales Executive

Do you have any questions about best practices? Feel free to call or write me.

+49 2241 8845 622


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