Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SAP ASAP Methodology - Part 1

Enterprise application software has to cover a broad spectrum of functionality, yet be configured flexibly enough to meet specific requirements, which can vary enormously. SAP’s answers to this challenge are AcceleratedSAP and the R/3 Business Engineer, providing a comprehensive solution for implementing R/3 quickly, easily, and according to your own needs even during productive operation.
Born out of the need to cost effectively configure R/3 to order, AcceleratedSAP and the Business R/3 Engineer support custom configuration of R/3. You can tailor the R/3 components, functions and organizational structures to your needs, hiding and/or deactivating those functions that are not required.
Fig. 1: The R/3 Business Engineer Complements ASAP
AcceleratedSAP (ASAP) is SAP's standard implementation methodology. It contains the Roadmap, a step-by-step guide that incorporates experience from many years of implementing R/3. Along with that, AcceleratedSAP contains a multitude of tools, accelerators and useful information to assist all team members in implementing R/3. Quality checks are incorporated at the end of each phase to easily monitor deliverables and critical success factors. ASAP is delivered as a PC-based package, so that - if required - an implementation project can begin prior to having an R/3 System installed.
The R/3 Business Engineer contains a set of configuration and implementation tools which enable you or your consultants to define and configure R/3 and also to adapt an existing configuration to new needs or changed circumstances. The Business Engineer is resident to R/3.
So that its customers can implement R/3 as quickly as possible, SAP has standardized the implementation procedure, simplified the way functions are presented and reduced the technical complexity of implementation.
AcceleratedSAP and the Business Engineer help you configure R/3 according to your own needs using proven, industry-specific business scenarios and processes. Whether implementing new processes in your enterprise or restructuring old ones, R/3 can release the full potential of change for you. AcceleratedSAP and the Business Engineer help you determine which of R/3’s proven processes are most suited to your business, and then help you configure to meet your specific needs. The benefit is obvious: Restructuring enterprise processes in the R/3 System leads to a rapid and efficient production startup, meaning a faster return on investment.
By simplifying configuration, ASAP and the Business Engineer make the power of R/3 more accessible, helping companies to lower their dependence on expensive specialists or outside consultants. The user-friendliness of ASAP and the Business Engineer make them particularly suitable for the following groups:
Business professionals who need to discuss, prototype and design their business blueprint (enterprise model)
IS departments of large enterprises who need to customize R/3 applications more efficiently and more rapidly
Small and medium-sized companies previously wary of implementing R/3 because of the perceived scale of such projects
Consultants and SAP partners looking for an efficient way of offering their customers configure-to-order or wishing to develop R/3-based solutions for niche markets
Together, AcceleratedSAP and the Business Engineer empower you to manage cost, time and quality without compromising on implementation requirements. Some of the features offered are:
 Reduced implementation times and faster return on investment through structured planning and preconfiguration
Intuitive understanding of the wide range of functions offered by R/3
Process optimization using proven scenarios, processes and value chains, illustrating clearly the software’s capabilities and offering practical help when you configure the R/3 System.
 High quality installations through comprehensive procedural guidelines
 Optimizing business processes using SAP Business Workflow, via process monitoring and automation of procedures
Continuous, dynamic adjustment and optimization of R/3 applications
The capability to copy configured areas, for example, by transferring existing settings to new organizational units.
AcceleratedSAP and the Business Engineer are designed for openness and new platforms, using HTML-based documentation. Compatibility with many third-party modeling tools and software packages, for example, Microsoft Excel, is ensured.
Available Tools
Embarking on an implementation project requires a lot of careful thought beforehand. You need to think about what you want to accomplish, the optimum sequence, and the business cases that are best suited to your needs. But SAP has already done a lot of the thinking for you and packaged its findings in the following tools. They are then described in more detail in the following chapters organized according to the corresponding AcceleratedSAP phases.
AcceleratedSAP (ASAP): A comprehensive solution for the introduction of the R/3 System in your enterprise. ASAP and most of its tools can be used independently of an R/3 installation.
The tools available for AcceleratedSAP are:
The Project Estimator, an internal SAP tool which enables SAP consultants to accurately gauge the required resources, the costs and the time frame of implementation. The Project Estimator takes into account the project scope and several project and risk factors.
The Concept Check Tool, a tool enabling you to carry out quality checks on the project preparation, technical infrastructure and R/3 configuration settings. This is done mainly during the first two implementation phases of the R/3 project. In this way you are alerted to potential data volume and configuration conflicts that could lead to performance issues if not addressed.
The Implementation Assistant: The ASAP navigation tool that accompanies you through the five phases of implementation down to the task level. It includes a description and a detailed "how-to" for each task in the Roadmap. Along with that, many tools, templates and documents are hyperlinked to the task. The Implementation Assistant contains the following elements:
ASAP Implementation Roadmap and Project Plan. The Roadmap contains the five phases, from which you can drill down into work packages, activities and tasks. The Project Plan contains three components, a budget plan, a resource plan and a work plan. These are explained in more detail in the next chapter.
The ASAP Roadmap is the successor of the R/3-based Procedure Model, which was used until Rel. 3.1 in R/3 implementation projects.
Knowledge Corner, containing tips and tricks for configuration from consultants, detailed documentation on SAP’s implementation services, information on technical tools, as well as simplification guidebooks and R/3 Customizing wizards.
Question and Answer Database (Q&Adb). Using the R/3 Reference Model structure, the Q&Adb is used to assist in gathering requirements for business processes, conversions, reports, interfaces, enhancements and authorizations. The database provides useful questionnaires to help you define the process needs and also serves as a repository for all this information. Since it is a database, it allows for flexible reporting. The business requirements generated from the Q&Adb are collectively known as the Business Blueprint.
Business Process Master List, to manage configuration, testing and the creation of end user documentation. The Business Process Master List is linked to pre-written Business Process Procedures (BPPs), detailled end-user documentation for R/3 transactions.
Issues Database: supporting project management, this database supports the entering, monitoring and managing of issues that come up during the project.
R/3 Business Engineer: The implementation tools for the high-quality configuration of the R/3 System are:
R/3 Reference Model: Comprehensive graphical process flows describing the R/3 functionality from different points of view. It contains scenarios, processes and functions, as well as components. The R/3 Reference Model can be viewed using SAP's Business Navigator and the Business Navigator Web, or using third-party modeling tools available from modeling partners.
Implementation Guide (IMG): Used to configure all system parameters for the business processes in R/3. It contains project management functionality and a menu-driven view of all R/3 Customizing activities. Every activity can be documented in detail, and responsibilities and statuses can be assigned.
Preconfigured systems:
Preconfigured US and Canadian clients: Provides a head start on baseline configuration. It includes a preconfigured US/Canadian chart of accounts, print forms, account determination, units of measure, etc. The predefined test sequences that are included can be a starting point for integration testing.
Preconfigured industry systems: A number of complete preconfigured clients consisting of an industry-specific model and preconfigured business processes for the needs of a particular industry in R/3 are available. For more information on preconfigured systems, see the description of Phase 2, Business Blueprint or the information on the IDES System in this chapter.
Continuous Business Engineering
In today’s fast-moving, ever-changing business climate, companies are in a constant state of flux and their mission-critical applications must adapt and evolve at the same speed. If software cannot grow with the needs of a company, the company will quickly find itself in a straightjacket.
Furthermore, an ERP application needs to let you move forward fast, knowing that you can roll back changes without downtime.
An enterprise's organizational structure and the corresponding R/3 implementation created using the Business Engineer are not "set in concrete", they can be modified at any time. Examples of possible changes, which can be made rapidly include the following:
Addition or removal of entities within the organization structure (for example, business units, production plants, warehouses, etc.)
Introduction of new staff, promotion, reallocation of work tasks, and maintenance of authorization profiles
Changes to the reporting or cost/profit center structure
New and concurrent currencies
Accommodation of changed legal requirements (for example, new tax rates, new employment legislation)
Activation or deactivation of R/3 functions
Optimization of business processes
Support for new and multiple versions of R/3
In addition, SAP offers a range of services if you want support for some of these changes, for example, conversion services to support mergers and acquisitions. Standard Euro services are a further example of the available services.
AcceleratedSAP and R/3 Business Engineer take the hassle out of implementation procedures and change management. Modifications can be made at any time, and the compatibility of changes can be verified with other configuration decisions, thus supporting their smooth, trouble-free introduction into the productive system.

AcceleratedSAP is a comprehensive solution for the implementation of the R/3 System, comprising a proven methodology, tools and a range of services for the rapid implementation and ongoing optimization of R/3 installations.
The AcceleratedSAP Roadmap and accompanying Project Plan provide a standard implementation "how-to guide" that fills in the gaps of diverse methodologies and varying individual implementation skills and experiences.
The effectiveness of AcceleratedSAP has been demonstrated many times over at companies around the world. The Business Engineer plays a central role in AcceleratedSAP projects, being used for completion of configuration tasks.
Fig. XX: Breakdown of ASAP phases in the Implementation Assistant
The AcceleratedSAP Roadmap covers the different aspects and phases of an implementation. In the Roadmap, a detailed project plan is included for the five phases. The Roadmap provides a standard repeatable procedure for implementing the R/3 System, including project management, configuration of business processes, technical, testing and training aspects. The Roadmap serves as a backbone to AcceleratedSAP. It is located within the Implementation Assistant, a PC-based navigation tool that also contains the AcceleratedSAP accelerators.
The ASAP Accelerators represent a collection of descriptions, how-to's, templates and examples on all subjects relating to the implementation of the R/3 System. Some are short information texts on a particular subject, others are longer texts such as white papers. There are also a number of predefined and empty templates or forms which you can use when carrying out your implementation. The SAP Simplification Group's guidebooks are included. There are about 350 accelerators for AcceleratedSAP 4.0, and they can be accessed from an alphabetical list, as well as being linked to the individual roadmap How-to's.
There are four levels to the roadmap – phase, work package, activity, task. As you dig deeper into the levels, you will find more detailed information, from an overview description at the phase level down to a "how-to" procedure, role assignment, triggers, and tips and tricks.
It is essential that you create a project plan when starting your ASAP implementation project. Project plans have three parts:
The Budget Plan contains the projected costs by month, against the actual costs and calculates the variance.
The Resource Plan contains the resources assigned to the R/3 implementation. It displays the planned and actual number of workdays per month, as well as the variance between the two. It also contains a cumulative planned hours work sheet.
The Work Plan contains a detailed set of phases, work packages, activities, and tasks from the AcceleratedSAP Roadmap. This information is organized in a project management planning tool (MS-Project or Excel spreadsheet). A Gantt Chart is contained within this work plan to view schedules, dependencies and resources in MS-Project.
Three sample project plans are included for a six-month duration, a nine-month duration, and an upgrade project plan. If the Project Estimator is used during the sales cycle and Project Preparation Phase, your individual project plan is generated automatically, taking into consideration company-specific risk factors. The project plan makes sure that nothing is forgotten and that all activities can be tracked and managed. This means, for instance, that the planning for data transfer and the development and testing of interfaces is already included in the project plan.
It is now possible to implement more than one ASAP project at a time. During installation, Rel. 4.0 of ASAP asks you to specify a project name that will apply to the files being installed. In a multi-project environment a new Project Selector icon on your desktop allows you to set the active project, remove projects and review file locations.
You can select installed components such as the Implementation Assistant and Q&Adb in the respective projects as required. Each project is completely separate from the others, so in fact projects installed on the same server could be at different update levels.
AcceleratedSAP is a complete implementation solution. This means that in addition to the Roadmap, the AcceleratedSAP solution contains numerous tools and also references SAP education and services to ensure maximum time savings and a high quality implementation.
AcceleratedSAP uses the Business Engineer implementation tools at all relevant steps. In the figure below, for example, the conceptual design is based on the R/3 Reference Model in Phase 2 (Business Blueprint), whereas the Implementation Guide is accessed from ASAP Phase 3 (Realization).
Fig. 2: AcceleratedSAP Implementation Roadmap and R/3 Business Engineer
Service and Support
ASAP leverages SAP's service and support offering, that is, all the services relating to the SAP R/3 environment. EarlyWatch® Services, concept reviews, and GoingLiveTM checks are just part of the service palette which ensure total quality and let you effectively tune your R/3 System. At appropriate steps in the Roadmap, service products are mentioned and decision support is provided to determine whether you need a particular service. For example, if you have a high volume of transactions, certain tuning services can assist you in optimizing system performance.
Crucial to a fast and cost-effective R/3 implementation are well-trained project teams and highly competent consultants. SAP's innovative R/3 Info Database (InfoDB) ensures that customer and partner employees involved in implementing, servicing and using R/3 have all the qualifications they need. The InfoDB refers to a new training concept based on a new curriculum, which also includes multimedia courses.
Level 1 courses provide an overview of the R/3 environment.
Level 2 courses introduce you to fundamental business processes.
Level 3 courses focus on providing detailed information.
Organizational Change Management
The positive motivation of employees is a key factor in ensuring a successful implementation project. However, most organizations know, or will at least assume that the R/3 implementation will trigger wider changes in the organization. Left unmanaged, these expected impacts could be viewed negatively. Therefore, any change management program must minimize the implementation risks, acccelerate the implementation process, and align SAP with the customer's organization.
ASAP's Change Management is done via a risk assessment tool, by which assessments carried out will help a customer's team deal with issues of credibility, organizational impact, and individual impact of R/3 implementation. Implementing change management procedures involves accelerating the implementation by means such as a matrix that defines the degree to which jobs and responsibilities will be changed after R/3 implementation. The other aspect is to work with executive sponsors to redesign the organization's structure or reporting relationships, for example. The ASAP change management methodology enables you to review and revise the types and sequencing of change tasks, change activities, change packages and change accelerators.
A change task is a specific job or function to be completed by the change team.
Two or more change tasks roll up into a change activity.
A change package is a collection of change activities.
Change accelerators are the tools and/or materials that speed up the team's implementation of a processs, activity or task.
Knowledge Corner
The Knowledge Corner contains alphabetized information on all aspects of AcceleratedSAP as well as a lot of tips and tricks for configuration. The information provided here is very helpful during requirements gathering and configuration. The goals of the Knowledge Corner are:
To provide application consultants with detailed information and alternatives to configure and understand specific functionality within the R/3 System.
To provide detailed information about peripheral activities, such as support services and access to hotline activity.
To provide tips and tricks on R/3 implementation activities such as data conversion, authorization management, and forms development.
Some of the newer elements found in the Knowledge Corner are:
A link to the R/3 Interface Adviser, which provides a central pool of information to help you design and implement permanent interfaces between SAP R/3 components and non-SAP systems.
The R/3 Structure Modeler, which lets you graphically visualize the R/3 System organizational structures of your enterprise using the Structure Modeler Visio® template. Please note, you must be a licensed Visio® user to use this Accelerator.
The Report Navigator, which provides a directory of more than 2,000 operational reports available in standard R/3. The Operational Reports in R/3 help you pull and analyze critical transactional information regarding your business. You can use the R/3 Report Navigator to select the report that is optimal for the information you want to retrieve about your business transactions.
Available Languages
Primary components of AcceleratedSAP are available in German and English, as well as Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Accelerated Quality Review
SAP's Accelerated Quality Review provides an independent and objective management review of your R/3 implementation project and identifies any risks to the project goals. This service is standard in all TeamSAP projects. Among others, the benefits are early recognition of potential risk areas, improved adherence to project schedules, lower cost, and faster implementation times.
Fig. 7: Checking and quality tools around ASAP
The Quality Review program offered by SAP is not a review of the project for conformance to the ASAP tools and templates, but rather assists the executive management and project manager at customer sites in providing a second opinion of the implementation progress towards achieving the project goals. The scope of the review is to investigate the application, technical and project management areas of the implementation. The review looks for good implementation practices while following a prescribed methodology.
TeamSAP refers to the coordinated network of people, processes and products from SAP and partners that delivers continuous, fast, integrated and assured solutions. AcceleratedSAP is the main process component of TeamSAP.
The people: SAP employees and certified implementation partners providing leadership, project coordination and know-how to implement, maintain and support R/3 based on your requirements.
The processes: AcceleratedSAP with the embedded Business Engineer functionality, as well as integrated support, services and training on all levels.
The products: The R/3 System with its strategic product architecture and open interfaces, providing both scalability and flexibility in an ever-changing business environment. Also, hardware and software products from hundreds of complementary software partners and hardware providers certified by SAP.
Fig. 3: Elements of TeamSAP
TeamSAP supports the concept of business change as a continuum. The goal is to offer SAP customers a full complement of TeamSAP resources to enable rapid technology upgrades or change-outs for access to new functionality. With respect to ASAP, this means that TeamSAP partners are available to carry out implementations, as well as ASAP-certified partners to carry out "Powered by ASAP projects". TeamSAP projects refer to projects carried out by TeamSAP partners, the use of ASAP or Powered-By implementation methodology, Project Quality Review, the assignment of an SAP Coach, and SAP's support on the project's steering committee. All of these are factors contributing to a successful implementation.
The following key benefits will enable you to carry out a more effective R/3 implementation and make effective use of your available resources:
AcceleratedSAP helps to manage a "Big Bang" implementation strategy with the focus on essential business processes.
There is a high degree of planning accuracy (time, costs, resources) through the Project Estimator and the Business Blueprint.
AcceleratedSAP lays the foundation for continuous change and efficient reconfiguration when business or legal requirements change.
You have a uniform approach to R/3 implementations among partners and consultants worldwide.
There is an assured quality and know-how transfer during implementation.
You can reuse the results of your configuration for subsequent implementation projects.
You have reduced implementation costs and quicker ROI.

Phase 1: Project Preparation
In this phase of the ASAP Roadmap, decision-makers define clear project objectives and an efficient decision-making process. A project charter is issued, an implementation strategy is outlined, and the project team as well as its working environment are established.
The first step is for the project managers to set up the implementation project(s). They draw up a rough draft of the project, appoint the project team and hold a kickoff meeting. The kickoff meeting is critical, since at this time the project team and process owners become aware of the project charter and objectives and are allocated their responsibilities, lasting throughout the project.
Initial Project Scope/Technical Requirements
As the reference point for initial project scope, and updates or changes to the R/3 implementation, the project team can use the Enterprise Area Scope Document to compare the enterprise’s requirements with the business processes and functions offered by R/3. In this way the project scope is roughly defined from a business and IT view. The former view concentrates on the enterprise’s business processes that are to be supported by IT; the latter focuses on the IT required, down to the network and memory requirements.
Project Organization and Roles
One of the first work packages in Phase 1 is the definition of the overall project team and the specification of project roles to be assumed during implementation.
The main roles in an implementation project are that of the project manager, the application consultants, the business process team leader, the technical project leader/systems adminstrator, and the development project leader.
The project manager is responsible for planning and carrying out the project.
The application consultant creates the Business Blueprint by identifying the business process requirements, configures the R/3 System together with the business process team, transfers knowledge to the customer team members and assists the business process team with testing.
The business process team lead at the customer site manages the work involved in analyzing and documenting the enterprise's business processes. This person directs and works with the business process team members, process owners, and users in order to develop the R/3 design, configure the system and validate the design. Furthermore, this person ensures that the R/3 implementation is tested and documented, and obtains agreement from both the business process owners and users.
The technical team lead at the customer site is responsible for managing the completion of all technical project deliverables. The technical team lead works with the Project Manager to complete the technical requirements planning, and to plan and manage the technical scope and resources schedule. The technical team lead is also responsible for the overall technical architecture of the R/3 System.
The development project lead is responsible for managing the definition, development and testing of necessary conversions, interfaces, reports, enhancements and authorizations.
The R/3 system administrator is responsible for configuring, monitoring, tuning, and troubleshooting the R/3 technical environment on an ongoing basis, as well as performing checks, tasks, and backups within the technical environment, scheduling and executing the R/3 transport system and Computing Center Management System (CCMS). The R/3 system administrator manages and executes the R/3 installations, upgrades and system patches.
An example of an accelerator in ASAP is the "Project Staffing User Guide", which outlines all of the project roles, expectations, time commitments and responsibilities for everyone involved in the implementation. It also contains pre-defined organizational chart templates for the implementation team.
Implementation Scope
Phase 1 includes a scoping document called the Enterprise Area Scope Document, which is based on the R/3 Reference Model and can be generated using the Project Estimator. It contains high-level user-defined views of the scope of the project, as well as defining the corresponding plants, sites, distribution channels, and legal entities. This scoping document maps to the Question & Answer Database (Q&Adb), which is used in Phase 2 to determine the detailed process and development requirements.
ASAP includes many document and reporting templates, as well as examples that can be used to help determine implementation standards and procedures. Procedures for scope changes, issue resolution, and team communication need to be defined. AcceleratedSAP provides you with instructions, examples and templates to put these procedures in place.
One of the most important procedures to be defined in Phase 1 is how to carry out project documentation, in particular R/3 System design documentation. For information on project decisions, issue resolution, or configuration changes required at a later date, good project documentation is invaluable. The following types of documentation should be defined in this phase and maintained throughout the project:
Project deliverables
Project work papers and internal project team documentation
Business processes to be implemented
R/3 design specifications for enterprise-specific enhancements
Documentation on R/3 configuration and Customizing settings
End user documentation
Code corrections using OSS notes or Hot Packages
Service reports and documentation.
More information on documenting the R/3 configuration can be found in Phase 3.
System Landscape and Technical Requirements
In Phase 1, the project team decides on the system landscape, as well as on the high-level strategies for creating R/3 clients, implementing new releases and transporting system settings. One R/3 System can be divided into multiple clients as needed, thus allowing for the handling of separate enterprises in one R/3 installation.
The technical requirements for implementing R/3 include defining the infrastructure needed and procuring the hardware and the necessary interfaces. For this purpose, you can make use of the Quick Sizing Service, which can be accessed via SAPNet.
The Quick Sizing Tool, or Quick Sizer calculates CPU, disk and memory resource categories based on the number of users working with the different components of the R/3 System in a hardware and database independent format. The tool intends to give customers an idea of the system size necessary to run the required workload, and therefore provides input for initial budget planning. It also offers the possibility of transactional/quantity-based sizing, therefore enabling customers to include their batch load in the sizing as well.
The Quick Sizing Service should be used as an input for hardware partners to identify your hardware needs and also get an idea of the probable size of the needed hardware configuration for project and budget planning reasons.
The archiving concept is drawn up in Phase 1. Regular, targeted archiving optimizes your hardware use and avoids performance problems. With the Remote Archiving Service, SAP enables you to outsource all the tasks associated with archiving the data in your R/3 System and have them performed by SAP specialists. As part of this service, SAP also customizes the archiving configuration in your system or verifies the current configuration. However, the Remote Archiving Service cannot provide the concept for your archiving strategy - it must be worked out as part of your implementation project.
It might seem too early to discuss archiving at this stage. However, eperience has shown that it is important to define the strategy as early as possible to ensure that archiving can be carried out when needed later.
Issues Database
Managing and resolving issues that come up during the project is an essential responsibility of the project manager and is fundamental to the success of an implementation. The focus of the manager should be to resolve or prevent issues. However, escalation procedures need to be in place in case an issue cannot be solved by the project team. Typically, issues must be resolved before phase completion or before beginning the next phase.
Issues can be regarded as hurdles that are identified during a project and may influence the success of the project. They can be:
Unanticipated tasks
Normal tasks that cannot be completed
External factors that need to be dealt with
The Issues Database allows the project team to enter, track, and report on project issues. The database supports the following data for each issue identified:
Project phase
People responsible
Date required for solution
Date resolved
Classification (for example: resource, documentation, training or configuration issue)
Based on this data, the Issues Database enables you to quickly retrieve the information on specific issues by using filters and views on the data entered.
Concept Check Tool
ASAP also includes a concept check tool to evaluate the system concept and configuration and alert you to potential performance or design issues.
Using the tool checklists, you can analyze the project and implementation work either by yourself or with the assistance of your SAP consultant. The check focuses on project organization and the configuration of the R/3 applications.
Fig. Xxx: The Concept Check Tool
The checklists are designed dynamically, that is, as each question is answered, the following questions are selected so that you only answer those questions relevant to your system configuration. The checklists are used in the first two phases AcceleratedSAP, as it is advisable to deal with questions relating to each phase of the project as they arise.
IDES – the R/3 Model Company
The R/3 International Demo and Education System (IDES) is an additional R/3 system/client which is supplied with predefined system settings and master data. It is an integrated, fully configured, fully functional model company with an international scope and sample product range, which you can use early in your implementation. It is used, for example, in Phase 2 as a reference for R/3 processes and functionality. After defining the corresponding link, you can branch directly from the business process transactions of the Q&Adb to the live transaction in IDES.
In order to get started with the R/3 System quickly, you can use IDES to help visualize your own solution. During the planning phase, you can try out all the business scenarios to find the design best suited to your requirements. IDES also forms the basis for SAP’s entire R/3 training program, including examples and exercises, and is the ideal way of preparing for release changeovers.

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