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How to convince management to test everything when applying support packages?

As a basis administrator, I can see into the support package stacks and see hundreds of thousands of objects contained in them. Management keeps asking for release notes and asking what has changed with these support packages. The answer from a technical perspective is that everything gets touched. All transactions make a call to the kernel which will be updated. If the ALV (screen display), RFC, or output management code is touched (which it usually is), then that touches pretty much all transactions.

I am looking for recommendations that don't involve implementing a testing tool (long story - but not an option.) The side effect report tells you what the support packages break, not what they change.

How do you explain it to the managers and functional teams so they understand?

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3 Answers

  • Posted on Jan 31, 2017 at 06:00 PM

    Ah, this is a never-ending conflict, I'm afraid. I also get asked, every time, to supply release notes on what support packs will touch, and every time I point that the list of notes stretches into the thousands, and that it would therefore be more time-efficient to simply run through a full system integration/regression test. As we usually time support packs to coincide with year-end legal changes, I do highlight the legal changes involved.

    At one time I used to download a hierarchical and hyperlinked spreadsheet of all the Notes involved -- actually, one per support pack -- but that was a tremendous amount of work on my part, and in the end, I never saw evidence that anyone actually looked at it. They just wanted me to spoon-feed them the information. So, I stopped doing that, as it was a waste of valuable time.

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  • author's profile photo Former Member
    Former Member
    Posted on Jan 31, 2017 at 06:26 PM

    Hi Jordan,

    Any update/upgrade is to keep your software and hardware up to date and complaint (wrt security patches).

    If we do not update/upgrade we will end up having no further enhancements/new functionalities in our system which will bring in lot of business benefits in terms of optimized business processes etc.. In fact few upgrades will become mandatory for organizations to avoid additional maintenance cost etc..


    Harish Karra

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  • Posted on Jan 31, 2017 at 06:42 PM

    Hi, you could point out to the (possible) Side-Effects of a Service-Pack : link

    I would also not get into a lot of documentation, but pointing out to the output of the URL " > " as an indication that things will probably undergo some kind of change, hence argumenting for thourough testing.

    Some other info on SP-Strategy :

    Hope this is helpful

    Nic T.

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