Best-Practices for Planning Oracle EBS (E-Business Suite) R12 Upgrades

In order to have a successful upgrade, you must first start with a clearly defined project scope and a well-detailed project plan based on the output of the upgrade evaluation.  The definition of scope needs to include the objectives of the upgrade, details of the new features & functionality to be implemented, any potential changes to business processes, the impact that the upgrade can have on interfaces or customizations in your current environment, and system downtime.

The plan should include the processes, tools and people required to manage the entire project and assure quality and any benefits expected. Additionally, the plan should identify requirements for project team members and clearly define their roles. Typically, an upgrade team consists of a combination of both internal resources as well as consulting resources. Technical staff familiar with customizations & interfaces should be included in the project, along with business users adept at using current Oracle functionality within their business processes. Oracle consulting resources from Inirus, LLC will provide the expertise in project management, supply knowledge of new technical and functional enhancements, and bring experience of upgrades undertaken by other clients.

In order to be successful, it is imperative to maintain communication with the key stakeholders in the upgrade plan. Key stakeholders include everyone in the company that will be affected by the upgrade, from the accounts payable clerk or shipper/receiver right up to the executives approving expense reports. Generally, people do not like change – they may even be afraid of change. If you begin communicating the benefits of the upgrade immediately, this can help to ease those fears. As the project progresses, send out the training plans and encourage everyone to participate.

Detailed upgrade planning should begin once the high-level technical decisions are made. DBAs should download & review the Oracle Application Upgrade documentation &  product release notes for their chosen upgrade path. They should also review any additional documentation for database upgrades, Middle Tier, etc, to understand which steps need to be performed and which steps are deemed out of scope.
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