On occasion, I am asked how to decide the best type of modification to make into an SAP system. Any modification made to the standard SAP system incurs cost. The largest part of this cost is rarely the cost of the initial coding, testing, etc. - rather, it's the long-term cost of maintaining the modification. I took a stab at trying to map out how I would compare the various techniques for modification based on long-term costs and ease of use.
A recent article I read here talks about the potential cost savings that are possible if modifications to standard are avoided. However, I think that it is idealistic to believe that modifications can be completely avoided. I believe there are ways to keep a handle on costs by using the software intelligently and making informed decisions about the modifications that are made, as well as using the least-cost method. Normally, this will always mean using the framework that the software (SAP) vendor provided. I put together a simple decision tree you can use, which summarizes our decision process internally regarding the type of change to make. By using our decision tree, which focuses on using SAP supported modifications as the preferred method, custom modification costs can be cost contained.
How do you decide which method to use?