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Decision making plays an important step in managing Projects and Portfolios, and it is equally important to document the discussions that happen during this process.  12Sprints – a codename project by SAP for collaborative decision making is apt for this purpose. Still in Beta, 12Sprints brings in features that could be best suited to Project and Portfolio Management processes.

Decision Points in SAP RPM

SAP Resource and Portfolio Management (RPM) supports use of Decision Points, which can be used to monitor the Item (Project) progress. The decision points can undergo status transitions – and closure of a decision point results in the opening of the subsequent one. This is where 12Sprints can help documenting the discussions with respect to each decision point.

Concept

Linking each decision point with a unique 12Sprints activity will result in effective decision making and persistent storage of ideas that are presented during discussions.  12Sprints allows sharing and embedding documents which is currently not supported at Decision Point level.

12Sprints supports Invocation/Method APIs that can be used for implementing the concept mentioned above. The idea is to trigger a decision activity in 12Sprints whenever a Decision Point is marked as ‘Active’ or ‘In process’ in RPM. With a little development effort, it should be possible to embed the activity URL within the decision point of SAP RPM itself.

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Alternatively, the system can be configured to trigger an email notification. This notification can be forwarded to 12Sprints and deploy the ‘Email to 12Sprints’ extension to create a new activity.

 

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Advantages

  • A dedicated tool for collaboration and repository to store decisions/discussions.
  • Business Discussions and Transactional Data are kept distinct from each other yet connected.
  • Easier to handle involvement of external stakeholders.
  • Complexity of development is rather low.

     

Improvements

12Sprints Beta is still being evaluated. The team is open to feedback and is working on the product and feature enhancements. Some useful features that I can think of are:

 

  • Addition in 12Sprints Extensions: Focus can be made on how this collaborative tool can leverage business processes across different modules. Features like object linking to SAP Objects will help.
  • Personalization: Allow users to create/customize their own Activity Templates and set them as default/favorites.
  • Set-up of E-Mail alerts: This could be useful in notification of stakeholders whenever an activity has been created/ updated.
  • Integration with Content Management: For e.g. it would be a good feature to link with content management systems viz. SAP DMS, Documentum, Sharepoint, etc.
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