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Spring Cleaning the Reporting Structure in SAP






Spring Cleaning the Reporting Structure in SAP  

Aligning Reporting in SAP with the Business Needs








Spring Cleaning the Reporting Structure in SAP 

Aligning Reporting in SAP with the Business Needs

Problem Statement: The Reporting Structure in SAP and the expected Reporting do not go hand in hand always. As a consequence we observe wrong triggers for approvals, notifications and incorrect structure in Outlook/Lotus Notes leading to unwanted escalations.

Agenda – Re-organize the reporting structure in SAP for Senior Members without any downstream impact and most importantly keeping the as-is reporting intact.



Need for Spring Cleaning


Over a period of time, keeping in line with the business dynamics, the reporting structure for Senior Members undergo a lot of changes. In effect, there are some residual assignments, tagging and team structures created in SAP which can be cleaned up to make the reporting current. Just like there are unwanted assignments lying around and there are also cases where there are no reporting hierarchies created for various teams. All in all, the potential cases for an incorrect reporting are plenty and there is plenty of room for Spring Cleaning.

SAP’s hierarchical approach to reporting structure has its own pluses and minuses. On one hand the reporting structure follows a hierarchy which is easy to visualize and in line with the business understanding of the team structures. However this same hierarchical structure has some gaping holes in terms of operational challenges. When there is no Supervisor tagged at any Org Unit Level, it traverses up the hierarchy to find the next higher level Org Unit and its Supervisor. In case it does not find any Supervisor, it keeps traversing up till it reaches the top. And when it reaches the top, it picks up the Chairman/CEO/CXO himself/herself as the supervisor.






Methodology for managing Reporting Structure


Wherever the employee has the maximum percentage assignment and whoever heads that Org Unit became the Supervisor for this employee. With this approach we are usually able to tackle all the business needs, till we reached a point were there were scenarios and this approach was not good enough.


 New Methodology for managing Reporting Structure


Now I am recommending a paradigm shift in the reporting structure using in SAP. First let us look at some fundamentals which will help us in understanding this paradigm shift better:


  • 1. Every employee to occupy only one assignment, which identifies the Maximum Assignment for the employee
  • 2. To manage or become the Supervisor, there is no need to create any assignment
  • 3. Instead only relationships between the Supervisor’s position and the Org Unit which the Supervisor needs to manage needs to be established.
  • 4. Additionally there are different relationships available to identify dotted line reporting also



Dependency of Outlook on the Reporting Structure


The Outlook reporting structure if it is taking the master from SAP is a reflection of the structure in SAP; however, there are some dependencies. We need to ensure that the reporting structure and other employee attributes remain intact, so that the display name in Outlook shows the right properties.


Way Ahead


We can take a top down approach. We will neatly align all the reporting structure from the Chairman/CEO/CXO onwards below. And we will place the employees under domains/business units/verticals/practices where they belong to and ensure that the display in Outlook is as desired. Then put to use the relationships available to create the needed relationships to manage the reporting. As we go along we take one Senior Member at a time. We set the reporting up and down in order for the leader. Identify the unwanted and residual tagging and assignments created for the employee. In case there are some identified, drop them along the way ensuring that there is no impact observed.

The idea is to do this activity for Chairman, and CIO, CTO, CFO, CXO etc. and their reportees.


Managing the Changes – The Way forward


 Along with the above changes, we will also see if we can restrict the reporting for the Chairman/CEO/CXO to only restricted relationships. In other words, everyone reporting to Chairman/CEO/CXO needs to have a specific relationship. In case if that relationship is present between the employee and the Chairman/CEO/CXO’s OU only then the employee reports to Chairman/CEO/CXO. If it is absent, then the employee would not be considered as the Reportee. So, in case there is an Org Unit which is orphan and w/o a supervisor. The employees would not report to Chairman/CEO/CXO, as these employees OU would not have that specific relationship required to be reporting to the Chairman.


The same philosophy would be extended to the CIO, CTO, CFO etc. and their reporting structures also. Hence we create a kind of envelope around the senior members which prevents any stray triggers, notifications from disrupting the harmony.





Spring Cleaning Reporting Structure in SAP will ensure that the reporting structure goes hand in hand with the business needs. It will be a chance to remove all the residual assignments and tagging which have accrued over a period of time. Also, using the new methodology proposed for identifying chief for Org Units and the limited relationships for Senior Members, we can ensure minimal distortion to this harmony.  

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