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Author's profile photo Gertrud Beisel

What Do You Do When You Have Too Much to Do? Seek MSS for Help

The effective person never asks HOW will I get to do this but rather WHO will I get to do this.”    (Mary Cantando)             


Every manager is familiar with this situation. You are busy. You are very busy. You are just about to leave your office to meet with an important customer when payroll calls about some missing timesheet approvals. And then there are your team KPIs that you have to provide regularly to upper management. You usually end up doing them on the weekend because you just can’t find time during the week. Your own manager says, “Just delegate some of your stuff.” But it’s not that easy.

There are no lack of guides and techniques for effective delegation. Enter the search term ‘delegation techniques’ into Google and you’ll get over 11 million results. But look at a few of them, and you’ll spot a common theme. Successful delegation is always about assigning the right task to the right person. Since most workplace tasks involve access to data and/or some kind of system interaction, this also requires a system that supports flexible delegation.

Delegating to substitutes is a high priority

At SAP, we conducted extensive user research to find out how managers work and what they expect from a manager self-service (MSS) system. What we heard from many customers was that one of their highest priorities is the ability to flexibly delegate work to substitutes. By “work”, they meant workflow tasks, non-workflow tasks, and even views and applications.

Due to this variety of delegation needs, a single substitute is usually not sufficient. A typical manager deals with routine tasks that can be delegated to an admin or a team member and much more sensitive tasks that can only be delegated to a manager who is at least at the same hierarchy level. 

From a company perspective, another aspect to delegation is often ignored as long as everything goes according to plan. But what if a manager has an unplanned absence or gets sick? Such emergencies often result in delays because an ad-hoc substitute often doesn’t have sufficient access rights to applications, tasks, and views. It doesn’t have to be this way. Ideally, as we heard from our customers, a substitute should already be in place in the system so that he or she can take over seamlessly as needed.

Tap into new MSS substitution functionality

How can the new MSS substitution functionality within SAP ERP help you in these situations? With HR renewal 1.0, SAP delivered a new MSS substitution functionality that allows managers to view and manage their substitutions, both the ones they have created themselves and those assigned by other managers.

    Delegation 2.jpg               Delegation 4.jpg                    

Managers can create new rules by selecting a task, a substitute, a start date (optional) and an end date (optional). For different tasks, they can choose different substitutes. For example, a manager can assign the timesheet approval to an admin and the leave-request approval to another team member. A substitution can also be set up in way that it is inactive but that allows a substitute to take over in case of an unplanned absence (fill-in option – see screenshot). 

Delegation Rule.png

“Tasks” are not limited to workflow tasks. The new substitution functionality is enabled for the following:

·         Workflow and non-workflow-based approvals such as leave approval, cross-application time sheet (CATS) approval and clock-in/clock-out approval.

·         Team-specific applications such as home page, team page, process, forms, and recruiting

·         All employee- and organization-specific applications offered as standard in the team view

The HR renewal MSS substitution functionality can help:

·         Enable managers to delegate effectively

·         Ensure business continuity

The new functionality is delivered as an “in-advance” shipment (support package modeled as a new type of add-on) to EHP7 and requires Enhancement Package 6 (EHP6) as a pre-requisite. You can find more information at:

Follow SAP ERP HCM on Twitter: @SAPHCM

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      Author's profile photo Siddharth Rajora
      Siddharth Rajora

      Many Thanks for this information Gertrud!

      So this is not enabled for Employee Compensation Management?

      I learnt extra structural roles should be created for Subsitutes (delgation) to access applications such as Team view, Home page? Do we have a specific role for that? So its easier for manager to do so.

      Author's profile photo Gertrud Beisel
      Gertrud Beisel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Siddharth,

      We are delivering a new substitute role  SAP_MANAGER_MSS_SUBST_SR_NWBC. This role includes the key applications Substitution Overview and Work Overview that the substitute uses to work on behalf of the manager.

      Author's profile photo Gertrud Beisel
      Gertrud Beisel
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Siddharth,

      Regarding your compensation, if you are thinking of one time payments, this is available via HR Processes and Forms. Compensation Planning were not included in the Substitution scope because we expect that interim managers would be set up for this rather than substitutes.

      Author's profile photo Siddharth Rajora
      Siddharth Rajora

      Many thanks, Gertrud, This helps as many customers were asking for it

      Keep blogging 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Gertrud,

      Can you explain the authorization mechanism of how it works ? In addition to the substitute role (I presume the SAP_MANAGER_MSS_SUBST_SR_NWBC is the pfcg role), there is also structural authorization to be in place and both must co-exist ?

      Would you be able to blog how the necessary authorization mechanism works, perhaps with some illustration ? If there is an existing documentation, perhaps you can also point it out ?

      Thank you and regards,

      Kir Chern

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Gertud,

      is there a functionality that HR SSC can initiate forms on behalf of managers, something similar what SuccessFactors have.

      We would like to see if there is such functionality in SAP HCM MSS

      Thanks and best regards,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Many Thanks for this blog Gertrud!

      We would like to know, whether there is any mechanism to to hide Menu Option(yellow highlighted in  attached Image) for every employee? Kindly provide me your valuable suggestions.


      Thanks & Regards,