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Author's profile photo Mariano Sabiche

How to indentify SAP PPM objects with business process requirements?

When I got started with SAP PPM project, the first question that I made it’s How can I help to the users to understand their business requirements? and How can I set SAP PPM objects with their business requirements?.

It’s very important for SAP PPM consultant, because it will have to identify the business requirements that applied to SAP PPM objects. I wasted a lot of extra time to explain to users to understand how can use SAP PPM solution to their business projects. It’s more difficult to explain to old users than new users, because they have been working more hours in differents metodologies before SAP PPM implementation.

Let’s take a time to explain in detail the objects that are used in SAP PPM:

  1. Portfolio Management
    1. Portfolio: Exists to identify one view of head hierarchy to maintain consolidated reports and identify ID Portfolio (Example: Business Unit, Organizational Unit, Process Scenario). Think a Portfolio to make static or unmoved object. Note: Don’t try to think a Portfolio like using variables (Time, Quantity, etc.), you would have create a lot of them.
    2. Buckets: Are the hierarchy of a Portfolio. You can identify them like an Organizational Units or Areas of work process that doesn’t have changes (like unmoved objects). Example: reflect sales markets or product categories. You will assign Portfolio Items to those buckets.
    3. Initiatives: Initiatives have a lot of concepts to use in business requirements, It’s an operative object used in the process of discovering, designing, and developing new products within a company. You can express a group of Portfolio Items into initiatives  with functionality of Decisión Points and Phases (stage-gate methodology).
    4. Item: It’s the lowest concept of object in Portfolio Management. You can think Portfolio Items like  ideas, products, projects, in general something like in future you can work. If it’s possible you will create a project in Project Management depending of status or another variables in Portfolio Item.
    5. Decision Point: It’s inside of Portfolio Item and help to describe the lifecycle of him. Identifying the stage-gate methodology that an Item have to pass. You have status that can be changed into Decisión Point and can represent a lot of process into the Item. You can assign Decisión Point to Project Phases to represent an integration with Project Management.
    6. Document: The documentation attached into objects of the Portfolio. Those documents will be stored into a Content Server Repository.
  2. Project Management
    1. Project Definition: Represent the highest and first one level of the Project Management. They identify the number and name of the project with all dates and description of the project.
    2. Phase: Represent sequence the space and date time when a project have to work. You can have more than one phase related to the project and in order to another phases. This object exist into Portfolio Initiatives too.
    3. Task: It’s an activity that an user have to do in time and duration with hours to work. You can represent work in percent of completion and real dates. For example: “Prepare a sofa”. You can create subtasks to detail a task.
    4. Checklist: It’s a milestone of project or certification of activities that a user have to do. For example: “Market store”.
    5. Checlist Item: It’s a detail list item that compose the Checklist. For example: “Buy milk at store”.
    6. Document: The documentation attached into objects of the Project.

It’s important to know that users have to understand this object concepts, because you have to meet with user to identify the use of those object into the business process.

Maybe result easiest to identify objects into Project Management but in Portfolio management you will find some obstacles.

Try to exchange with users a dictionary of terms and coach them into SAP PPM vision.

Hope this would be help you.

Best regards.


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      Author's profile photo Nikolaos Fiolitakis
      Nikolaos Fiolitakis

      Would be good to know, how you can embed the SAP solution manager in that tool when you manage SAP implementation e.g. a global rollout.

      Wouls be good to know how to link SAP PS and RPM and Cprojects and which SAP BItools you put on top of RPM. Is it preferable to take SAP BI (BW) or to use Business Objects? Is there any outomation when you use Business Objects ordo I have to start from scatch creating ETL structures?

      It wouldbe good to know which of the SAP project management tools canbealready used incloud. ...

      Author's profile photo Mariano Sabiche
      Mariano Sabiche
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Nick Fiolitajis;

      All your questions of intergation can we do it with SAP PPM.

      For SolMan integration, please check out this thread -->

      For BI tolos check this thread --> and

      You have a lot of thread to see with a lot of kind of solutions.

      This blog it's not the right place to make this question, please go to the discuss fórum

      Hope this help you.

      Best regards.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      I just have to give you major kudos for all the content you're posting on SCN!  It's great having someone so fired up by the product, and certainly with some good experience and expertise to boot.  Like you, I fully believe in the capabilities of the product, and take pride in being one of the few who specialize in it 100%.  I find that most clients don't realize its strengths and usefulness until it's implemented.  Furthermore, I regret to say that professionals from other SAP spaces downplay PPM's capabilities due to lack of knowledge and understanding.

      I thoroughly have enjoyed this post, and the story about the lady with the "What's the difference between PS and PPM" question, as it starts the narrative from the user perspective, and not the technologist's.  As professionals skating the portfolio and project spaces, I completely identify with the conundrum, as it's always a measure of realized value (investment) versus usage and usefulness.  If one were to take the "bottom-up" perspective and figure in user requirements to feed the "big picture" need for a powerful tool like PPM, there would be so much less holes in so many a customer solution.

      Again, kudos, and hopefully someday we'll have a chance to meet and shake hands.

      Author's profile photo Mariano Sabiche
      Mariano Sabiche
      Blog Post Author


      Thank you very much for your comment!! It's a pleasure to meet professionals like you, it's very rich to know that we are not alone in all of this. I think that this is the right place to talk sincere of this product and sometimes we need to talk about both success and failure. SAP PPM and SAP PS have something in common, that when you have to implement them, you have to put a lot of your person to explain and maybe depends the success of your project. Some consultant have a lot to learn about solutions to give a good service, so that it's the difference between another SAP solutions.

      That's true. I heard a lot of comments of users, consultants from other modules and projects leaders and their object is minimize the product, because they have afraid to loose power or feel that will be controlling all the time (KPI's).

      I'm not a good writer in English, so that why I start to write and try to explain and give  details. I have a friend in India that we are talking about PPM at skype to practice English. I have been helped and I try to help each other. I enjoy to help.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to write, there are very few who do.

      Hope some day we can work together!!

      Best regards.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Not a problem Mariano!  I think the respect is mutual, and I'm sure - it's a small world - we'll get a chance to meet or work together in some fashion.

      I think, to reiterate your point, it is very important for consultants, sales teams, and project stakeholders, and decision makers to identify the best-fit solutions to user and functional needs.  This statement doesn't just apply to PPM. 

      There are many examples that can be given to compare best-fit usage of PPM vs. PS, and you sum it up well in your commentary.  Especially at an age where customers are demanding even more usability and ease of use from their vendors and product choices  (think Microsoft, Google, and Apple), I believe we need to consider the case for using PPM as a single-point-of-contact tool that becomes the source for all things Portfolio and Project Management.  With PLM WebUI and SAPGUI for HTML, enabling a seamless user experience to all things "back-end" can be made possible, with very little negative impact burdened upon business processes and added levels of complexity from the end-user perspective. 

      I cringe whenever I hear people refer to PPM as a "user interface" to PS, but that statement has its merits.  Extend that idea to all other topics other than cost/controlling and account assignment.  In a conversation I had with one of my colleagues, we discussed how PPM allows you to facilitate a process, rather than to execute tasks.  With effective design of PPM, you can give your customers the ability to collaborate, plan, and execute project management and development activities through a procedural, guided approach, rather than training them on unnecessary overhead "steps to do xxx" usually involving disconnected, often offline processes that are prone to risk. 

      People don't need to be project managers or technologists to know how to check email to see "Ahh, I have a task to complete in XX days."  Then click on a link in that email to get to a master list of "My Tasks" to complete.  Power at the click of a mouse.  Here's to the understated power of the "Next" button. 🙂

      Author's profile photo Mariano Sabiche
      Mariano Sabiche
      Blog Post Author


      Your last point made me laugh!!.

      Recently some customers asked me:

      Customer: - What happend with the Working Hours of the resources? Where put the worked hours? -

      Me: - SAP PPM it's not a CATS tool, so the users don't have to complete hours a day, just go to the "List of Tasks" and put the worked project hours, it's simple -

      The users doesn't understand and still asking me - "Are you sure?"

      You can activate the integration between SAP HR to SAP PPM and use CATS to complete hours to your tasks if you want.

      I have a lot of this stories.....

      In conclution: We have to give solutions to users and be very clever, because they know a lot of SAP, and sometimes those users have more problem to identify solutions than others that they know nothing.

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice and easy to understand 🙂