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SAP SM Introduction & Comparison to BW/BO

SAP Strategy Management

An Introduction


This document highlights important features of SSM and its use and application in various business scenarios. It also talks about Balanced Score Card and how it can be implemented using SSM


What is SAP Strategy Management?

It is a solution that aligns the strategy with our goals, initiatives and operational indicators, providing communication between all Intervenient.  It helps you communicate plans and objectives, align business units and allocate resources to key priorities, monitor and report on progress, and proactively take action when issues arise.

Key features of SSM

1.       Home Page: Here user can see all the related information. Initiatives, KPI summary, Alerts and operational reviews. Completely customizable as per user access and authority.

2.       Strategy maps: Used to visualize status of various strategic goals. Prepare pathway diagrams to build short term and long term strategy.

3.       Fishbone diagram: to identify and resolve bottleneck within an initiative by visualizing the links between strategy, goal, initiative, resource and other elements.

4.       Scorecard: This tab gives a visual display of strategic objectives that shows gap between actual and target. It displays the current score and the trend and helps the user focus on critical results by providing details of various KPIs

5.       Dashboards: These are used to provide information about specific operational goals and primarily used to measure and monitor operational metrics.

Key Advantages which SSM offers

1.       Accountability and Alignment: Assign individual responsibility for objectives, key performance indicators, and initiatives. Improve performance and align execution with strategy by connecting goals, initiatives, and metrics.

2.       Central KPI repository: Leverage a simple and centralized administration of KPIs to drive consistency. Get a quick indication of status with easy-to-interpret scorecards and drill down into more detail for additional analysis.

3.       Collaboration: Empower collaborators from all levels with embedded, threaded comments for discussions, as well as the ability to create and use operational reviews and link to external content, such as defined best practices.

4.       Impact and performance: Measure the impact of initiatives to best to allocate resources and compare business unit performance side-by-side or with other relevant benchmarks.

5.       Exception management: Receive automatic notification of below-horizon objectives that may be in jeopardy.

6.       Implement Balanced Scorecard: Measure various perspectives required for effective performance management of business.

What is Balanced Scorecard?

It is a management tool used for strategic planning and performance management. It helps align vision and strategy of organization to operational level activities.  Performance is measured for different perspectives like:

1.       Financial results

2.       Customer Satisfaction

3.       Internal Business Process efficiency

4.       Learning & Growth

How is SSM different from other reporting modules?


SAP Strategy Management

BW Reporting

BO Reporting

Measure progress of strategic goals



Operational reports

X (Not Preferred)

Tracking of various initiatives



Root Cause analysis

√ (Limited)

Course correction for various strategic objectives






Balanced Score Card



Strategy Maps & Cause And Effect Chain



Periodicity (Updation of Data)




Input Templates  for Actual, Target Data & Approval Work Flow



KPI’s (Key Performance Indicator)  Source

SAP BW,Other Sources Systems,New KPI’s as per requirement

SAP BW,Other Source Systems

SAP BW,Other Source Systems

KPI Variation Year On Year (Depending on Company Strategy)




KPI Data Entry



Online Management Performance Reviews



Online Communication through mails, comments Within Reviewers




Historical,Current & Future Projections

In General Limited Historical & Current

In General Limited Historical & Current


Mainly For Top Management includes Middle Mgmt also

Middle Management

Top & Middle Management

Preparation Of Management Review Presentations



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      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy

      In case anyone was wondering this is part of the standard SAP ECC 6.0 product, not a seperately licenced add on. You get to this on the SAP menu via

      Accounting > Strategtic Enterprise Management > Strategy Management, though naturally nothing will work till you configure this in the IMG.

      It was once part of a separately licenced product, when it was part of SEM.

      I had the wonderful experience of being on of the first two projects in Australia to implement SAP SEM. It was my company and the Department of Defence. This was in about 2002 I think. SEM  and the concept of "new dimension" systems had just come out, i.e. up to 2001 the idea was to merge all your disparate line of business systems into one big ERP system, then once everyone had done that and there was no more money to be made, SAP decided the way forward was for everyone to split up their big ERP system into lots of disparate line of business systems.

      The lesson my company should have learned from that was never be first at anything. SEM had only just come out and it did not work that well. It could send data back into R3 at that point for example, so I wrote my own "retractor". Still it was fun programming in a totally new system. We gave up in the end.

      I can only presume SEM did not do wonderfully well, as nowadays the functionality has been merged into the core ECC 6.0 system.

      So when I saw this blog I thought to myself - can this be the same SAP balanced scorecard application I knew and loved twelve years ago? And yes, it was.

      Cheersy Cheers


      Author's profile photo Colin Cooper
      Colin Cooper


      Actually SSM is the product that was brought into the SAP family as the successor to SEM and there is an upgrade path from SEM to SSM.

      A key differentiator is that SSM is agnostic as to where data originates so any data source whether it is a structured data source of manually loaded data. SSM incorporates an integration into BW but we have implemented systems where there was no SAP ERP at all.

      If I recall SEM's Initiative management was fairly limited whereas SSM incorporates not only the Fishbone visualation mentioned above but also an Impact map so you can see the correlation of the implementation of the Initiative on the performance of any KPI plus the prioritisation matrix so you can view the state of play of multiple initiatives on a matrix.

      SSM provides a series of elements that make it an environment for performance improvement including discussion and collaboration, generation of Briefing Books, publication of performance achievement to the world and creating a transparent workflow for the gathering of manually input data so you know who to chase.

      Unlike SEM which stuck rigidly to the original Kaplan/Norton 4 Perspective formula, SSM allows users to reflect later variations on that formula and other methodologies. It also puts a multitude of options into the hands of the users to tailor their views to their preferences, adding columns to scorecards, creating comparisons, and ad-hoc reports etc without the need for IT input.

      Times have moved on!