How Project Managers Can Keep All Their Ducks In a Row
Companies selling products or services through the execution and delivery of customer projects such as professional service or engineering and construction companies need to keep an eye on various project KPIs to ensure they meet the given targets related to project costs, quality and margin. Today, traditional or “classical” commercial project industries, striving to deliver holistic project management from bidding, to execution and billing of project services, are not alone in this challenge. Now, more and more manufacturing companies face similar needs. They actually need to respond to a rising trend of custom specific product offerings which they deliver as custom projects to their customers.
Project Managers in such “project-driven” businesses need easy access to all relevant project information such as the bidding documents, sales orders, project schedule, project costs and revenue plans, earned values, percentage of completion , profit margin and so many more! Until recently, project managers and sales engineers involved in the project opportunity struggled to retrieve needed information, searching in different systems and applications, or even tracking down information spread all over the organization, on peoples desks.
To put it simply: there wasn’t a single application that would help the project managers and sale engineers to access this information in one single place.
SAP recently released a product called SAP Commercial Project Management 1.0 that is exactly targeting to support companies in managing the commercial aspects of such customer projects from bidding–to-execution. SAP Commercial Project Management is actually an add-on to SAP Project System, the classic project management solution delivered as part of SAP ERP. This new Commercial Project Management Solution provides 3 major key capabilities: Workspace, Project Financial Planning and Issue and Change Management. The workspace was exactly designed to provide this one-stop view for the project manager where he can access not only all the relevant project information (Project Schedule, Project Costs, Project Revenues, Project Changes) but also related ERP information such as CRM Opportunity, Sales Order, Billing Plan, Project Resources etc.
THE PROJECT WORKSPACE
As you can see from the screenshots the Project Workspace provides a user-friendly and flexible environment that gives the project manager an overview about all relevant project information across applications and systems. As a result, project managers have the insight they need for quick decision making to facilitate project success. The workspace enables full transparency about the true status of projects across department boundaries so that issues and risks can be identified and addressed early.
In detail the Project Workspace provides:
•An integrated view of each project by bundling existing business objects (for example, business opportunity, sales order, or project structure) by creating a new master project object
•Embedded analytics that allow users to quickly generate cost status reports, work-in-progress reports, progress reports, and more
•Configurable views optimized for different user roles, including predefined views for sales orders, invoices, purchase orders, and more
•Enhanced project management functions via automatic status and trend reporting, rule-based alerts, roles and responsibilities definitions, and reporting attributes
•Enhanced contract management by supporting rate cards, billing plan manager functions, and a billing cockpit
As mentioned before the Workspace is one of the three key capabilities in SAP’s new solution for Commercial Project Management. Please subscribe to the EPPM blog, so you don’t miss my upcoming blogs about the other two capabilities for Project Financial Planning and Issue and Change Management.