SAP and Creativity
We know that the Business practices across SAP clients vary widely and there exist requirements which often do not have ready solutions in SAP standard processes. After years of exposure to SAP and SCN, I arrive at an opinion that the solutions for all such requirements fall largely under 2 categories.
- Through Developments
- Through Creative use of SAP Standard Objects
(or it can be a product of both which can be classified as a 3rd category).
This blog is about the Second one. In my experience there were several such innovative ideas which resolved vital issues, by using the SAP in a creative way.
After all, what is this Creativity?
Definition by my own experience can be ‘The process of thinking out of the box, to arrive at solutions with available resources’. To illustrate the comments so far, I would like to narrate few cases I remember presently.
One day an End-user came to me, and told that he got created Measuring points for ‘Oil top-up’ one each in his 110 Functional Locations. This happened some 6 months ago and he had been creating Measuring Documents on these points. Suddenly he realized that he was unable to get the cumulative values in IK17 report. What happened was these MPs were not mapped as Counters, due to communication gap between the user and the Masterdata person. Now the process is not reversible.
We are having an Infoset Query for measuring documents (just like IK17), made to accommodate the Equipment Description in the output, Authorization Group in the Selection screen, which are not available in IK17. This Z-report was then run for him with his MPs data, output sorted F/Location-wise (his machine-wise) and clicked on Sub-Total icon. So the required cumulative values are there in the form of SubTotals.
It is important to mention here that the standard report IK17 has no icon in the Application Tool bar. Had it been there, there would not be the need for Infoset Query. Sub-totals there itself (in IK17) would have resolved the issue.
There was a requirement of multiple Employee assignment to each Task in a Notification. The way Work Centre is assigned to each Operation in an Order, the user wants to assign multiple Employee codes to a particular task. (List of employees engaged for this Task)
It was through Status Profile. (OIBS). Created a Status Profile as under without Status Number (to have multiple selection), giving the Employee code in the Status and Name in the Short Text.
And assigned this Status Profile to Task like this (in OIBS)
Here the Status Profile created through OIBS was assigned. Now you have got the list of Employees with check boxes. Select the employees and click Back to reach the Tasks screen. Here the selected Task had all the Employee codes assigned in the User Status field.
Obviously there will be limitations like 4char length of the status.
There was a requirement to map the process of arriving at the Root Cause of a Breakdown through 5-Why method, in SAP. We used Catalogs and Codes in an innovative way as explained in this document. Root Cause Analysis through 5-Whys
There was a requirement to have Planning board type Activity chart for major repairs carried out using Maintenance Orders. Here Tiny Graphics were used in Smartforms to mark the Activity along the period. Please see this document where it was explained. Innovative use of Graphics in Smartforms – 2 Ideas
There are several such. I have explained the Case2 in detail only to benefit members interested in this specific issue, but the theme and focus of this post is to emphasize on the ‘Benefits of thinking out of the Box’ while searching for solutions in SAP standard.
It was repeatedly experienced that things thought and told not possible always seen happened later through ways and means like above. After realizing this, we do not use expression ‘not possible‘, rather we use the words ‘Let’s study the possibilities‘ .
It is believed that post like this will be helpful more to the Beginners of SAP.