Easy Cost Planning (or simply ECP) represents one of the planning methods available in SAP PS module. In reality ECP is a cross-functional environment being also available for other objects outside of PS module. It is probably the most user-friendly planning environment available in standard SAP ECC and quite often neglected by the project implementation teams.
This article has no objective to cover A to Z customizing process and give away all hints and tips, instead it should give you a flavor of available options and stimulate to discover more.
Below I will include few customizing steps to start up with a process. First you need to define a CO version for ECP, I recommend it as ECP exclusive version and it does not restrict you on anything since copying between versions is available.
I will call the version ECP for easier association:
Next we need to define the ECP version as “ECP relevant” version:
If necessary the Revenue planning from Billing Plan can be also activated:
There is a standalone IMG activity to include NWA with ECP if necessary:
I will assign standard Costing Variant PS06 to ECP version:
I will also activate multiple CO versions with ECP as it does not change much for the purpose of this demo, but has a slight impact on the interface:
Next I can go to the Project Builder and open for editing my sample project for ECP testing:
Once you click on ECP icon (third from right hand side on the icon’s bar) the following pop-up window will display:
You will need to create on the New icon as shown by the arrow on above screen. Once the ECP version is taken to the list you can start editing by selecting an Edit icon as shown on the below screen:
Next the ECP screen will open, on the left hand side it contains the project hierarchy same as with the Project Builder:
I recommend creating a Planning forms (models) for every “standard” WBS-element or “working package”:
The Costing models are created in transaction CKCM:
Now back to the ECP screen I will select a relevant Costing Model:
Finally, after a model selection I can get into my custom planning screen:
The back end of the above screen is the html, means you have almost unlimited design options to make it customer specific and nice looking too.
Below I will summarize some of the business benefits around the use of ECP:
- ECP is a standard SAP ECC functionality (no interfaces, instant data update, no additional user licenses, standard reporting);
- Business users can execute the planning operating with their own terminology and dimensions, while GL accounts mapping can be preconfigured in the background;
- Previous point can enforce consistent planning across organization, because users are not entering GL accounts directly, but the system does it in the background;
- Possibility to include non-financial data into the planning (comments, quantities, physical characteristics, etc) and save it together with financial data;
- Possibility to execute calculations with predefined formulas in background (example daily rate x number of days or 10% surcharge on total cost);
- Highly customizable end-user interface to design the planning screen layouts according to the planning subject and geography for example;
- WBS and Network Activity integrated planning on the same screen;
- Possibility to lock/unlock planning data with specific authorization;
- Possibility for manual cost phasing with value dates;
- Visibility of the business user behind latest data changes (some auditing).
Thank you for your time and attention.