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With SAP Solution Manager 7.1 support package 14 another puzzle piece has been added towards a complete “Business Process Improvement Suite” as I would call it. While we provided Business Process Analytics as the root cause analysis tool in 2010 (meanwhile also available in an ad-hoc version and as native iPad app) and added a dashboard layer on top in 2011, we now shipped a new SAPUI5 application called “Dependency Diagrams”.

Note: Please refer to SAP note 2228248 in order to learn which steps are recommended when moving from support package 5-13 up to support package 14! Also implement SAP note 2323531 – Corrections Business Process Improvement for SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP14 – Dependency Diagrams

As we ship such a vast KPI content out-of-the-box with close to 1.000 KPIs, customers can easily lose the overview on what is measured and tracked in what way and for what purpose. With the help of the Dependency Diagrams you can build kind of KPI trees where you bring the different KPIs into some logical, hierarchical order. You can visualize the dependency chains of KPIs and get the “picture” updated with your live data.

The easiest way to access the new application, is to define a new favorite in the user menu. Just specify BSP application AGS_KPI_TREE and select WebContent/index.html from the value help as start page.

Note: Remember to activate the corresponding BSP service in transaction SICF.

Runtime BSP.png

When you then access the application you can select one diagram that must have been defined beforehand, e.g. looking at a diagram about the typical financial business KPI “Days Sales Outstanding (DSO).

Initial select.png

After selecting the diagram you get to see the root level (here Days Sales Outstanding itself) and the dependent level 1 KPIs. In our example all five level 1 KPIs are collected via Business Process Analytics, i.e. why you see an Analyze-hyperlink which allows a direct forward navigation into Business Process Analytics. The backend data from your SAP BusinessSuite or SAP S/4 HANA system can be shown as count of documents/items (e.g. 241 deliveries or 310 SD invoices) or as one accumulated monetary value (e.g. 2,7 million Euro or 311,3 million USD).

The tiles that you see could be

Below SD Orders not billed and Open customer items we see a ‘+’ icon, so we can further expand the tree in those areas.

Small tree.png

As we know that the majority of billing documents is created via billing run, we put another KPI below the SD Orders not billed. This additional KPI looks specifically at all error messages that were raised during billing due runs. One of the most typical error messages is the problem of incomplete sales order items and hence you can further expand to see Missing fields in SD documents.

Big tree.png

So with the help of this application you can

  • Bring business BW reporting and operational Business Process Analytics data for root cause analysis together in one view
  • Structure your KPIs in meaningful dependency diagrams, so that every manager and subject matter experts understands the leverage that one low level KPI might have on any (business) KPI on top, like DSO.
  • Set threshold values so that the numbers in the tiles get a green, amber or red rating
  • Decide if you put your focus on document numbers or monetary values (and which target currency)
  • Use the forward navigation to get from this overview into the actual root cause analysis with Business Process Analytics.

This application can be used on any device and any screen resolution, because of the SAPUI5 user interface. Just access URL

<server>:<port>/sap/bc/ui5_ui5/sap/ags_kpi_tree/index.html#/<technical name of Dependency Diagram>

Configuration

There are no diagram templates shipped with this application. Instead you have to model everything yourself. The configuration has some similarities to the configuration of Business Process Operations dashboards in SAP Solution Manager. So you have to create Analytical Key Figure Instances (AKFIs) first, where you define which data should be displayed from which source and define potential thresholds. Then you model the respective Dependency Diagram / KPI Hierarchy and bring the AKFIs into some logical order.

In order to access the configuration application it is easiest to create a new favorite in the user menu. For this specify AGS_RI_KPIHIERARCHY_SETUP as Web Dynpro application.

setup webdynpro.png

If you access the setup environment, there is always just one root. After this you always just specify which AKFI is child of which other AKFI (identified by technical name not description). You can always have more than one child for every parent tile. Based on these parent/child relationships the application calculates the hierarchy level automatically and arranges the tiles from top to bottom.

Diagram setup.png

So if yo have Business Process Analytics already up and running in your SAP Solution Manager 7.1 with support package 14, then you should be only a few clicks away from creating your own Dependency Diagram and show it to your management in order to get the budget for your desired business process improvement activities.

For more details regarding Best Practices you can refer to a detailed PDF (~15 pages) which is stored at Business Process Improvement – Solution Manager – SCN Wiki

Further reading

You can find all necessary information about Business Process Analytics in this document. More information on Business Process Improvement for SAP solutions can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Business Process Monitoring and Business Process Analytics are answered under http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SM/FAQ+Business+Process+Monitoring and

http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SM/FAQ+Business+Process+Analytics respectively.

The following blogs (in chronological order) provide further details about Business Process Analytics and Business Process Monitoring functionalities within the SAP Solution Manager.

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3 Comments

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  1. Sripriya Hariharan

    Thank you for this blog. Very useful.

    Just wanted to add a note in case anyone runs into this error. After activating the services, I tried launching the dependency diagram and I got an error message “No System Alias found for service AGS_KPI_HIERARCHY_SRV” . To resolve the error, I created a new entry AGS_KPI_HIERARCHY_SRV_001 and assigned the system alias in the following path: [SPRO :SAP Customizing Implementation Guide->SAP Netweaver->Gateway->Odata Channel Development with IW_BEP->Registration->Assign SAP System Aliases to OData Service]

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    1. Volker von Gloeden Post author

      Hello Sripriya,

      thank you for this comment. What you mention there (and also other activities that are recommended when moving to SP14) are nicely described in SAP note 2228248.

      Regards

      Volker

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