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Many years of my professional live I was working in Customer Competence Centers. Starting in 2004 I used SAP Solution Manager in every available aspect.

In late 2016 SAP set the Focused Solutions to “general availability”. In this post I’ll show step by step how to use the application Focused Insights to setup a quality management “Readiness Dashboard“. This could be part of my target – having an operations control center for projects I’m involved in. We will have a deeper look at the “operations” tile first of all. As SAP states, Focused Insights is able to establish a quality management dashboard. What is the typical approach in companies to ensure that the mission-critical processes are running? Maybe the answer is – to establish a control center.

SAP control center types and roles needed:

The typical roles you need in your operations control center are at least two application operators.
I will call them “shift-one” and “shift-two“. These “super heroes” are capable of managing huge system landscapes with only 2 persons in a “shift”. If an incident occurred they forwarded the ticket for further investigation and creation of change requests to “require-man” or “project-woman“.

According to SAP’s view of a control center approach three of the control centers are important:

Operations Control Center:
– monitoring, early warning systems, business process operations.
Mission: Run SAP like a factory.
The responsible persons are typically dealing with incidents (see -> KPIcatalog in this blog post).

Innovation Control Center:
– checking functional gaps, avoiding modifications, using SAP standards and acting as a remote factory.
Mission: Build SAP like a factory.

Mission Control Center:  (remember the quote from Apollo 13 “Houston, we have a problem”)
– a kind of enhanced back office situated in a SAP site.
Mission: keep calm-> keep an overview –> do the necessary things. Support the customer.
Run Simple. This is a service offering for large customers to give them a kind of back office service, including a “remote factory”. There is an interesting video showing this.

For me personally I’m aware of the third center (mission control center) completing the holistic approach. In the professional situations I experienced, I haven’t had the possibility to take all the advantages of this solution into account.

How SAP Solution Manager can help:

SAP Solution Manager uses KPIs (key performance indicators) in many scenarios. There is a built-in tool available in SAP Solution Manager called “Dashboard Builder” which uses the KPI catalog I’ll mention later in this blog post. You can use function modules or own BW queries as data sources to build your own management dashboards upon.

Focused Insights and Dashboard Builder:

Another add-on which is very useful for realizing an early warning system is Focused Insights.
An overview is not too hard to get. If you have installed the add-on Focused Insights you get
7 pre-configured data models. Everything you have to know about these models is described in the excellent blogs by Xavier Dupeyrat. E.g. a comparison between Dashboard Builder and Focused Insights is available here: https://blogs.sap.com/2017/02/27/dashboards-best-practices-with-sap-solution-manager-7.2/. Advantage Dashboard builder! It’s included in Solution Manager.

KPI catalog:

By using the KPI catalog offered by SAP you can get a very good overview of the available KPIs.
To start it as a standalone application try the link https://go.support.sap.com/kpicatalog.

For this post I’ll talk about a KPI named “ticket volumina” (picture). A ticket in that context means an incident in the context of SAP Solution Manager.

To check it, start as follows:

  • Call the above mentioned KPI catalog
  • search for “trend in ticket volumes P1 P2” or
    use a search term like “quality management dashboard”
  • start the search

figure1: showing 1 KPIs detailed data from the KPI catalog

For the listed KPIs an overview, definition, usage and prerequisites should be available.
Please have a look at the frame behind the “Technical” icon.
You can see, that these incidents are reported by the incident management scenario of SAP Solution Manager.

Metrics catalog:

Focused Insights comes with a metrics catalog covering all SAP Solution Manager scenarios.
Explore the available data in the metric viewer/builder by using the webdynpro  /STDF/WD_MT. You will be able to start the application from the Focused Insights launchpad.
This launchpad is started by the business server page (bsp) /stdf/launchpad.
An example is shown in figure 2:


figure2: Focused Insights Launchpad

If the metric builder has been started you are able to filter on name by choosing
“*INC*”. This results in one single line.

Name:              NB_INCIDENTS
Category:         Incident
Data Provider:  /STDF/CL_DP_TOTAL_NB_INCIDENTS

 

How to start with an operations control center?

To give you an impression of how to start with one tile of information which stands for the lowest level dashboard model, I’ll show an example in the following checklist. We will use the ITSM-metrics as an example.

  • Remember: With the Operations dashboard model you are able to “merge different alerting sources in one […] view showing your service’s organization” in detail.
    (Original quote: Dupeyrat, 2017, blogs.sap.com).

Checklist for the “Operations” dashboard model:

This is how we want to get there:

  1. Start the Focused Insights Launchpad with “admin=true”
  2. Select the “Operations” tile
  3. Press on the “settings” icon
  4. The appropriate configuration app will start
    (webdynpro /stdf/ope_wd_config_app)
  5. …add a new configuration (e.g. ITSM-metrics) and provide
    a level1 and level2 text. Decide if you want to limit the number of tickets.
  6. in the detailed area of (L1) insert an Business process name (e.g. “Incidents”)
    and description
  7. in the detail area for L2 select the “ITSM” tab.
  8. switch to “Edit” mode
  9. Insert a description (e.g. Service Tickets), set Jump_to to DEFAULT
  10. Select the appropriate transaction type (e.g. SMIN)
  11. Save your ITSM item
  12. ==> call the dashboard (bsp /stdf/ope_dashboard)
    an example is shown in figure 3:

 

To create a managers dashboard showing a few KPIs belonging to software quality and readiness
of projects you can use the readiness dashboard (figure 4). The metrics can be entered manually.

The configuration of the readiness tile is easy.

  1. You could use the Focused Insights launchpad with parameter admin=true.
    (E.g. https://<server>:<port>/sap/bc/bsp/stdf/launchpad/index.html?admin=true).
    It’s a business server page named “/stdf/launchpad”.
  2. On the “Readiness” tile use the settings icon.
  3. This will bring you to the webdynpro “/stdf/rd_config_app”.
  4. First of all add an instance in the “instance” section. Provide a name, set the green-2-yellow (G2Y) target percentage value. Add a yellow-2-red (Y2R) target percentage depending on the direction (minimum or maximum).
  5. Set a reporting position (beginning / middle / end).
  6. Apply your changes
  7. In the “milestones” section define milestones, meaning the dates when you enter values.
  8. In the “scores” section add your KPIs.
  9. For every KPI the following values should be provided:  final target (numeric value), target base, unit, target type (maximum or minimum), granularity (monthly or quarterly).
  10. In the “all KPI monthly values” section you will be able to enter the measured values.

In the following figure you will see an example (parameter demo=true in BSP /stdf/rd_dashboard):

figure4:  shows 3 scores

From every tile a detailed view is available. To start the “Readiness Dashboard” simply use the business server page /stdf/rd_dashboard.

Summary:

Yes “turning data into insights” counts. It’s good to have all the data. To my opinion it’s very important to have the same understanding between the stakeholders about what a red traffic light means and which consequences should be derived from a trendline it exposes. Ensure to use a glossary to get an joint understanding about the meaning of the KPIs and the metrics.

Start now with your own “Focused Build” and “Focused Insights” journey.

 

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