Intelligent ERP Update: SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1808 for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management
This blog provides an overview of the innovations which are released as part of our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1808 shipment for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management. As stated already with our 1805 release, we’ve introduced several innovations as part of our two core processes Project Financial Control (1NT) and Project Review (1YF). While we’re releasing even more features for these processes in our new release, we’re even rolling out more processes on top to better manage capital investment projects and R&D projects.
In the short video below, I explain the top three highlights of our 1808 release for SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management.
Simple Project Control Data Maintenance
Project Financial Controllers usually need to maintain all required data for project accounting purposes. This data includes, e.g., information on organizational assignments, or control parameters. To support them with this maintenance, we introduced the SAP Fiori app “Project Control” already with our last release, which allows simple project creation. To further strengthen the capabilities, we are introducing new standard fields to categorize projects. Project Financial Controllers can now define the project type, and also the priority of a project. Using a Self-Service Configuration UI customers can define the project types according to their needs.
With this enhancement of our process 1NT, we can reduce the efforts in simple project creation and control data maintenance. Having direct access to project analytics and the possibility to do a multidimensional analysis is a huge advantage for project financial controllers.
Along with the categorization of projects we deliver initial functions for a budget availability control. In the Project Control app, the project financial controller can use these new functions simply by assigning a budget availability control profile to a project. After assigning a profile, the availability control can be activated, and certain cost postings will be checked against the budget. Whenever a defined threshold gets exceeded, you will be notified with a warning or error message.
Fig. 1: The “Project Control” SAP Fiori app entails new standard fields to categorize projects
Report to Balance Projects
After projects have been set up, they also need to be monitored to make sure that there are no deviations or even risks. This monitoring process is usually supported by the steering committee. Project steering committee members need to ensure that all projects, which are in their area of responsibility, are on track and are balanced with regards to strategic key figures defined. To support steering committee members to properly track the status of their projects, we are introducing the new analytical list page based reporting app “My Projects – Key Figures”. The app provides report functions to balance projects. It enables easy analysis by different measures and dimensions, like project types and priorities, and also statuses or financial information. On top, the report also allows the analysis of the overall status, the status trend, the processing status, the planned/actual/ and predicted costs and commitments, the variants and more.
Members of the steering committee can access key project data in real time to identify project risks in time. To simplify the analysis, they can make use of advanced graphical filter and display options. Moreover, they can adapt the report to their specific needs by using flexible configuration options. The key project data can be leveraged either in a tabular or even in a graphical display. The screenshot below shows a bubble chart which displays projects by the project type (indicated by the color of the bubble), by the planned costs (reflected by the bubble size), by the cost deviation (shown on the y-axis) and by the main milestone date (shown on the x-axis). If more information is needed, drill-down functions to project timeline and financial details are available. Having these insights into key project data at a glance, and leveraging the filter and drill-down options, and also diverse charts is a huge help for steering committee members when they want to identify any risks in time.
Fig. 2: Bubble chart as part of the new “My Projects – Key Figures” SAP Fiori app allows analysis of projects by different measures and dimensions
New Best Practices Processes for Managing R&D and Capital Investment Projects
As we want to broaden our scope for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we are releasing two new best practices processes besides our two foundation packages 1NT and 1YF: for Research and Development Project Management (35E) and for Capital Investment Project Management (35F). Whenever you want to run Capital Investment projects or Research and Development projects, you can now benefit from predefined process descriptions and test scripts leveraging standardized cross industry best practices for managing R&D projects and the project accounting of Capital Investment projects.
With the new best practices processes we have simplified the definition of customer processes. The new packages are based on the foundation packages for project financial control and project review as well as best practices e.g. in product lifecycle management, procurement, or asset accounting. On top, we also offer optional integration scenarios along with these best practices packages, for example to SAP Analytics Cloud for project planning and budgeting, or SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Intelligent Product Design for advanced project collaboration scenarios.
Fig. 3: Process flow for R&D Projects shows handover of Engineering BOM to Manufacturing
For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease
- Sven Denecken’s SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1808 Release Blog
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud User Community: register here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here