Intelligent ERP Update: SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1905 for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management
This blog provides you with the latest and greatest innovations that our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1905 release has in store for you in the area of Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management. As in our last update in 1902, we’re releasing innovations for our two foundation processes Project Financial Control (1NT) and Project Review (1YF), which can also be used for R&D Project Management (35E) and Capital Investment Project Management (35F): Applications for project ranking and project planning, mass change options for enterprise projects, SAP CoPilot for project financial assistance, and project budget reporting in project currencies.
In the video below, you can get a quick overview of our 1905 highlights:
Project ranking to manage the project review process
The first application I’d like to introduce you to is the application for project ranking. Project rankings as part of the portfolio review process are created by the project financial controller who is also in charge of defining the cost threshold for the ranking.
This SAP Fiori application helps you can easily prepare and accompany central review meetings, for example, as you can define different rankings for different periods and scenarios. When you want to prepare for a review meeting, you can either create a ranking from scratch, or you can simply copy formerly set-up review meetings including the details and adjust accordingly for the upcoming review meeting. When creating a project ranking, you can:
- Include or exclude projects from the scope of the review
- Assign or unassign projects from the ranking
- Search projects with various filters when assigning projects
- Move projects up and down to change their rank
- Set projects as mandatory
Fig. 1 [scroll in to enlarge]: The SAP Fiori app “Project Ranking” visualizes which projects are within or outside the budget of the planning period
When managing rankings, you will automatically be provided with a visualization whether the projects would be within or outside the budget* of the planning period. Having this application in place, you will be able to make decisions based on facts by the help of a clear ranking of projects, a clear waterline based on your “budget” and the possibility to navigate to e.g. project briefs with detailed status information or a multi-project Gantt chart with milestones.
*Budget in this sense means the cost threshold which we have defined for the specific ranking and is not to be equalized with the value of the budget availability control.
Project planning application
The release of our new project planning application as part of our process 1NT is the next step towards the replacement of our project builder and provides an improved user interface and usability. Project financial controllers can call up the application either from the “project control list report”, or the “project control object page” and use it during the project planning as well as during the project execution phase.
The planning application helps you as a financial controller to check the project structure and timeline of specific projects. On top, you can check and even update most important information of specific project elements, such as name, ID, planned start, planned finish date of projects etc. Being able to edit information on the go provides you with the agility you need to get your job done more efficiently. In case you want to check or edit more detailed information, you can navigate to other relevant applications like work package or project control object page.
Fig. 2 [scroll in to enlarge]: Financial controllers can use the new application “Project Planning” to check structures and timelines of projects and update information on project elements
Mass change options for enterprise projects
Another functionality we’re releasing for project financial controllers with 1905 is the option to do mass changes for enterprise projects. This feature helps you to manage large number of enterprise project and work package master data efficiently as you can define mass change criteria for the previously selected projects and work packages. For the selection, you can either select all projects or work packages, or you can also select only some projects or work packages.
After a mass change has been executed, you can monitor the changes. You can check the detailed status log and filter, for any issues. An issue could occur if a project has a locked processing status. Using the mass change app, you can easily set locked statuses to unlocked and speed up the change process. On top, you can directly navigate to the Project Control application where you can edit any project information.
Fig. 3: Powerful search and filter options enable easy mass maintenance of project and work package attributes
SAP CoPilot as intelligent project financials assistant
Our SAP CoPilot in Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management has already been introduced with our 1805 release, in May 2018. Back then, we focused on general project information which could be retrieved by using our SAP CoPilot. One year later, with our 1905 release, we now offer functionalities for intelligent project financial assistance.
Monitoring of project costs and budgets is an important part of the project management cycle. One of the primary challenges of project financial controllers is to keep track of costs and budgets related to projects and react to critical issues such as over consumption of project budget. That’s why we now enable you as a financial controller to monitor your project costs and budget anywhere and anytime by querying details about financial information of projects using the SAP CoPilot. You can retrieve a list of projects and filter the list based on parameters, such as, project manager, company code, controlling area, and profit center, you can also retrieve information on actual and plan costs of a project, and you can retrieve information on budget and budget consumption of a project.
It can’t get easier than this when you want to monitor financial aspects of your projects. Simply use natural language processing and access the data without having to navigate to diverse applications.
Fig. 4 [scroll in to enlarge]: SAP CoPilot as intelligent project financials assistant enables you to easily track project costs and budgets, and quickly react to critical issues
Project budget reporting in project currencies
Finally, I’d like to highlight the enhanced project budget reporting with the help of project currencies. Project budgeting and budget availability control can be used to monitor consumption of budgets assigned to projects and to avoid budget overruns in time. With our 1905 release, you can set project currencies for projects while creating them using the project control application. Being part of our process 1NT, financial controllers can make use of actual costs in project currency, planned costs as well as budgets, and commitments in project currency when they want to carry out calculations. On top, there is an SSCUI which helps to define the budget currency for an Availability Control (AVC) profile by choosing the currency type global currency or project currency. At the same time, we have enhanced the cards of the project financial controller overview page as well as reporting options to analyze budget, commitments, plan and actual costs of projects using project currency.
This innovation provides you with more flexibility and on top, you can easily compare the costs with the help of the aggregated view in the Project Budget Reporting application.
Fig. 5 [scroll in to enlarge]: The definition of project currencies during project creation can be used e.g. for budget availability reporting and budget reporting
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 1905 Release Blog
- The Link Collection for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management here
- 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
- Implementation Portal here