Intelligent ERP Update: Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908
This blog provides you with the latest and greatest innovations that our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 release has in store for you in the area of Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management. As in our last update in 1905, we’re releasing innovations for Project Financial Control (1NT) which is one of our foundation processes and also applicable to R&D Project Management (35E) and Capital Investment Project Management (35F). To name just a few highlights: Project Cost Prediction by Timeline and Cost Components, Validation & Determination Capabilities for Enterprise Projects and Extensibility Enablement for Work Packages.
Watch my video and get a quick overview of our 1908 highlights:
Project Cost Prediction by Timeline and Cost Components
The first highlight which I’d like to introduce to you is the Project Cost Prediction by Timeline and Cost Components. Already with our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1805 release we have shipped the first functionalities to do cost predictions for projects. With our new release we enable Project Financial Controllers to run more accurate cost predictions during the planning as well as during the execution phase and we increase transparency around the prediction process. Therefore, we’re realizing a few additional features.
Firstly, on our object page we now provide a micro chart about the predicted costs by cost components. The two components with the highest costs are always shown individually while the rest of the components is grouped as “others”. Along with this micro chart, we also enable a new chart which displays the planning category and the predicted costs as well as the actuals and commitments. With these insights you can get a comparative view of the costs and you can get a picture as to which cost component will incur the highest costs.
Secondly, we have shipped a section about similar projects. This section will give you the necessary information regarding all the projects which were considered in order to run the cost prediction. The similar projects are picked up by the system depending on various factors. In the settings area you can adjust these factors and adapt the table to your individual needs.
Lastly, the periodic-wise cost predictions allow project financial controllers for more accurate values across cost components. This is a huge advantage. The more accurate cost predictions can be run, the more budget overruns or overruns of planned costs can be prohibited in time – ultimately saving you costs.
Fig. 1: The Object Page displays the predicted costs as well as the planned, actual costs and commitments segregated across cost components
Validation & Determination Capabilities for Enterprise Projects
The next highlight is the Validation and Determination capabilities for Enterprise Projects. If you want to increase efficiency, speed up project structuring activities and reduce user errors, key users can benefit from validation and determination logic.
In a business you need functionality to check values and value combinations which are entered in the system. These validations and determinations are carried out at various points in time during the project definition or also during the structuring of projects. If you want to ensure the project or work package naming convention, or if you’d like to ensure that certain attributes of work packages are following established business rules at your company, you will need to have some tools on your side.
Therefore, we want to enable our key users to define validation rules via standard cloud extensibility, which notifies the users in case e.g. project names or project attributes are not matching the predefined rules. Additionally, we want to enable them to define determination rules via standard cloud extensibility. With this, certain attributes of projects will automatically be replaced based on predefined rules.
Fig. 2: Business Add-Ins (BAdIs) for project validation & determination can be used to speed up project structuring activities and to prevent human errors
Extensibility Enablement for Work Packages
Another focus area for enhancement is extensibility. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 we provide extensibility for work packages to increase efficiency in business processes.
With our new release we provide the extensibility for work packages in the ‘Project Planning’ app, and in the ‘Mass Changes to Projects’ app. With these options, you can easily adjust the applications to your individual needs. On top, we have extended our existing OData API to support extensibility fields. In the template, input properties for projects and work packages now include custom fields with values. These custom fields can now be made visible in the User Interface (UI) of the work package object page.
Fig. 3: In the work package object page – currently in UI adaptation mode – you can add an additional field
Migration of Enterprise Projects with Additional Fields for Joint Venture Accounting
The enhancement of data migration for enterprise projects now supports ‘Joint Venture Accounting’ fields. The fields for Joint Venture Accounting are both for project header and work package and all the fields are optional. Necessary Joint Venture Accounting validation will be executed based on the values of those fields. In the ‘Project Builder’ app, the imported projects and work packages with Joint Venture information can be checked. Also, in the ‘Project Control’ app and on the work package object page, information on Joint Venture is visible for the projects on a dedicated facet.
Having this functionality in place, you can increase the efficiency by migrating projects with Joint Venture Accounting information, instead of maintaining the values for each project after the migration took place.
Fig. 4: This template shows a new group with the name ‘Joint Venture Accounting’ which includes six attributes targeted for the project header as well as for the work package
Notification to Dynamic Receipts and Situations Handling on Work Package Level
In order to monitor consumption of budgets assigned to projects, you can make use of project budgeting and budget availability control (AVC). Whenever budget thresholds are exceeded, a notification can be sent to the financial controller to timely bring this situation to his attention.
To improve the already existing functionalities, we enable a related situation tab in the ‘Project Control Object Page’ with our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 release. This separate tab shows situations for individual work packages in a consolidated way for the project. In addition, situations for individual work packages are shown in the work package object pages. Also, situations can be sent to project financial controllers and project managers with dynamic recipients’ capability. This means that specific team members of the project which are maintained in the ‘Project Brief’ app are allowed to receive situation notifications by overriding the static members mentioned in the ‘Manage Teams and Responsibilities’ app.
Fig. 5: The new tab ‘related situations’ is enabled in the ‘Project Control Object Page’
Cost Reporting in Project Currencies and Availability Control Details in Budget Report
With SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 we have enhanced our ‘Project Cost Report’ app so that you can get insights into project financials in project currencies in addition to the global currency. The information will be shown as they have been maintained in the project.
The ‘Project Costs Report Overview’ Page, which holds information about aggregated and non-aggregated costs, displays cost information of projects. This report includes the following information as additional columns:
- Actual Costs in Project Currency
- Plan Cat. 1 Costs in Project Currency
- Plan Cat. 2 Costs in Project Currency
- Commitments in Project Currency
- Variance in Project Currency (Plan Cat. 1 – Actual)
Whenever there is more than one currency involved, you can now maintain this information and thereby improve your project cost reporting.
Additionally, you can have insights into the details of budget availability control in the ‘Project Budget Report’ app. The app will show the following budget AVC related settings:
- Project Name / ID
- Budget Availability Control Profile
- Budget Availability Control Profile is Active
- Budget Availability Control Time Range
Budget Currency Type
Fig. 6: In the ‘Project Cost Report’ app you can display commitments, plan and actual costs of projects in project currency
Increased Usability and Efficiency in Project Planning App
Furthermore, we’re continuously improving our already existing ‘Project Planning’ app which we’ve released with 1905. To make the lives of project financial controllers easier, we enable quite a few features to manage their projects more efficiently.
- In the display mode, you can now change the processing status of the project header and work package – currently we only support single selection
- We provide a smart link for the project in the work package object page, so you can see the Project ID, the Project Profile, and the Project Manager of the project at a glance
- You can navigate to settlement rule app in the work package object page
Fig. 7: Project Financial Controllers can change the processing status of the project header and work package directly in the ‘Project Planning’ app
Optional Investment Profile
Last but not least, I want to highlight that the investment profile is not a mandatory field any longer. This means that you can remove or change the investment profile at the project header or lower level work packages. These changes are adopted in the ‘Project Control’, ‘Project Planning’ and ‘Project Builder’ applications. This feature helps you to drastically reduce the number of Assets under Construction (AuC) created for an investment project and thereby also reduce the efforts in settlement rule handling.
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 1908 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