I have been working extensively as a functional consultant in SAP Commercial Project Management module since last 4 years. The product has evolved well and the innovations are in-line with the customer’s expectations. SAP S/4HANA releases have ensured that the added features serve the right purpose i.e. Customer & User Experience , Simple to adopt and easy to deploy.
SAP has released the on-premise version of SAP S/4HANA i.e. SAP S/4HANA 1909 release. The release itself is a huge milestone achieved by SAP in terms of bringing in customer-centric innovations ,user friendly applications thereby enhancing the overall UX.
This blog post focuses on the new features introduced in the Enterprise Portfolio & Project Management (EPPM) domain specifically in SAP Commercial Project Management module.
For more details , readers can refer to the What’s New document for 1909.
Feature 01 : Mass Update of Team Members
In SAP Commercial Project Management ,there is a standard functionality of maintaining project teams ,roles ,sub-teams ,assigning members ,responsibilities, project objects (like WBS elements) & this functionality is widely adopted by customers across the globe. However, after several customer requests & with our innovation and automation mindset, SAP has introduced this new feature in 1909 release.
With this feature, users can use the Add and Delete Team Member from Commercial Projects (/CPD/PWS_MASS_TEAM_UPDATE) report to assign business partners to roles or remove business partners from roles in a commercial project team.
The effect on customizing (Define Role profiles) is very minimal & simple for functional consultants to configure.
This simplifies work of project managers / program managers and even planners as team member assignment task is optimized & to an extent automated.
Feature 02 : Audit Log of Changes to Planning
Customers always looked at SAP as a secured end to end solution and audit played a vital role in that context. Here is a new functionality which enable an audit log of changes to financial plans based on information stored in the real-time BW InfoCube /CPD/PFP_R01.
The following information is stored along with other changes to the InfoCube:
- The user that made the change, and the time at which it was made
- The audit mode (load or plan) in which the change was made
- The InfoObject for which the change was made
Users can retrieve an audit log through a BEx query as per business needs.
This is a phenomenal innovation as audit logs in financial planning and that too at a real time BW InfoCube level definitely gives customers an impressive value add.
SAP Note 2770658 can be read for more details.
Feature 03 : Progress Reporting from Multiple Progress Versions
Progress analysis is a very common process adopted by customers who are using SAP Project Systems & SAP Commercial Project Management modules. With this feature, users can view the progress of a commercial project from the results of different progress analysis versions.
Users can choose the progress analysis version of their choice, in the Overview page of a commercial project.
For functional consultants, Set Up Progress Analysis Versions in Analytics configuration needs to be done which is very straight forward.
This is great offering in the Analytics area of SAP Commercial Project Management as a product & a definite value add for planners & project managers.
Feature 04 : Handling Change Requests in Active Versions
Project Issues & Change Management is one of the three building blocks of SAP Commercial Project Management.
This feature allows users to handle the delay in approved change requests by re-base-lining the active version. Normally, it is not possible to create a new baseline version if the active version contains approved costs from change request alternatives.
However, this is now possible by setting a status for the approved change request. This in turn changes the status of the approved change request alternative.
And that is not all – To defer inclusion of approved change request alternatives when creating a new baseline version, user can set the system status of the corresponding change requests to Flag for deletion. This also sets the status of the change request alternative to In Progress thereby allowing the creation of a new baseline.
However, to include approved change requests into the forecast, user must manually reset the status of the change request alternative and the change request.
Feature 05 : Project Variance
In most of the project status related meeting we hear the term “Variance”. Customers are keen on this KPI to be part of standard product offering. Now, in 1909 we have an additional feature.
With this feature, project managers can quickly identify and address critical situations in projects that have exceeded certain variance thresholds. Such projects can also be automatically grouped into a new category in the Cross-Project View.
In the Overview screen, the project variance report helps to narrow down focus to the specific structure elements where the variance has occurred.
Read more – SAP Note 2770478.
Feature 06 : Flexible Definition of a User’s Projects
This feature covers an important aspect of business user’s roles & authorizations.
The Cross-Project View provides a default category with a user’s projects (projects to which the user is assigned).
This feature provides the following:
- Automatically removes projects that are complete, from the My Projects category
- Allows users to define additional criteria to filter projects in this category, through a business add-in implementation
To define conditions that affect the list of projects in the My Projects category, user can create their own implementation of the method FILTER_MASTER_PROJECTof BAdI: Custom Settings in Commercial ProjectHeader
Read More – SAP Note 2821881
In my opinion, consultant should propose these new features to customers who are planning to upgrade their ERP to SAP S/4HANA 1909. These are out-of-the-box features available as a part of latest on-premise release. As a consultant, we should be aware about these new features and at the same time keep the customer’s requirements in mind. Analytics play a key role in products like SAP Commercial Project Management. The documentation available in public domain should be shared with customers and consultants so that they don’t miss out any chance of winning and delivering key projects.