With the fourth and last shipment this year, SAP provides numerous highlights again for the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2011 release. Below you can read about some of these great innovations in the area of Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management.
Next to various updates for our two main processes Project Financial Control (1NT) and Project Review (1YF) – which are our foundation processes and therefore also applicable to R&D Project Management (35E) and Capital Investment Project Management (35F) – we’re adding new scope for our two most recent business processes, Project Control – Procurement (4RF) and Sales Order Processing with Project Account Assignment (4I9).
Watch my video and get a quick overview of our 2011 highlights:
Schedule Project Accounting Jobs
The first innovation I’d like to draw your attention to is the new SAP Fiori app “Schedule Project Accounting Jobs” which is supposed to replace the GUI application “Run Settlement”. Based on the new UI, project financial controllers are provided with a simplified and standardized scheduling functionality.
Along with the new application, we’re introducing the template “Actual Settlement: Projects”, which allows project financial controllers to schedule periodic accounting jobs for a project or a work package – with less manual efforts. The new app doesn’t only reduce manual efforts, but it also helps to get the most up-to-date results which is important for a reliable data analysis. In the end, project financial controllers need to rely on a solid analysis in order to find out about potential risks and take corrective measures at an early stage if needed.
Fig. 1: The new SAP Fiori app “Schedule Project Accounting Jobs” simplifies scheduling functionality and reduces manual efforts. (note: no audio voice available)
Demand for Service and Consumables Enhancements
With the business process 4RF: Project Control – Procurement which we have released with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2008 already, we allow project procurement controllers to plan, trigger and monitor materials or services which they need to procure for their projects, ultimately ensuring on-time delivery for successful project execution.
For the newest release, we’ve been working on the following four areas of improvements:
- You can align demands automatically with the corresponding dates of work packages. That means less manual efforts are needed, the date alignment is accelerated and on top it leads to even more accurate planning of project demands.
- The new “Purchase Contract” field indicates which purchasing contract shall be used for a specific demand.
- In case a work package has multiple demands and one of them has an error when requesting it, then none of the demands will get requested. This will help you to react before requesting demands in case one demand is not available. This automatic demand blocking in case of an error will prevent you from requesting demands that you may need to recall or change in a next step and will allow you to adapt the available demand if needed.
- The net order, delivered and invoiced values are now provided in a comparison chart with three individual bars which improves the monitoring.
Fig. 2: New features as part of the Demand for Service and Consumables allow Project Procurement Controllers to automatically align demands with dates of work packages, to refer to the purchasing contract that shall be used (demo at minute 00:35), to not request a demand in case there is an error when requesting multiple demands (demo at minute 00:50) and to monitor net order, delivered and invoiced values in a comparison chart (demo at minute 1:06). (note: no audio voice available)
Enablement of Valuated Project Stock for Capital Investment Projects
Moreover, we have enabled valuated project stock for capital investment projects, allowing the creation of external procurement for project stock. Once the materials are received, they can be held in inventory for a work package.
While we distinguish between project stock and plant stock, you can use the insights you have on your project stock to better evaluate and plan your materials in project procurement. There are also benefits when it comes to financial accounting, because you have immediate access to stock value. Last but not least, during the project close the system makes an additional validation to check if any unused project stock still exists. If this is the case, the system will inform you by sending a notification so that you can react accordingly.
In the future we plan to support project stock also via the generation of a demand and down the road we also plan to support project stock for projects with revenue.
Fig. 3: The app “Stock – Multiple Materials” lists the materials that are required for a certain WBS element.
Additional Scenarios for Fixed-Priced Enterprise Projects Billing
After the integration of enterprise projects with sales orders in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005 and some first enhancements in the last release, we’ve been working on further functionalities for our business process “Sales Order Processing with Project Account Assignment” (4I9).
We now also offer additional scenarios for fixed-priced project billing by enabling more standard sales order item categories which feature different billing types and materials. This helps to accelerate the billing process and reduces days sales outstanding.
The following item categories are now enabled:
- Standard Make-to-Order (CBTA)
- Standard Service Item (TAD)
- Standard Non-Stock (TAX)
- Configuration at Material Level Free of Charge (CBTN)
- Third-Party with Shipping Notification Free of Charge (CB3)
- Third-Party without Shipping Notification Free of Charge (CB4)
- Bought-In Free of Charge (CBXB)
- Free of Charge Express (CBLN)
Data replication of Project Controlling Objects
In order to simplified project integration to other SAP Cloud Solutions, we want to leverage SAP Cloud Platform Master Data Integration services for project controlling objects. The SAP Cloud Platform Master Data Integration service is a central entry point for master data integration for consuming applications. By using this service for data replication from SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we can enable project work packages as project controlling objects via the SAP Cloud Platform, so that the data can be used for cost allocation in other SAP Cloud Solutions like SAP Concur, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Ariba etc.
You can make use of the data replication functionality in three different ways.
1. Automatic data replication
Whenever there are e.g. data or status changes on projects, you can make use of automatic data replication triggered by the following apps:
Please note that the first line of apps refers to scope items J11 (customer project management) and 1A8 (internal project management) which are part of Professional Services.
Next to the apps listed above, we also enable automatic data replication through the following APIs with the latter referring to Professional Services types of projects:
- Enterprise Project (API_ENTERPRISE_PROJECT_SRV);
- Commercial Project – Create, Update (_CPD_SC_PROJ_ENGMT_CREATE_UPD_SRV)
2. Manual data replication
Admins can use manual data replication for example for an initial data replication for existing projects including the migrated projects from other legacy systems. A manual data replication can also be useful for some on-demand replications e.g. in case the automatic data replication fails.
The following apps can be used by admins for manual data replication:
3. Monitor data replication
Admins can monitor data replication and eventually check error messages, retry errors or cancel errors that are invalid by making use of the following two apps:
Status Change of Work Packages
Whenever there are any open objects within your projects or work packages, you shouldn’t close the project but take care of the open objects first to ensure a successful project execution.
Therefore, we’re improving the usability with three new status checks on work packages before setting them to ‘completed’ or ‘closed’:
- Unapproved time sheets
- Open maintenance orders
- Project stock
In case any of these objects still exist on the work package or on a child work package, the system will not allow a status change to ‘completed’ or ‘closed’.
Example: You forgot to take care of a maintenance order, but you want to set the project to the status ‘closed’.
Reaction of the system: The system will not only make you aware that there is an important object still outstanding but it will also make sure that you don’t go ahead and close a project in case there is still an outstanding object that you depend upon in order to successfully execute your project.
These checks, or validations, are supported in the following apps: Project Control app, Project Planning app, Project Briefs app and Mass Changes to Projects app as well as API.
Fig. 4: Validations for project stock and open maintenance orders (demo at minute 00:31) ensure that projects or work packages are not set to “closed” or “completed” unless they have been taken care of. (note: no audio voice available)
Change Documents for Projects Enhancements
Introduced with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2008, the “Change Documents – Projects” app allows you to monitor the changes which are done to projects. While this functionality has been enabled for the general information of projects already with the last release, we now allow you to view and analyze change documents also as part of the status area, milestones and team assignments. Change documents can be consumed via the Project Control app and the Project Briefs app and will greatly improve your project monitoring as you get insights into:
- The number of changes that have been done in a specific area
- Which project is affected by the change
- Which field is affected by the change
- Who conducted the change
- When the change was conducted
- The old and new value of the field
- The action type (changed / inserted / deleted)
Fig. 5: The “Change Documents – Projects” app allows you to not only view and analyze change documents for General Information, but now also for 3 more areas: Status, Milestones and Team. (note: no audio voice available)
Project Planning App Enhancements
As in the past, also this quarter we’ve been working on further enhancements for our Project Planning application in order to stepwise replace the Project Builder application.
While the maintenance of project structures for project financial controllers and project managers was already enabled with the last releases, we’re adding additional capabilities to the SAP Fiori apps. With the new release, you can use the Project Planning app, Project Control app, Project Briefs app, and Mass Changes to Projects app to maintain actual start and finish dates. That means that you don’t need to navigate back to the Project Builder app every time you want to maintain actual dates. This doesn’t only simplify the maintenance, but especially the possibility to do mass changes to actual dates can result in enormous reduction of manual efforts.
Fig. 6: Actual start and finish dates can be maintained in the Project Planning app, Project Control app (demo at minute 00:45), Project Briefs app (demo at minute 00:50) and the Mass Changes to Projects app (demo at minute 00:58). (note: no audio voice available)
Conceptualizing Two-Tier SAP S/4HANA Cloud for EPPM
Last but not least I’d like to touch on the topic of Two-Tier ERP in the area of Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management. To ensure a simple, flexible, and yet robust and cost-effective system that delivers the same results while integrating with the Headquarters’ system, we deliver Multi-Level Project Scenario in the Headquarter-Subsidiary Model. If you want to read more about the business benefits, check out this blog by Mani Raghavendra.
If you’re interested to learn more about these innovations, join our SAP Learning Hub and participate in our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Early Release Series. Read this blog to find out how you can license for the Enterprise Support Edition as a Customer / Partner and benefit from our regular release series either live or on-demand.
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 2011 Release Blog
- The Link Collection for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management here
- Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management Community
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud Early Release Series here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud Customer Community: register here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here
- Implementation Portal here