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Author's profile photo Rajendra Pandey

New Phase Model for the Maintenance Processes in S/4HANA Cloud


In S/4HANA Cloud Release 2011, SAP introduced the new concepts of ‘Process Phases’ to track the life cycle of the maintenance processes as an alternative to System and User statuses used previously. The ‘process phases’ have 2 levels of hierarchy viz. ‘Phase’ and ‘Sub-phase’ and are set up by SAP. You cannot change them.

The ‘process phases’ are available for the maintenance objects ‘Notification (Maintenance Request) and Maintenance Order but only for the new scope items as below:

Similar to statuses, phases and sub-phases are used for selection criteria and to permit or prohibit business transactions. They can be manual or automatic.

In S/4HANA Cloud Release 2102, SAP has further improved the phase model by allowing the reversal of many phases.

For maintenance order and operation, SAP has also introduced configurable ‘Phase Control Code’ to allow you to control the transition of phases e.g. blocking a phase / sub-phase. This is very similar to the concept of the user status.

It may be noted that the system statuses continue to exist, but they take backstage.

The blog post explains in detail how the process phases and sub-phases are progressed in a typical reactive maintenance process.

2.Phase Model

a.     Maintenance Request

The phase model for the maintenance request (notification) is structured using following phases and sub-phases:


Maintenance Request Phase Model

b.    Maintenance Order

The phase model for the maintenance order is structured using the following phases and sub-phases:


Maintenance Order Phase Model

c.     End to End Processes

The new end to end best practice processes (scope item 4HH, 4HI, 4VT, and 4WM) using notification / maintenance orders are structured according the 9 phases as described in the diagram below:



End to End Phase Model for the New Scope Items

The process phase model not only provide the simplified and granular status management to guide users along the process but also improve tracking and schedule compliance of the maintenance backlogs.

d.    Process Phases Details – Reactive Maintenance

The progression of the 9 phases of the reactive maintenance process across maintenance request and maintenance order are described in detail below:

1.     Initiation Phase

The initiation phase is only applicable to maintenance request. During the Initiation phase, a technician creates a maintenance requests for an equipment or a functional location using the new FIORI app ‘Create Maintenance Request’. The app provides the simple screen to enter malfunction / maintenance request details and provision for attachments / links.


Initiation Phase: Creating a maintenance request

(Fiori App – Create Maintenance Request)

When the maintenance request is submitted, it is available in another new FIORI app ‘My Maintenance Requests’ where the technician can view all his requests that were submitted, rejected, completed or returned due to insufficient information.

On submission, the new request moves to the next phase ‘Screening’ where it is reviewed.

2.     Screening Phase

In screening phase, a Supervisor (Gatekeeper) reviews all the open maintenance requests in the new FIOR app ‘Screen Maintenance Requests’.

Screening Phase: List of open maintenance requests

(Fiori App – Screen Maintenance Requests)

 While reviewing a request, the Supervisor can also assess priority by selecting a combination of consequence categories, consequences, and likelihood. He can also edit information related to malfunction, responsibility and other details.

After the review, either he can accept them, reject them or send them back to the imitator for insufficient information.

Screening Phase: Supervisor Actions

(Fiori App – Screen Maintenance Requests)

 Based on the Supervisor action, the maintenance request moves to following phases and sub-phases:

While the accepted maintenance requests move to the next phase ‘Planning’, the rejected maintenance request gets closed (status ‘Completed’). The requests in sub-phase ‘Action Required’ can be further worked on by the originator and re-submitted for screening. On re-submission, the maintenance request again moves to phase ‘Screening’ but sub-phase ‘Resubmitted (Request)’.

It may be noted that only screened maintenance requests are visible in ‘Find Notification’ app.

3.     Planning Phase

In the Planning phase, a ‘Maintenance Planner’ creates a maintenance order for one or more accepted maintenance requests (now called ‘Notification’) using the new app ‘Manage Maintenance Notifications and Orders’.

Planning Phase: Accepted Maintenance Requests (Notifications)

(Fiori App – Manage Maintenance Notifications and Orders)

Once an order is created, the notification and the order move to following phases and sub-phases:

The maintenance planner can navigate to the Change Maintenance Order app from the ‘Manage Maintenance Notifications and Orders’, and add information related to operation, material, labor, services, and cost to plan the order.

 Planning Phase: Planning labor, material and services in maintenance order

(Fiori App – Manage Maintenance Notifications and Orders)

When planning is completed, the maintenance planner submits the order for cost approval.

 Planning Phase: Submitting maintenance order for cost approval

(Fiori App – Manage Maintenance Notifications and Orders)

On submission for approval, the order moves to phase ‘Approval’ and sub-phase ‘Submitted for Approval (Order)’. The order operations continue to remain in phase ‘Planning’ and sub-phase ‘In Planning’.


4.     Approval Phase

If the workflow is configured for the order type for automatic approval, then the order is approved immediately. If workflow is set up for manual approval, it will move to the approver’s inbox.

Based on the maintenance planner’s action on workflow request in ‘My Inbox’ app, the maintenance order moves to following sub-phases:

On order approval / rejection however, there are no changes to operations phase and sub-phase, and they continue to remain in phase ‘Planning’ and sub-phase ‘In Planning’.

The rejected maintenance order can be edited and re-submitted for approval.

When the approved order is released, the order and operations move to following phases and sub-phases:

5.     Preparation Phase

In the ‘Preparation’ phase, a maintenance planner uses the new FIORI apps ‘Manage Maintenance Planning Buckets’ and ‘Manage Maintenance Backlog’ apps to level out the workload over several weeks and check the availability of all the resources, spare parts and services needed.

The maintenance planning bucket scope includes a specific time period and other important attributes, such as the maintenance planning plant or the main work center. Based on this scope, the system groups maintenance orders and associates them with the corresponding planning buckets.

Preparation Phase: Maintenance Planning Bucket

(Fiori app – Manage Maintenance Planning Buckets)

The ‘Manage Maintenance Backlog’ app provides a list of all the maintenance orders in a specific planning bucket with important order details, such as the order status, the order priority, the final due date and the availability of the required stock / non-stock components the external services.

Once all the required resources are available on the required dates, a maintenance planner can select the order and submit it for scheduling using the Manage Maintenance Backlog app.

Preparation Phase: Submitting order for scheduling

 (Fiori app – Manage Maintenance Backlog)

After the action ‘Submit for Scheduling’ the maintenance order and operations move to the following phases and sub-phases:

The ‘Ready to Schedule’ can be reversed.

6.     Scheduling Phase

During this phase a maintenance planner can dispatch the maintenance order or the individual order operations and sub operations to right work center and at the right time.

If additional license of Resource Scheduling is not available, maintenance planner can use ‘Find Maintenance Order’ to dispatch maintenance orders. The limitation with this approach is that you cannot dispatch operations individually but always dispatch maintenance orders with all their operations.


Scheduling Phase: Dispatching maintenance order

(Fiori App – Find Maintenance Order)

With an additional license, of Resource Scheduling (RSH) maintenance planner can dispatch individual order operations and sub operations. The operations and sub-operations can be either dispatched individually using the app ‘Manage Work Center Utilization’ / ‘Maintenance Scheduling Board’ or collectively using the app ‘Manage Schedule’.

On dispatch, the order / operation moves to following phases and sub-phases:

Dispatch of the operation can be cancelled using the app ‘Change Maintenance Order’.

7.     Execution Phase

In the ‘Execution’ phase, a maintenance technician receives all the orders that need to be executed in ‘My Maintenance Job’ app and executes the PRE (preliminary) and MAIN (main) operations for an order and update the same.

 Execution Phase: List of maintenance orders for execution

(Fiori App – My Maintenance Job)


 Execution Phase: Maintenance order for execution

(Fiori App – My Maintenance Job)

In this phase, an order and operation progressed through the following phases and sub-phases:

Once the technician has executed the PRE and MAIN operations and Finally Confirmed them, the supervisor can now change the status of the order to ‘Main Work Completed’ using the app ‘Find Maintenance Order.

Execution Phase: Setting ‘Main Work Completed’

(Fiori App – Find Maintenance Order)

The action ‘Main Work Completed’ can be reversed.

After the supervisor sets the ‘Main Work Completed’ the order and operations move to following phases and sub-phases (no change to operation phase / sub-phase):

8.     Post Execution Phase

In the ‘Post Execution, phase’, maintenance technician continues to use ‘My Maintenance Jobs’ app and records the time spent on post execution operations, report malfunction details and failure data, and set final confirmation of post-execution operations.

In this phase, the order and ‘post operation’ progressed through the following phases and sub-phases:

After completion of post execution activities by the maintenance technician, Supervisor reviews the recorded time entries and failure data and technically complete the order (along with associated notifications) using the app ‘Find Maintenance Order’.

Post Execution Phase: Setting maintenance order ‘Complete Technically’

(Fiori App – Find Maintenance Order)

Once all main and post maintenance tasks have been executed and the maintenance order is set to Technically Complete (Order), the notification, order and operations move to the following phases and sub-phases:

9.     Completion Phase

During the ‘Completion’ phase, the maintenance planner or financial controller reviews the actual costs, checks open purchase orders and invoices, settles the orders financially, and changes the order status to Complete (Business). At the end of ‘Completion’ phase, notification, order and operation attains the following phases and sub-phases:

Thereby, the maintenance order is finally set to the Closed (Order) sub-phase.


The ‘phase model’ for maintenance operations, introduced in S/4HANA Cloud release 2011 brings the significant improvement to processing of a maintenance task by bringing granularity and standardizing the order life cycle stages. The phases also fulfill the gap of missing ‘user statuses’ in cloud solution.

Along with the phase model, other innovations viz. risk-based priority determination, cost approval of maintenance order and classification of operations (pre / main / post) are also bundled together. They remarkably improve the maintenance processes.

However, it may be noted that the ‘phase model’ only works for new order types of new scope items (4HH, 4HI, 4VT, 4WM, 4WM) using new FIORI apps. There is no migration path available to switch-over from old scope items (BH1, BH2 and BJ2) to the new one but both can be used in parallel using different set of FIORI apps.

Incorporation of ‘Emergency maintenance’ in the new phase-model, ability to skip some phases (e.g. screening), integration of maintenance planning buckets with Resource Scheduling are some of the improvements worth waiting for.

It will be interesting to see when the phase model is introduced in the ‘On-Premise’ release of S/4HANA where most of the customers are aligned to old scope items and deploy user statuses extensively.

I hope, you find the blog-post helpful in explaining the concepts of new phase model for maintenance processes and the scope for improvement.

Please feel free to share your feedback and leave any comments or questions below.

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SAP Help – Maintenance Process Phases


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      Author's profile photo Daniel Mimnagh
      Daniel Mimnagh

      Like the article just one question. If the workflow approval within S/4HANA Cloud is configured and costs are added onto the Work Order post approval such as inventory or direct purchases, will the order required re-approval.

      SAP Project Manager
      Daniel Mimnagh

      Author's profile photo Rajendra Pandey
      Rajendra Pandey
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Daniel,

      When a maintenance order is approved, the order-costs at approval is stored as order baseline costs. After approval if you add additional work / spares / services, order does not go for re-approval but you can always make out the difference between the originally approved costs (baseline costs) and subsequently modified planned cost.

      The baseline costs are new to order. Earlier we were seeing only 'Estimated', 'Planned' and 'Actual' Costs.

      This is the behavior I have currently noticed in the system.


      Best Regards,

      Rajendra Pandey

      Author's profile photo DIBAKAR N THAKUR

      Thank you for publishing a very well documented process flow and new changes in Asset management

      Author's profile photo Mainak Aich
      Mainak Aich

      Rajendra Pandey sir, great to see explaining this concept. I am feeling happy specially that I was part of the team which developed the overall status framework with phase/subhpase and phase control code. I hope you find this features helpful.

      Author's profile photo Rajendra Pandey
      Rajendra Pandey
      Blog Post Author

      Many thanks, Maniak - It is really a major change



      Author's profile photo Jan Stenstadvolden
      Jan Stenstadvolden

      Well written document Rajendra. Wish we had this in place some years ago. However pleased to see that our ideas are establishing roots.

      Author's profile photo Kenny Olde Rikkert
      Kenny Olde Rikkert

      Hi Rajendra Pandey

      Very nice document.

      The 2021 O/P version is released with the new phase model maintenance processes, but the old scope items still exist.

      What is recommended for greenfield implementations? Using the new phasing model, or sticking to the conventional order types? and why?

      Does it only depend on the requirement to define own user statuses?

      Thanks in advance!