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Plan your Business Activities and Surveys Better with Activity Planner in SAP C4C

You name a business or talk to any business leader and they will vouch for the effectiveness of surveys and tasks playing a pivotal role in the success of business from inception of the idea (Actualization, Marketing, Sales, Service) to customer experience. Here are a few examples of surveys and tasks that are rampantly used through the life of a business cycle:

  • Procurement survey
  • Requirement, Demand and Design Survey
  • Market and Sales Audience Survey
  • Sales & Service Tasks
  • After Sales & Service Tasks
  • Product and Customer Satisfaction Surveys etc,

More important than the survey or task itself is the planning that goes behind how and when to use these entities (surveys, task, appointments, and phone calls) effectively and automatically in relevant business steps e.g. Responding to a Lead , Nurturing an Opportunity, Executing a Visit or Negotiating a  Sales Quote etc.

This is where Activity Planner plays a huge role and in this blog post I’m going to talk about this powerful little tool available in SAP C4C and how it can be tactfully used for planning and enabling business to create their tailored activity plans choreographed using routing rules.

Screenshot%28SH%29%201%20%u2013%20Conceptualization%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 1 – Conceptualization, Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

So, let’s dive deeper!

A Plan Enables us to define activities such as Surveys and Tasks etc. while a Routing Rule enables to use plans to assigned activities to business objects when rule conditions are met.

Prerequisites for using Activity planner:

  • Enable Activity Planner – It must be included in project Scope and one can do so by following the below steps, go to
    • Business Configuration > Implementation Projects > Edit Projects > Scope > Questions > Sales > Account and Activity Management > Activity Management, select/in Scope question

“Do you want to maintain activity planners in the system?”

    • Assign Activity Planner work center view (ID: ACTIVITYWORKLIST) to required business roles or specific users.

 

  • Configure default organization unit during Activity Plan or Routing rule creation – It should also be included in project scope. If you decide to default organizational unit based on logged in user who is creating activity plan or routing rule, it can be done using the following steps,
    • Go to Business Configuration > Implementation Projects > Edit Projects > Scope > Questions > Sales > Account and Activity Management > Activity Management, select/in Scope question

“Do you want to default Organizational Unit of logged in user for Activity Plans/Routing Rules?”

Screenshot%28SH%29%202%20%u2013%20Scoping%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 2 – Scoping, Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

 

Post enablement of Activity Planner, Plan and Routing rules need to be created. Let’s see these one by one.

Plan – Details & Steps to Create

Enable business to group a variety of activities together (Such as Survey and task) with defined validity. Plan can be made mandatory. Following steps followed to create Plan

  1. Logon with Administrator role and Go To > Activity Planner > Plan > “+”(Create), enter required values and select “Save and Open”
  2. Screenshot%28SH%29%203%20%u2013%20Plan%20Creation%20-1%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 3 – Plan Creation -1, Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

Activity Plan will be saved and opened as below.

Screenshot%28SH%29%204%20%u2013%20Plan%20Creation%20-2%20Edit%20%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 4 – Plan Creation -2 Edit , Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

I have added Task and Survey by following steps outlined below, generally having option to add following listed 6 entities to Plan,

  1. Task
  2. Survey
  3. Appointment – if assigned to Plan, then it can be assigned to opportunities or sales quotes
  4. Organization Units – Its optional, can be maintained to define Organization Units specific routing rules
  5. Phone call – if assigned to Plan, then it can be assigned to opportunities or sales quotes
  6. Involvement – People /Group listed here, will be able to see this plan as part of the result set for the filter “Activity Plans for Me or My Area

 

2. To Add Task in activity plan, Go to Task tab and click on “New”, enter details. As per business requirement I have made it Mandatory and auto assign  by selecting 2 important characteristics of Task

  • Mandatory –
    • If Selected, means its mandatory to be completed (Should be in final status) before closing the business object
    • If not selected, means it’s not necessary to close this task before closing the business object.
  • Assign Automatically –
    • if selected, means its added to applicable business objects when the routing rules are triggered.
    • If not selected, Users can manually add to applicable business objects if needed
Screenshot%28SH%29%205%20%u2013%20Plan%20Creation%20-3%20Add%20Task%20%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 5 – Plan Creation -3 Add Task , Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

 

3. Notes and Attachments can be added to the task by selecting task. These will be passed on to business object when task is assigned to it.

Screenshot%28SH%29%206%20%u2013%20Plan%20Creation%20-4%20Add%20Task%20%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 6 – Plan Creation -4 Add Task , Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

4. To Add Survey in activity plan, Go to Survey > ADD and select previously created Survey, As per business requirement I have made it Mandatory and auto assign  by selecting 2 important characteristics of Survey

  • Mandatory –
    • If selected, means its mandatory to be completed (Should be in final status) before closing the business object
    • If not selected, means it’s not necessary to close this task before closing the business object.
  • Assign Automatically –
    • if selected, means its added to applicable business objects when the routing rules are triggered.
    • If not selected, Users can manually add them to applicable business objects if needed
Screenshot%28SH%29%207%20%u2013%20Plan%20Creation%20-5%20Add%20Survey%20%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 7 – Plan Creation -5 Add Survey , Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

5. After completely defining the Activity Plan, you must save it.

Until now I have done 2 vital activities:

    1. Enable Activity plan and done related
    2. Create Plan

Next, I created routing rule defining criteria that a business object(Visit) must fulfill to receive above define activity plan above.

Routing Rule – Details & Steps to Create

Routing Rules enable user to assign activity plans to the business object. User can define conditions in routing rules and once these conditions are met the defined activities are assigned to business objects. Before creating routing rules here are some points to remember:

  • Every routing rule applies to only one specific business rule
  • Only active Routing Rules can be executed.
  • Routing rules can be created for business object/applications
    • Leads
    • Opportunity
    • Phone call
    • Sales Quote
    • Ticket
    • Visit

I followed below steps followed to create Routing Rule

  1. Logon with Administrator role and Go To > Activity Planner > Routing Rules > “+” Create

Enter description and select business object for which you are trying to create routing rule and select Save and Open

Screenshot%28SH%29%208%20%u2013%20Routing%20Rule%20Creation%20-1%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 8 – Routing Rule Creation -1, Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

Routing Rule will be saved and opened as bellow. I have added conditions and Activity Plan by following steps outlined below, generally having option to add following listed 5 entities to Routing Rule,

    1. Conditions – Conditions are structured in groups.
    2. Activity Plans – Plan created in step two can be added
    3. Organization Units – Its optional, can be maintained to define Organization Units specific routing rules
    4. Accounts – Its optional, can be maintained to define Account or Target Group specific routing rules
    5. Involvement – People /Group listed here, will able to see this plan as part of the result set for the filter “Activity Plans for Me or My Area”.

2. Go to Conditions tab and click on “Add Group” and define required condition(s) and Save.

Screenshot%28SH%29%209%20%u2013%20Routing%20Rule%20Creation%20-2%20Define%20Conditions%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 9 – Routing Rule Creation -2 Define Conditions, Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

Note:

  • Comparison can be done against a value or any other field
  • When a routing rule is triggered, different condition groups are evaluated as a logical OR relationship and conditions within one group, are evaluated as a logical AND relationship.
Screenshot%28SH%29%2010%20%u2013%20Routing%20Rule%20Creation%20-3%20Define%20Conditions%20-2%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 10 – Routing Rule Creation -3 Define Conditions -2, Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

3. After adding conditions, I have added activity plan that will follow this rule. Go to Activity Plans tab, and click on “Add”, after selection of Activity Rule again click on Add.

Screenshot%28SH%29%2011%20%u2013%20Routing%20Rule%20Creation%20-4%20Assign%20Activity%20Plan%2C%20Picture%20created%20by%20Abhay%20Newaskar%20%28Author%29Screenshot(SH) 11 – Routing Rule Creation -4 Assign Activity Plan, Picture created by Abhay Newaskar (Author)

 

Note:

  • More than 1 Activity Plan can be assigned to routing rules

4. After complete definition of routing rule, Click on Save

5. Click Actions > Set Active

With this required configuration & settings completed as part of listed following activities, that enable system to propose Task & Survey on Visit object on meeting the defined conditions while evaluating routing rules(triggered automatically or Manually or on a customized schedule ) to determine applicable activity plans.

  1. Enable Activity plan and set related configuration.
  2. Create Plan
  3. Create Routing Rules & Activated it.

Last but not the least, how exactly task and surveys of activity plan will be routed to Visit(business object). Routing of activity plan can be triggered either by

  • Manually – Manually triggering of the routing in one of the following ways
    • From the list of visits, select one or more visits that you want to update, and choose Actions >Refresh Selected Visits.
    • Go to the detail view of a visit, and choose Actions > Refresh Visit
  • Automatically – If activity plan is Auto Assigned (Including tasks and Surveys), routed based on rules,
    • upon a background job that runs every 10 minutes
    • defined a time window for automatic assignment

I have configuring automatic Refresh for “Visits” using workflow rules by following steps

  1. Go to Administrator > Workflow Rules and create a new workflow rule.
  2. In Business Object, choose Visit.
  3. For the Timing type, you can choose from On Create Only, On Every Save, and Scheduled. If the timing field is left blank, On Every Save is applied by default.
  4. This selection decides when your action, in this case Refresh Visit, is triggered.
  5. For Rule Type, choose Action and select Refresh Visit.
  6. Review and activate your workflow rule.

Note: There is possibility of Configured Time Window for “Visits” by using finetuning option. “Define Time Window to Add Surveys/Tasks to Visits”: Here user can define number of days that system should look in future.

This seemingly lengthy process, in fact, is very straight forward and works like magic when dealing with large number of transactions. It saves quite a bit of time for the users when the surveys and tasks get auto assigned on the transactions without a single click leading to application acceptance and better user experience. It is one of my favorite features in C4C application and is a hit with the users too. In this blog post I have tried to encompass my experience around this neat little functionality to serve as an information capsule for anyone looking to understand how Activity Planner works. For more info you can refer to SAP’s amazing documentation at https://help.sap.com.

I really hope you found this information useful. Please feel free to provide your feedback in the comments section below. Questions or queries are also welcome. Happy Reading!

 

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