Tips and Tricks – Project Management with SAP Cloud ALM
In this blog post, I would like to share some Tips and Tricks that can help you in using SAP Cloud ALM effectively to manage Projects. Please note you should read this post only after knowing the basics.
Know when to create a new Project
You need to know that you have multiple options to separate your areas of work within a Project. You can use scopes to keep your business process organized, use the provided workstreams, and use custom tags. When should you create a new Project vs continue to use the same Project? Your decision can be influenced by these factors
- One Project can contain only one Template from SAP Activate, so in case you are handling multiple products, you may want to create multiple Projects
- One Project has one timeline. In case you are handling a multi-country rollout and each rollout has a completely different timeline for phases, you may want to create multiple projects
Known limitations when using multiple projects
SAP Cloud ALM does not offer cross Project reporting. All applications including the Overview page and reports can only show data for one Project at one time.
You can not copy or move data from one Project to another Project easily.
Know which entities are Project dependent and which are cross Project
SAP Cloud ALM has multiple entities. Some are defined within a Project but some have more of a global presence across Projects
Project independent entities
you can bring your content easily. Read this blog post to know more
Use Deployment and Release Management
The Deployment Plan is an entity that establishes a common language of communication across Projects for planning and Deployment. The Project lead can assign only One Deployment Plan to one Project but when multiple Projects want to follow a common timeline for planning then multiple Projects can be assigned to the same Deployment Plan.
Deactivate phases that you don’t need
SAP Cloud ALM has a unique Timebox concept that allows you to use Phases, Sprints, and milestones.
Phases are provided by the SAP Activate methodology but if you are already in Realize phase of the Project when you begin to use SAP Cloud ALM, you may not need to phase Explore
You just need to know that a Project in SAP Cloud ALM needs at least one phase to function, which is prepare phase, other than that all phases can be deactivated in case you don’t need them. A clean way to do it is to make sure that no tasks remain assigned to a deactivated phase. Before de-activation, you can use mass edit to move tasks from one phase to another.
Deactivating a phase is completely risk-free if you change your mind, you can activate it again. Please note the deactivated phases and tasks that belong to deactivated phases, do not show in Reporting and Analytics.
Use Custom phases
You can use your own definition of phases. You can create custom phases easily. Please note that the order of the custom phase is auto-adjusted based on dates but the order of Activate phases does not change. Custom phases show with a special icon.
Use Agile Methodology
In Today’s world, agile methodology has helped millions of customers improve productivity and flexibility. You can easily create sprints and milestone dates and use SAP Cloud ALM to manage an implementation with Agile methodology together with SAP Activate methodology
Align sprints to phases
It is best to align your sprint dates to a phase. When you assign a task to a sprint, the system tries to find the matching phase by looking at the end date of a sprint. in case of multiple matches, the first matching phase is picked. For reports to work properly it is best if you create a nonoverlapping definition of phases and for each phase, you create a sprint schedule by maintaining dates appropriately. Also, it’s not required that you create sprints for each phase. It’s fine if you want sprints only in Realize phase.
Align milestones to phases
Milestones also try to find the matching phase. This way if you maintain dates properly, you can create milestones per phase. The phase will be shown as a sub-header in your task list when a task is assigned to a milestone.
Use the Gantt chart view
Tasklist can show two views, the list view, and the Gantt chart view. Gantt chart view has helped numerous customers and is becoming quite useful as
- it shows items in a hierarchical view
- For manually created items such as Project tasks and user stories, you can create relationships easily by selection
- you can change the duration of the dragging items just by dragging the duration timeline of any item
- You can see easily if your tasks are aligned to your timeboxes
- It offers a common view for Project leads to align Project phases and sprints to Release versions
Use Project API
Project API can help you connect SAP Cloud ALM to external tools and hence create SAP Cloud ALM Projects via API. You can visit this blog post to get started
We do not offer Project deletion, but you can hide projects if you don’t need them. You can easily unhide them in case you want to use them again. This keeps things clear for the end-users.
Create Tile for each Project
If you have multiple Projects, you can create a view for each Project and share that view as a Tile. This way your Fiori launchpad can have Tiles for each Project.
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