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The effective person never asks HOW will I get to do this but rather WHO will I get to do this.”    (Mary Cantando)             


Every manager is familiar with this situation. You are busy. You are very busy. You are just about to leave your office to meet with an important customer when payroll calls about some missing timesheet approvals. And then there are your team KPIs that you have to provide regularly to upper management. You usually end up doing them on the weekend because you just can’t find time during the week. Your own manager says, “Just delegate some of your stuff.” But it’s not that easy.

There are no lack of guides and techniques for effective delegation. Enter the search term ‘delegation techniques’ into Google and you’ll get over 11 million results. But look at a few of them, and you’ll spot a common theme. Successful delegation is always about assigning the right task to the right person. Since most workplace tasks involve access to data and/or some kind of system interaction, this also requires a system that supports flexible delegation.

Delegating to substitutes is a high priority

At SAP, we conducted extensive user research to find out how managers work and what they expect from a manager self-service (MSS) system. What we heard from many customers was that one of their highest priorities is the ability to flexibly delegate work to substitutes. By “work”, they meant workflow tasks, non-workflow tasks, and even views and applications.

Due to this variety of delegation needs, a single substitute is usually not sufficient. A typical manager deals with routine tasks that can be delegated to an admin or a team member and much more sensitive tasks that can only be delegated to a manager who is at least at the same hierarchy level. 

From a company perspective, another aspect to delegation is often ignored as long as everything goes according to plan. But what if a manager has an unplanned absence or gets sick? Such emergencies often result in delays because an ad-hoc substitute often doesn’t have sufficient access rights to applications, tasks, and views. It doesn’t have to be this way. Ideally, as we heard from our customers, a substitute should already be in place in the system so that he or she can take over seamlessly as needed.

Tap into new MSS substitution functionality

How can the new MSS substitution functionality within SAP ERP help you in these situations? With HR renewal 1.0, SAP delivered a new MSS substitution functionality that allows managers to view and manage their substitutions, both the ones they have created themselves and those assigned by other managers.


Managers can create new rules by selecting a task, a substitute, a start date (optional) and an end date (optional). For different tasks, they can choose different substitutes. For example, a manager can assign the timesheet approval to an admin and the leave-request approval to another team member. A substitution can also be set up in way that it is inactive but that allows a substitute to take over in case of an unplanned absence (fill-in option – see screenshot). 

“Tasks” are not limited to workflow tasks. The new substitution functionality is enabled for the following:

·         Workflow and non-workflow-based approvals such as leave approval, cross-application time sheet (CATS) approval and clock-in/clock-out approval.

·         Team-specific applications such as home page, team page, process, forms, and recruiting

·         All employee- and organization-specific applications offered as standard in the team view

The HR renewal MSS substitution functionality can help:

·         Enable managers to delegate effectively

·         Ensure business continuity

The new functionality is delivered as an “in-advance” shipment (support package modeled as a new type of add-on) to EHP7 and requires Enhancement Package 6 (EHP6) as a pre-requisite. You can find more information at:



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