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* Prologue

About a year ago I have been in the Headquarters of SAP Argentina, in a meeting with a SAP pre sales employee, who said to me:

- Mariano tell me, which is the difference between SAP PPM (Portfolio & Project Management)  and SAP PS (Project System)? -

I responded to her with a lot of explanations and examples, but she didn't understand. Why? Because she didn't think about like a Project Manager.

The Portfolio Manager have to use the system every day, to follow and control all their projects.

Some SAP PS Consultants tell me:

- Hey!! Are you implementing SAP PPM? Wow!! that's very wonderful!! - [...] - What is it? -

Then when I answered the question:

- But It's usable? - ......

They didn't understand. Why? Because they didn't think about like a Project Manager.

The Project Manager have to use the system everyday, to know the task of all their resources.

When I had finished to implement SAP PS in the most important electric company here in Argentina, the Operation Manager tell me:

- Thank Mariano for your help, but we still have to use Microsoft Project for all our Operational Projects, because SAP PS doesn't offers a complete solution to follow up projects. It's a heavy tool unflexible that only has an integrated structure with other modules process that was created after '80s. We need a dinamic and flexible tool. We will use SAP PS to inform all project's revenues and costs. - That was his point of view. Most of Project Managers need a control panel to simplify their project analysis. So that's why they are using primitive tools like Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel. I say primitive tools to any that doesn't have integration with the rest. That's why it SAP PPM exists, because they Changes User Interface Technology and the Navigation Paradigm with a new functionality different to SAP PS.

* What is SAP PS?

- SAP Project System (PS) is the module within SAP that handles the full cycle of planning and execution of Projects. It integrates between all other modules enabling projects to be executed efficiently, with appropriate timing and within established budget. The SAP PS optimizes the business processes from project planning through to carrying out the project and enables a project progress analysis. You can plan, carry out and control projects in a target-orientated and a business fashion.

You structure your project per the following points of view:

  • By structures, using a work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • By process, using individual activities (work packages)

* What is SAP PPM?-  Portfolio Management integrates information from existing project management, human resources, and financial systems to provide an overview of project portfolio with easy drilldown to details for portfolio managers, project managers, and resource managers. This enables innovative and collaborative, cross-functional business processes. - Project Managment covers the entire range of project management activities in development and consultancy projects, from planning to implementation to project completion (including engineers projects). Supports organizations to grow their project management excelence by providing solid standalone project management core support, offering a wide range of integration options, new product development and introduction, consulting projects and IT projects. You can structure your project & portfolio per the following point of view:

  • Project Management --> Helps you manage phase-based development projects.
  • Portfolio Management --> You can address the strategic aspects of portfolio management, monitor project status - including information about project resources - and manage your entire project portfolio.
  • Seamlessly integrate with one another to give you optimal management tools.

* The difference between SAP PPM & SAP PS are:

- Technically talking in SAP PS you have: Project Definitions, WBSs (Work Breakdown Structure's) with Network's and Operations, in SAP PPM you have Initiatives, Items, Decisión Points, Projects, Phases, Tasks, CheckList and Checklist Items. The truly difference are the usage of all of thous object's to represent an Idea and follow a object with an Stage-Gate metodology.

* Can I use SAP PS to represent the Initiative or Idea of a future project?.

- Yes, but could be very restricted and limited in functionality. It's not the goal. From standard way --> PS doesn´t support draft (before the project).

- You can efficiently monitor projects, including management of project costs and revenue. This component covers the controlling and logistics aspect of project management and is used often for project management in the manufacturing industry.

* Can I use SAP PPM to replace SAP PS?

- No, you would need use SAP PS if you want to integrate Revenue and Costs to SAP PPM. You can replace SAP PS with SAP CO to integrate Revenue and Costs (without any WBS structure) using Internal Orders.

        * Don't forget that SAP PPM was created to cover from the beginning at the end of all Portfolio and Project Managers activities.

        * Don't forget that SAP PS is usually used for key users (project leaders), administrators users or controllers.

Hope this post could help you.

Best regards.



SAP PS -->

SAP PPM Overview -->

My SAP PPM Experience -->

Slideshare -->