With the third shipment this year, SAP provides numerous highlights again for the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2008 release. Below you can read about some of these great innovations in the area of Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management.
Next to various updates for our two main processes Project Financial Control (1NT) and Project Review (1YF) – which are our foundation processes and therefore also applicable to R&D Project Management (35E) and Capital Investment Project Management (35F) – we’re releasing a new business process, Project Control – Procurement (4RF), to address the demand for service and consumables.
Watch my video and get a quick overview of our 2008 highlights:
Whenever companies need to procure many items, or in other words, if they have a demand, this new business object can save an enormous amount of time. A demand represents a certain need of a work package at a certain time and at a certain location.
With our new business process 4RF: Project Control – Procurement we offer a first integration between enterprise projects and procurement. It allows you to plan, trigger, and monitor procurement of materials and services that are required for a successful project execution. If you can plan your procurement upfront, and maintained this information in the work packages, you can ensure on-time delivery of the materials and services.
Along with our new process we also introduce a new role, the Project Procurement Controller who can create and manage these demands. A Project Procurement Controller can turn demands of a project into purchase requisitions and thereby into purchase orders and align procurement also with project timelines.
For future releases we plan to enable further types of demands, e.g. for stock materials, or down the road also for individual resources.
Fig. 1: This new business object enables Project Procurement Controllers to plan, trigger, and monitor procurement of materials and services that are required for a successful project execution.
Project Planning App Enhancements
As in the past, also this quarter we’ve been working on further enhancements for our Project Planning application in order to stepwise replace the Project Builder application.
As introduced already with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005, we have enabled for project financial controller basic project structure maintenance operations in the Project Planning application. With our new release, we allow the same functionality also for project managers as part of the process Project Review. This means that now also project managers don’t need to switch between applications anymore, but they can simply maintain the structure of projects within the Project Planning app, which can save a lot of time.
Moreover, with the upcoming release we are also accelerating the maintenance of projects by enabling copy functionalities within the Project Planning application. Project Managers and Project Financial Controllers don’t need to create work packages from scratch, but they can simply copy an existing work package or even entire work package subtrees.
Fig. 2: The Project Planning application now also allows for Project Managers to maintain project structures and the new functionality to copy work packages and work package subtrees reduces manual efforts for Project Managers as well as for Project Financial Controllers.
Change Documents – Projects App
Usually, in project management activities there are many parties involved. That’s why it can be difficult to stay on top of project changes. For this purpose, we have been working on a new application, the “Change Documents – Projects” app which allows you to monitor the changes which are done to projects.
Every user who has at least the ‘read’ authorization to projects can make use of this brand-new app and is able to view and analyze so-called change documents, which contain project related information such as the dataset of the changed object. Being able to get a quick overview about the recent changes, and to trace project master data changes, can greatly improve the monitoring of your projects. This leads to faster reaction times in case any corrective measures need to be taken.
You can make use of a variety of filter options, and you can also easily cross-navigate between the Project Briefs or Project Control app and the new “Change Documents – Projects” app.
Fig. 3: The new “Change Documents – Projects” app allows you to easily monitor the changes which are done to projects and take corrective measures if needed.
Flexible Billing Element & Additional Billing Scenarios
Already with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005 we have enabled the integration between sales orders and enterprise projects and supported more complex hierarchical project revenue accounting scenarios with multiple billing. With the new release, we’re adding more functionalities on top to provide even more flexibility in the structure definition of enterprise projects. For projects with revenue you can use the Project Planning app to set different profit center and functional area of the same company code for the billing work packages. These changes are adopted not only in the Project Planning app, but also in Project Control, Project Builder and Mass Changes to Projects applications, and API and Migration report.
When it comes to the settlement rules for revenue projects, you can maintain them either on the billing elements or on work packages which are not assigned to billing elements. For work packages which are assigned to a billing element the settlement rule will be derived from the above billing element. Therefore, the costs and revenues from the child work packages will be aggregated to the respective parent billing work package
Moreover, we release additional billing scenarios to the already existing fixed priced billing, down payment and free of charge processes. With the new release we support fixed priced project billing with delivery-based billing for stock materials, and also plan-based billing for configurable materials.
To further extend the billing scenarios we’re whitelisting additional sales order item categories for the project account assignment.
Fig. 4: For revenue projects we provide more flexibility in the structure definition by allowing users to set different profit center and functional area of the same company code for the billing work packages.
Enhancements in Block Functions
Introduced with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2002, the concept of block functions improves the control of cost postings on WBS elements. Next to the already existing functionality to block time recording, activity allocation, concur expense postings, other expense postings and purchasing, we now allow you to copy block functions from an existing project. Basically, the block function settings are taken over from the existing project when copying it.
In conjunction with the new Change Documents – Projects app, you can get insights into the details of the changes which were made to the block functions, which helps you to stay on top of your projects.
Moreover, up until our 2005 release you could use the block functions from the Project Control and Project Planning applications, and with the 2008 release this action is also supported in the Mass Changes to Projects app as well as the Migration report.
Fig. 5: Use the Mass Changes to Projects app to update block functions across multiple work packages to save you an enormous amount of time.
New Feature for Validation/Determination Cloud BAdI
If you want to increase efficiency, speed up project structuring activities and reduce user errors, key users can benefit from validation and determination logic. In order to ensure the project or work package naming convention, for example, you can have the system run a validation in the background and check whether the change that you want to execute on a particular work package is valid or not.
With our new release you can use external API’s in enterprise projects in order to make use of the Validation / Determination Cloud BAdI capabilities. When calling an external API you can minimize the manual errors, and there is also less manual effort needed when passing the data into the system.
Manage Direct Activity Allocation
This new SAP Fiori app ‘Manage Direct Activity Allocation’, located in the area of Finance, replaces the former GUI application ‘Enter Activity Allocation’. Project Financial Controllers can make use of the new application and all the benefits of an SAP Fiori UI Framework, e.g. when it comes to extensibility. Additionally, you can now save a draft of the data which is entered as part of the new UI application.
Fig. 6: The new ‘Manage Direct Activity Allocation’ app allows Project Financial Controllers to make use of all capabilities that come with SAP Fiori.
Joint Venture Attributes in Project Control List
Almost exactly one year ago, with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908, we have shipped an innovation which was the migration of enterprise projects with additional fields for Joint Venture Accounting. Back then the efficiency was already increased by migrating projects with Joint Venture Accounting information, instead of maintaining the values for each project after the migration took place.
Further enriching this functionality, we now also incorporate the Joint Venture attributes of project and work packages as additional filter criteria as well as column in the Project Control List Report. The picture below shows where the additional joint venture attributes are now shown as part of the Project Control app.
Fig. 7: Joint Venture attributes of projects and work packages are incorporated as additional filter criteria & column in the Project Control List Report.
Public Sector Management: Sponsored Program
As part of Public Sector Management, we are introducing a new field, the ‘Sponsored Program’ field which leads to a closer integration between Grants Management and enterprise projects.
A grant is basically a contract which allows the flow of money to an organization in terms of a sponsor. When we talk about this in the context of a project, we call it a sponsored program, hence introducing the ‘Sponsored Program’ field.
While the assignment of such a field can be done in the Project Control and Project Planning applications in the work package object page, the changes are adopted as well in API and Migration report.