Robert is a Project Manager and is back from a project execution job in an auto industry. He used SAP PS (Project System) to complete the project efficiently and effectively. SAP PS helped him to monitor the progress of every stage of the project and helped him to manage every aspect of the complex project. He could complete the project on time, within the given budget, and could ensure that the required resources and funds were available as and when needed. Let us look into the features of SAP PS module and find out why SAP Project System (PS) is gaining greater importance with present day businesses. In an industry, project management plays an increasingly important role and as it is vital to compete more efficiently and effectively.
The biggest advantage of SAP PS is that it integrates closely with most of the other SAP modules and functions, such as, Sales and Distribution (SD), Material Management (MM), Human Resources (HR), Finance (FI), Controlling (CO), Investment Management (IM), Production Planning (PP), Plant Maintenance (PM), Document Management System (DMS), Portfolio and Project Management (PPM).
What is SAP PS?
SAP PS is a project management tool that helps you in all phases of project execution and enables you to handle business processes efficiently. SAP PS provides the required structures so that you can map projects flexibly. By using tools and reports in PS you can plan and monitor material, resources, schedules, and dates. SAP PS is part of both ERP (Enterprise resource Planning) and PLM (Product Life Cycle Management).
Structure of PS
The two main structures provided by PS are Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) elements and Networks or Activities. WBS can be used to organize a project and its individual tasks and activities in the form of hierarchy which can have multiple levels. It shows the structure of the project and places emphasis on dates (Start and end dates), budget, cost and revenue accumulation, comparison of planned and actual data. The WBS is the operative basis for the further steps in Project Planning, such as Cost Planning, Scheduling, Capacity Planning as well as Project Controlling. When you enter all the data for the activities, the system can calculate the planned dates and costs for the entire project. When the tasks within the activities have been executed they must be confirmed. Completion of all tasks within an activity leads to the confirmation of the activity. Following this the next activity can start. In a network the activities are linked to each other. They can be linked in four different ways:
- Start -Start: The previous activity has to start before the successive one starts.
- Finish-Start: The previous activity has to finish before the successive one starts.
- Start – Finish: The previous activity has to start before the successive one finishes.
- Finish – Finish: The previous activity has to finish before the successive one finishes.
SAP PS Functionality
The nature of the project dictates what structure and functionality will be used. PS uses WBS (Work break down structures) and Network or Network Activities to manage projects. Features in PS include planning of costs and resources which can be the basis for a budget. Projects are repositories for business related cost and revenues and at the end of a project, SAP PS helps to allocate the project related financial data to the relevant areas in the financial system of an organization. Other functionality supported in PS includes:
- Claims Management
- Cash Management
- Capacity/Work Force Planning
Advantages of PS
One of the keys to a successful SAP Project System (PS) implementation is to align the proposed project management business processes with a recognized project management methodology or organizational governance process. You can break down your project into Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) elements and into individual activities or work packages. SAP Project System (PS) is the module within SAP that handles the full cycle of planning and execution of projects. It integrates with the other SAP modules enabling projects to be executed efficiently, with appropriate timing and within established budget. Some of the benefits mentioned below make SAP PS an attractive project handling tool in the industry:
- Enforces standard project management disciplines and controls
- Helps in improved KPI reporting
- Ensures flow of consistent information
- Helps to reduce user input time and aids in schedule monitoring
- Enables early identification and rectification of adverse project variances and more
SAP PS provides enhanced billing, cash flow monitoring and integration with other systems makes SAP PS capable of managing both technical and commercial aspects of a project. The SAP PS optimizes the business processes from project planning to execution and enables a detailed project progress analysis. These functionality of SAP PS help you to plan, carry out, and control projects in a target-orientated, competitive, and professional manner.
Versions of SAP Project System
Here are some of the different versions of PS:
- Project versions: These are basically snapshots of a project at different stages of the project. Based on the system set up, a version can be created every time the system status of a project object changes.
- Simulation versions: These are essentially “play around with” versions. So if you want to try out different scenarios by changing dates, structures, milestones, etc and want to compare the results of the simulation with those of the operative version, then you can use this version. This helps you to visualize and try out the impact of certain changes before actually implementing them to the operative project. The main difference between the project and simulation versions is that project versions cannot be changed or modified once they are copied, while you can play around with the simulation versions and try out the effects of different changes and modification. Also, you cannot copy a project version to an operative version, but you can copy a simulation version to an operative version.
- Planning/Controlling versions: These versions are used to store different planning details for the project. Essentially, these versions are also “operational” and can be changed as needed. You can keep each version for each type of monitoring, for example, you can keep the operative version (V0) always for actual costs, while you will use planning version P1 to store planned values, and version P2 for unit costing values, and so on.
- Progress versions: In any project it is vital to monitor the progress of the project at every stage and the Progress version is used to define the control data for POC or Proof of Concept and SAP PS records progress analysis data in the progress version.
Now that you have a fair idea about SAP PS, you may want to use it for your next project management and execution assignment. If you want to prepare for a Project Management exam then Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam Prep will be of great help.
To have a peek into some of the important and popular SAP modules, you check the courses SAP HCM Module, SAP SD Training, Learn SAP Financial Accounting – Online Training, SAP CRM, SAP Materials Management – Purchasing & Material Master Data, SAP Business Warehouse – SAP BW for Beginners, Learn SAP BEx Analyzer – 2014 Academy Training Course, SAP Warehouse Management Training, SAP ABAP Programming For Beginners – 2014 – Online Training, SAP Basis and Netweaver Training.