In most businesses, managing projects is an important key to success. Optimizing business processes, analyzing important data, and keeping up with a project timeline can seem a bit daunting to tackle at one time. But, SAP Project Systems has the tools you need to handle project activities effectively and efficiently throughout the entire project lifecycle.
Besides its ability to integrate with other SAP modules (which we’ll cover more thoroughly later in this article), SAP PS becomes even more versatile when you understand how well it integrates with third-party project management tools, such as Microsoft Project and Primavera. But first, we’ll begin with some of the key features and benefits of the solution.
Read on to learn more about the SAP Project Systems module, as well as where our team of SAP project management consultants can fit in your organization.
What is Project Management in SAP?
The SAP Project Management tool helps companies plan, manage, prioritize, execute, and analyze company-wide projects throughout the entire project lifecycle, including the forecasting, pre-planning, execution, and closure stages.
By leveraging SAP Project Management capabilities, companies are able to optimize portfolio management and control, promote collaboration between project teams, and maximize project management efficiency throughout their entire enterprise.
Project Management in SAP enables companies to:
- Use advanced analytics, KPIs, and metrics visualization to reduce project risks
- Increase profitability with more efficient and effective project management templates
- Automate tasks, streamline workflows, and reallocate resources from inactive projects to reduce total project costs
- Access real-time data to keep projects on time and within budget
- Choose projects with higher ROI by leveraging improved data transparency
Key Components of SAP Project Management
Here are the main components of SAP PPM, as well as how they can help your organization…
SAP Project Management
The SAP Project Management module provides tools that help companies outline project plans, identify necessary project resources, oversee project phases, and track progress to keep projects on time.
SAP also offers a project management tool, SAP Project System (SAP PS), to provide additional support for all project phases and help users navigate complex integrations with other modules throughout the total SAP ERP system.
SAP’s Project Management module gives users the opportunity to:
- Support company-wide projects
- Automate project controlling
- Promote collaboration among teams
- Track task progress and project timelines more accurately
SAP Commercial Project Management
SAP Commercial Project Management provides solutions that help companies meet core business requirements and handle end-to-end business processes more effectively, including planning, selling, executing, controlling, and monitoring of projects.
This module is made up of two main components – Project Workspace and Project Cost and Revenue Planning – which provide an easy-to-use, role-based interface that enables users to manage their financial and non-financial data more effectively
With SAP Commercial Project Management, companies can:
- Improve project planning and costing
- Reduce project risks
- Manage change more efficiently
- Enhance contract and project management capabilities
- Keep better track of work in progress (WIP), billing, and receivables
SAP Portfolio Management
The SAP Portfolio Management solution offers traditional portfolio management tools that give users the opportunity to collectively manage and analyze project portfolios and project investments in the same place.
With SAP Portfolio Management capabilities, project teams are able to generate project proposals more efficiently, organize them in order of priority, and track progress as each task is completed.
SAP Portfolio Management allows users to:
- Gain better portfolio insights
- Keep project on time and within budget
- Maximize total project investment
- Build schedules for performance control
- Align enterprise portfolio with overall business strategy
SAP Resource Management
SAP Resource Management provides advanced capabilities that allow project teams to keep better track of used and unused resources throughout the entire project lifecycle. With the Resource Management module, companies can identify necessary resources more accurately, manage resource utilization throughout the project, and optimize workflows by reducing project bottlenecks.
With the SAP Resource Management module, users are able to:
- Identify the right resources
- Monitor resource availability
- Ensure optimal resource allocation
- Manage resource utilization through the entire project
What is SAP Project Systems?
SAP Project Systems (PS) is a project management solution that helps organizations manage projects throughout their entire lifecycle, all while staying on time and budget. Its tight integration with SAP’s Finance and Logistics modules makes it an ideal tool for complex projects such as construction, service, production, and investment within all industries.
Understanding SAP Project Systems
This integrated project management tool manages your entire project system and provides necessary integration capabilities for other SAP applications, including SAP Materials Management and Finance and Logistics. It’s part of the full SAP Project and Portfolio Management solution and helps manage projects from the planning stage, through execution, and beyond.
SAP’s Project System module helps plan and control all stages of your projects, no matter the size or complexity of your project or the industry you’re in. And, paired with its seamless integration with other SAP applications and modules, the solution is especially beneficial for larger, more complex projects that require more technological functionality and project management capability than can be handled by your usual project management team with no external project management tools.
Project Management with SAP Project System
Before a project can begin in SAP, users need to classify the project, define a project goal, and outline the specific activities to be completed throughout the project. Projects can be classified in each of the following ways and are dependent on budget and project management resources:
- Externally Financed Project:
- Sponsored by clients and structured to achieve client project requirements
- Project goals aligned to meet client demand
- Internally Financed Project:
- Related to capital investment and overhead cost management
- Project goals aligned to meet company demand
In addition to the two key project classifications, SAP PS also allows users to further categorize projects by activity or project structure, including Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) or per work packages for individual activities. With this level of classification and organization, the SAP PS module lets users shape their experience to fit their own needs, helping to increase the productivity and optimization of their project management system.
Key Features of SAP PS
On a basic level, the SAP PS module allows project managers to establish a start and end date of a project and separate it into its different elements, activities, and tasks. Here’s a closer look at the the module’s key features:
SAP PS offers a number of ways to structure a project, including WBS and network diagrams. You can define your project structures manually, based on template, or even automatically using sales documents. Essentially, no matter what type of project structure makes sense given your business requirements, SAP PS can help you make it work.
Once you’ve set up your project structure, time scheduling comes into play. For those that schedule with WBS elements, this is a manual process that involves entering planned dates on each WBS element. Scheduling with networks, on the other hand, allows the system to automatically calculate planned dates.
Similar to time scheduling, SAP PS users can either plan their project costs manually in the WBS or automatically through networks and assigned orders. The former allows for using profiles to enter quantities (such as materials or internal/external activities) to each individual WBS element. The latter makes copying plan data to new projects a breeze, not to mention the fact that cost planning shifts automatically with activities if parts of a project end up getting rescheduled.
Continuing the theme, revenue planning in SAP PS can be performed either manually or through automatic updates based on Work breakdown structure or sales orders, whichever makes the most sense for your business needs.
Project Progress Analysis
Once your project is in motion, project progress analysis allows you to understand the state of your projects and how they’re developing. If everything is progressing smoothly, outstanding. But if something seems to be going off track, you’ll know it, because progress analysis gives you continuously current data while the project is running. The sooner you can fix the problem, the sooner your project can get rolling again.
Finally, SAP PS gives you the flexibility to build reports based on a variety of methodologies, including financial, hierarchical, material, project progress, and resource.
Integrations with SAP PS
As we mentioned before, SAP PS integrates with many other SAP modules, making project planning, designing, and execution that much more seamless. Here are just a few of the most common integration modules:
Finance and Controlling Module
Plan for costs and revenue in the project system with requirements in financial planning.
Manage procurement and inventory functions occurring in the project lifecycle.
Sales and Distribution Module
Help manage the sales process (billing, selling, and shipping of goods) within the project lifecycle, including quotations for customer projects.
Perform functions like material requirement planning, bill of materials, material requisition, capacity planning, and other tasks in the project lifecycle.
Getting Started with SAP PS
SAP PS allows you to plan, evaluate, and control costs and revenues. In addition, you’ll enhance your schedule and material management. Organizations that use SAP PS experience a variety of benefits, including:
- A single platform for project office, logistics, and finance
- Detailed follow-up of customer and company in-house projects
- Project profitability by phase and resource utilization rates
How Can We Help?
If you’re ready to get started with SAP PS, or you’d just like to learn more about what the module can do for your company, Surety Systems can help. Our team of US-based SAP consultants can help you integrate the solution and advise your organization as to the best integration strategy to support your business goals.
We’ve included a sample profile of one of our SAP PS consultants to give you a better idea of what to expect when partnering with us.
Surety Senior SAP Project Systems Consultant
- US Citizen
- 21+ years of SAP Project Systems experience
- SAP Project Systems (PS) Expert
- Completed over 30 Global Client Implementations; Extensive experience tied to Design/Blueprinting process
- Well-versed in SAP S/4HANA; Led 7 SAP S/4 SAP PS Implementations
- Excels with SAP PS configuration, end-to-end testing, & user training
Contact us today to kick things off.