The two structures provided by SAP Project System (SAP PS) for mapping projects are as follows:
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
- A WBS is a model of a project and shows the required project activities in a hierarchical form. It forms the control basis for planning costs, revenues, payments, scheduling, and budgeting.
- Networks are used to represent the individual project activities together with their temporal and logical relationships. In other words, networks represent the flow of the project. Networks link the activities to be performed in the project and in what chronological order.
Activities show the flow of a project as well as the specific tasks involved in a project.
Individual tasks are linked to each other by relationships and can be further grouped together to form networks. Activities form the operative basis for planning and controlling dates, costs, and resources (personnel, machinery, production resources, and tools (PRTs), and materials).
When activities are assigned to WBS elements, the dates and costs defined in the individual activities are aggregated at the WBS level and can be evaluated.
Activity funds already assigned are checked against the budgets of the WBS elements.
A WBS is a model of a project and shows the project activities to be carried out in a hierarchical structure. The various work packages in the project are described as individual Work Breakdown Structure elements (WBS elements). You can divide these WBS elements at various levels until you reach the level of detail you require. Since the WBS is structured hierarchically, the data can be summarized and displayed at the corresponding higher-level WBS elements.
You assign organizational units such as company code, business area, profit center, and plant for each WBS element. Before you create a WBS, you have to create a project definition. The project definition is a framework for all the objects created within a project. The project definition contains data that affects the entire project (for example, start and finish dates, organizational data, and planning parameters). It contains default values that can be passed on to the WBS elements.
The controlling area that you specify when you create a project definition is unique for the entire project. You specify the controlling area just once when you create the project.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Each WBS element is assigned its own company code. Since different company codes can be assigned to the various WBS elements in a project, it is possible to process projects across companies.
You can assign the following organizational units to WBS elements:
- Profit Centers
- Business Areas
- Persons Responsible
- Partners (internal and external)
- Cost Centers Responsible for the project
These assignments are used mainly for reporting purposes. This data allows you to use project summarization to analyze a large number of projects together, for example, based on the business area and the person responsible parameters. You can also analyze the project key figures of several projects in your cost center hierarchy or profit center hierarchy. When documents are assigned to the WBS, the business area and profit center are derived from the WBS element. This information is used for reporting based on business areas as well as in profit center accounting. You can generate cost center-based settlement rules for cost projects. You can specify in the system that an email is to be sent to the person responsible for the WBS element if the budget is exceeded. You can also use partner processing to assign customers, vendors, personnel numbers, system users, work centers, shipping points, HR organizational units, and other objects to WBS elements. When you do so, the system performs checks against existing SAP master data.
There are various ways to create and edit a WBS. The Project Builder is a tool in the SAP Project System (SAP PS) that is very user-friendly and allows projects to be edited quickly and efficiently. You can use the Project Builder to maintain any object in the SAP PS, except for the assignment of Production Resources/Tools (PRT). You can use context-sensitive menus, drag and relate, and the option of defining your own worklist and set of templates to help you edit your projects more easily.
The Project Builder consists of a window that is divided into the following three areas:
- The structure overview (in the top left of the window)
- The worklist (in the bottom left of the window)
- The work area in which data is displayed and edited (in the right of the window)
The structure contains the selected project data of the current project, along with its hierarchical relationships. You use the worklist to store frequently used projects, networks, and WBS elements on a user-specific basis. The worklist always displays a list of the last projects that were edited. The templates are used as a set of proposals while a project is being edited, and you can incorporate new elements from these templates in the project.
The work area displays a detailed view of the selected object in the structure overview and allows you to access the overviews of lower-level objects directly. You can then use the work area to edit individual project elements. In the Project Builder, you can navigate between the various views (detail views and overviews), graphics, and the Project Planning Board quickly and efficiently to maintain the structures.
Editing the Project Using the Project Builder
Use the Project Builder to create or change objects in your project (project definition, WBS elements, activities, activity elements, project structure texts, documents, milestones, and material components). Use detail screens, lists, and graphics (hierarchy graphics and network graphics) for this purpose.
In addition to creating project structures manually, you can use any operative project structures (WBSs and networks) and standard structures (standard WBSs and standard networks) as templates. You can also include WBSs, standard WBSs, and standard networks in an existing project structure.
When you create projects, you can copy and position both operative projects and standard projects with all the lower-level objects (WBS elements, activities, project structure texts, documents, milestones, and components).
Networks and Activities
A network always includes a network header that contains the control data and default values for the entire network. By assigning milestones to activities, you can document events that are particularly important for the progress of the project. For example, you can reference their respective dates in billing or invoicing plans.
The activities in a project describe the various steps and the work involved in them. In the Project Builder, you can create activities for WBS elements, meaning that the activities are assigned to the WBS elements and that the planned and actual data for the activities (dates, costs, and payment data) can be aggregated at the WBS element level.
Activities are linked to each other by means of relationships, and this linking results in a chronological activity sequence.
Networks form the basis for planning the following quantity structures:
- Dates (occurring automatically through scheduling)
- Costs (occurring automatically through costing)
- Resources (including internal activities and external activities)
- Material requirements (using the assigned components)
The PS has the following activity categories:
- Internal processing for capacities staged in your own company
- External processing for tasks assigned externally
- Services for procuring external services
- Cost activities for planning additional primary costs
Networks and Activities – Functions
Use the activities in the network to plan resources, including labor, capacities, materials, tools, and services that you require for your project.
PS Texts, Documents, and Milestones – Assignments
Project structure texts are user-definable texts that are managed in a project structure text catalog. The texts are classified into different text types. You can assign project structure texts to one or more WBS elements or activities.
Enter project structure texts in SAP S/4HANA, SAPscript, or Microsoft Word. The SAP HANA database stores the files in question.
Use the SAP Document Management System (SAP DMS) in the project structure to assign document info records to WBS elements and activities.
In the DMS, assign original (external) documents in various formats (Microsoft Excel, Word, and PPT, BMP, TIFF, and CAD formats) to an internal document info record.
In the project information system, you can display the document info records and the corresponding original documents online. You can also display the original documents using the Internet.
You can assign milestones to activities and WBS elements. Milestones have a range of applications. They can be used for milestone billing in Sales and Distribution, for example, and to start the automatic workflow of tasks.