Using Calendar Processes

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Configure and run calendar processes

Build Planning Processes

Using Planning Processes in the Calendar

Watch how Jen and her team at ABC Corporation implemented processes with tasks by region and notifications to track the status of their progress.

Benefits of Using Planning Processes in the SAP Analytics Cloud Calendar

Planning processes have the following benefits:

  • Add transparency to steps in the process.
  • Provide ease of access to planning stories from the calendar.
  • Provide oversight by named reviewers.
  • Collaborate using notifications, discussions, and emails.
  • Dynamically generate tasks based on the driving dimension hierarchy.
  • Integrate with data locking tasks.
  • Use task dependencies.

The Planning Process Settings Panel

Some things to keep in mind when creating a planning process:

  1. Due dates: When due dates are exceeded, the tasks retain the In Progress status by default. Alternatively, tasks can be set to discontinue when due dates are exceeded.
  2. Approval levels: To use multiple approval levels, simply add more reviewer rounds. After the round 1 reviewer approves a task, then it rolls onto the next reviewer and so on. There's no limit to the number of reviewer rounds.
  3. Create tasks to track the process: Use the SAP Analytics Cloud calendar to create review tasks. These tasks let you assign someone who will check the work result of another task, for example, like a general task or a process.
    • You can create a review task to let one or more assignees check the work result of another calendar event.
    • You can assign tasks to colleagues who don't have SAP Analytics Cloud accounts. Simply use their e-mail address and they’ll receive information on how to get an account.
  4. Tracking: Processes can be for you to track tasks or you can assign them to other users. You can have assignees, reviewers, and viewers for a task.
    • When you are creating a task, you can add a viewer ("Shared with") to all tasks of a Calendar process simultaneously.
    • As a task viewer, you have an overview of all tasks that are shared with you in the Calendar.
    • In tasks with review steps, people who review the work results are called Reviewers. They’re added as Assignees when the task is being created.

Create and Configure a Planning Process

Task 1: Add the Reviewer Property to the Entity Dimension

Business Scenario

You've created your income forecast statement and you as you're planning by region, you need to assign tasks and track the status by the various regions.

You also must have each region's data approved when completed, so you need to add a reviewer to each task. To do this, you to add the Reviewer property to the Entity dimension.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Access the Entity dimension
  • Create the Reviewer property and assign a user for each region

Task 2: Create and Configure a Planning Process from the Calendar

Business Scenario

Now that you've added the Reviewer to the Entity dimension, you’re ready to create a planning process that includes entering planning data for regions, reviewing the planned data, and locking the submitted data. You start with creating a planning process from the SAP Analytics Cloud Calendar.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Access the Calendar
  • Access the calendar List view
  • Create the process, including Start Date, Due Dates, Work Files, and Assignees
  • Activate the process

Generating Events

Generate Events with the Wizard

After the process is created, you can generate events (also known as tasks) for the process. For example, you can generate a series of events by region with reviewers assigned to each of the tasks created.

The following exercise will guide you through the six steps of the creation process.

The Generate Events dialog. This is launched from the SAP Analytics Cloud calendar and using the wizard guides you through the five steps required to create events. The first step, Basic Settings, is displayed.

Notes on Event Types

In the Event Types step, you can generate general, review, and data locking tasks automatically. This reduces manual setup work.

As you configure the step, the Structure Preview to the right of the dialog will update to reflect the selections.

Generated Event Types for Leaf Members:

  • General Task and Review Tasks: Creates a general and review task for each leaf member. For example, you are designing a planning process to submit and review tasks for the Midwest, Northeast, Pacific, and Southeast regions. Event Types dialog with General Task and Review Tasks selected.
  • Composite Task: Creates a composite task for each leaf member. This option can still require a reviewer to approve or reject the task, but the review task won't be visible in the calendar. You can add a Before Composite Task and After Composite Task locking task if needed.

    For example, you are designing a very simple planning process to coordinate and track the status for the Midwest, Northeast, Pacific, and Southeast regions. The data lock status in the underlying planning model is set to open by the team leader before the process starts. In the calendar, you only want to see a composite task for each region, and when the regions are successfully submitted and approved, the dependent data locking task will lock all four regions automatically.

    Event Types dialog with Composite Task selected.

Data Locking:

  • Add Data Locking Tasks: Enabling this allows you to create data locking tasks.
  • Before General Task: When the parent process starts for an entity, the data lock is open for the same entity.
  • After General Task: When the general (dependent) task is submitted for an entity, the data is restricted for the same entity. When the general task is approved, its status is 100% Successful.
  • After All Tasks: When the preceding review task is partially successful, or successful, the data lock is triggered.

In the following example, the business requirement is to automate data locks by region and display review tasks in the calendar. The data lock status in the underlying planning model is set to closed by the team leader before the process starts. When each region starts their planning process, the data lock is automatically opened. When the general planning task is submitted, the data lock is automatically set to restricted. When the reviewer approves the results, the data lock is automatically set to locked. In the calendar, the data lock, general, and review tasks are visible for each region.

Event Types dialog with Data Locking Enabled

Create a process for groups of tasks: Create a task group made up of general, review, and data locking tasks.

Event Types dialog with Create a process for groups of tasks enabled.

Add Planning Tasks Using Generate Events with Wizard

Business Scenario

Now that you have created and configured your planning process, you now need to add planning tasks by region. You decide to use the Generate Events with Wizard functionality to quickly create the tasks using the step by step guided process.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Access the Generate Events with Wizard in the SAP Analytics Cloud calendar
  • Generate the events by region
  • Activate the events

Schedule Data Locking

Data locking tasks help you to track planning processes, and make sure that model data is locked at the right time.

Data locking tasks in the calendar provide structure for your planning process. You'll decide what data is involved, whether to lock or unlock it, when to make the change, and who's responsible for changing the locks. Then, the assignees can quickly apply those changes by submitting the task.

Before you create a data locking task, you become familiar with how data locking is configured for the model, and who owns the locks. The lock owners will be your assignees for the task. Or if you need to, you can set up the task first and then edit the model to match it.

Visit SAP Help for more information on Schedule Data Locks in the Calendar

Notifications are sent to the applicable people and the assignees can submit the task between the start time and the due time.

When a data locking owner submits the task, any data slices that they own within the context of the task are set to the target lock state.

Create a Data Locking Task

Follow these steps when creating a data locking task:

  1. Create the Data Locking Task.
  2. Assign the Model and Context (data region).
  3. When the task is Submitted, the lock status will be Locked.

Data locking tasks can be used as part of a process and in that way, the process becomes more complete. Data locking tasks can also be used as standalone tasks.

Note
Data locking tasks are the only tasks that require a planning model in the Process Context.

Add a Data Locking Task

Business Scenario

You've created and configured your planning process and your tasks by region. You want to create a task to lock the data once the process is complete before submitting data and sending it for review.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Access the Data Locking Task from the calendar
  • Configure and activate the data locking task

Define Dependencies Among Calendar Events

In the SAP Analytics Cloud calendar, events can start by a specified Date and Time, at the same date as their parent process, or by a dependency to other events. With dependencies, you define which other events need to meet a certain status before your event can start.

You can use dependent tasks to automate your planning process. For example, when raw data is entered and the associated task is submitted, the system will automatically run a data action and then automatically lock the data.

Dependent Tasks in the Calendar

In the following example, you can see the different dependent tasks.

  1. Input Data: This is a general task type. The user will submit this task.
  2. Run Data Action: Dependent on the Input Data task. This task runs automatically.
  3. Review: Dependent on Run Data Action task. The user approves or rejects this task.
  4. Locked Data: Dependent on Review task. This task runs automatically.
A calendar view showing various tasks and its dependencies, displayed in the same order as in the paragraph above.

Dependent Tasks: Sequence of Events

The following sequence of events is expected:

Process Start: The Input Data task is triggered on the start date and as the assignee, you're notified of the task.

Dependent Task: Data Entry and Task Submission: You enter the required data into the table, which in this example is Jan (2023).

The forecast is ready for the user to update it after receiving the Input Data task notification.

Once complete, you submit it. The Run Data Action task to copy data from January to February - December is automatically triggered because it's a dependent task. A notification is sent to the reviewer that there's data to review.

The forecast has been updated, changed cells are highlighted in yellow. The user is now ready to submit to the reviewer.

Dependent Task: Review Task: The review task opens when the data action task is successful.

  • Review tasks don't use the reviewer property but rather, users are assigned to the task.
  • The review task must be approved or rejected by an assignee. If rejected, it is sent back to you for update and resubmission.
The story ,as seen by a reviewer after opening the Review Task, with the Approve and Reject buttons highlighted.

Dependent Task: Data Lock Task When the review task is approved, the data lock task runs automatically.

A forecast with all of the cells automatically locked by the Data Lock Task.

Planning Process Calendar View

Monitor Planning Processes

You can monitor your planning process in the calendar's List view. The list view is helpful because it can help you track your tasks by allowing yo to:

  • Drill into the process hierarchy
  • Highlight time info
  • View indicators for recurrence and automatic tasks
  • Show/hide additional columns
  • Sorting/reordering of columns

Planning Process Views

It's possible to view the planning processes and the associated tasks using either the Calendar or List workspaces. In the List workspace, you can view by task only, as follows, or include a Gantt list.

Planning Process with Gantt Chart

In the following example, a planning process is displayed in the SAP Analytics Cloud Calendar with the Gantt view enabled. It includes the planning process with tasks for four cost centers that require input.

It's possible to change dates for tasks in the process by simply dragging the bars in the Gantt view. When you move the process, the change is automatically applied to the task.

SAP Anlaytics Cloud Calendar tasks with Gantt view enabled.

Discussion

You can discuss the work progress on your process or tasks directly in the calendar. From the panel, choose Open discussion in the heading section, opening the Discussions panel. Here, you'll find everyone assigned to your process listed, and you can start a new discussion.

In this example, you can see that the Discussion icon is highlighted for a data locking task.

A Discussion icon highlighted in a Data Locking Task.

Manage Tasks in a Story

You can access the tasks assigned to you from the calendar. You can launch the relevant planning story directly from the calendar, simply by clicking the related work file.

In this example, clicking the Work File will launch the story for the entire process. However, clicking individual tasks, for example Midwest will open a story that is restricted via a story filter for that task.

Calendar view with Work Files for a process highlighted.
Note

You can find all work files of a task or a process in the header section. In addition to stories and analytic applications, you can add URL links as work files to your tasks or processes. For example, you want to add a link to a custom web application or an SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office document (workbook or presentation).

Notifications

You'll be notified in SAP Analytics Cloud of any pending tasks, however, you'll also receive an e-mail notification that includes a link to the task.

Email notification examples.

Submit or Reject Tasks as a Reviewer

After a task is submitted, the reviewer is notified. If the reviewer rejects the task, you'll be notified and the status of the task goes back to the In Progress status.

Reopen Events

Owners of calendar events can reopen events that have been accomplished, partially accomplished, or canceled. For example, as owner of large planning processes, you can follow-up on issues with finished child processes or tasks and reopen them.

Run the Planning Process

Task 1: Update the Plan Data From a Task

Business Scenario

As the planner responsible for the Midwest, Northeast, Pacific, and Southeast regions at ABC Corporation, you must update the planned data for each region and submit them to be reviewed.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Access the P_Plan - Midwest task from the SAP Analytics Cloud calendar
  • Open the work file from the Composite Task panel
  • Update the data for all regions and submit the plan for review, triggering a notification to the reviewer

Task 2: Review and Evaluate Submitted Changes

Business Scenario

As the reviewer for the Midwest, Northeast, Pacific, and Southeast regions, you are responsible for reviewing and approving or rejecting the planned data as submitted by the planner.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Access each of the tasks from your Notifications
  • Review and either approve or reject plan data

Task 3: Revise and Resubmit Plan

Business Scenario

As the planner responsible for the Southeast region, you receive notification that the reviewer has rejected your submitted data. You review and realize there is a mistake and must update it and resubmit it for review.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Access the task from your Notifications
  • Open the work file from the task
  • Update table data, publish it, and resubmit

Task 4: Lock the Data Using the Data Locking Task

Business Scenario

The reviewer has approved your updated plan and as the plan owner now you can lock data in the plan by submitting the data lock task. Once you have locked the data, you can submit the full process to complete it.

What skills will you develop in this practice exercise?

In this practice exercise, you will:

  • Access the Calendar
  • Select the data locking task for the process
  • Submit the data locking task from the Data Locking Task panel
  • Verify the data locking in the story
  • Submit the Process

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