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How can SAP PPM help my company manage projects and business ideas?

Project and Portfolio Management software from SAP can help companies manage business ideas and lighter projects that don't require tight financial controls. Here's a look.

Globalization has enticed companies to seek business opportunities in new markets. However, every opportunity comes...

with its own set of challenges. One of the bigger challenges companies face is how best to bring geographically dispersed teams together on a common platform so they can work on new ideas and projects together.

One such application is SAP Project and Portfolio Management (PPM), a component of SAP Product Lifecycle Management in SAP ERP Central Component (ECC). SAP PPM is available on the web or in the SAP NetWeaver Portal.

PPM is a successor of cFolders (Collaboration Folders) and cProjects (Collaboration Projects) that enables business users of a company and its partners to share documents and data and to create and update projects and their associated tasks, activities, milestones and status updates all on the web and on the external side of the company's firewall.

SAP PPM enables teams to pitch ideas and to transform them into projects to be managed accordingly. Here's a look at two of the functionalities PPM offers.

Portfolio Management in SAP PPM

PPM's Portfolio Management functionality enables users to identify and maintain business ideas and opportunities for new products or projects. These ideas or projects are then created in PPM as portfolio items or projects.

It is also possible to identify risks and to rank opportunities based on a defined set of criteria that meet your company's business goals. These risks and opportunities can factor in probability of commercial or technical success or failure and can be based on surveys, marketing campaigns or prototype development and testing.

Portfolio Management can also leverage the SAP Document Management System to bring together all of your digital assets for collaboration. Portfolio ideas that make business sense can move down to PPM's Project Management functionality.

Project Management in SAP PPM

PPM's Project Management functionality has all of the capabilities available in project management tools such as SAP Project System, Microsoft Project and Primavera PPM. It is suitable primarily for IT projects, services projects and development that do not require deep integration with financials.

Project Management integrates well with the SAP Human Capital Management component of SAP ECC to account for manpower and resources planning.

For resources planning, such as with machines, PPM also integrates with SAP Capacity Planning in SAP ECC to account for machines' capabilities to produce products.

Depending on the scope of the implementation, it can take just a few weeks for companies to implement PPM. The duration is even shorter when upgrading from cFolders and cProjects to PPM, as the users will already be familiar with both of the collaboration tools.

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