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What are some workarounds needed in SAP Project Builder?

Performance, posting and missing authorization issues are some of the problems business users may face while using SAP Project Builder. Here's how to troubleshoot them.

SAP Project Builder in SAP ERP Central Component is a project management dashboard that combines various individual transactions of the SAP Project System component into a transaction code to enable business users to efficiently and effectively manage project management tasks.

These project management tasks can be used to create a new project; create a network to define predecessor-successor relationships among tasks; create or change a work breakdown structure (WBS); create a purchase; or change a production order. While the SAP Project Builder significantly helps business users efficiently manage project management tasks and data entry, there are some common issues that business users are likely to encounter.

To that end, here are five potential issues and how to troubleshoot them.

Missing and dependent information

When creating any project management element, such as a network or WBS, users may find a field required for data entry is missing or grayed out (not available for data entry). To troubleshoot this error, look for the settings in the Field Selection for an individual project management element, since often such fields are marked as hidden or display-only. To check the status of Field Selection for the following project management elements, use the transaction code noted in the parentheses:

While the SAP Project Builder significantly helps business users efficiently manage project management tasks and data entry, there are some common issues that business users are likely to encounter.
  • Project definition (OPUJ)
  • WBS element (OPUK)
  • Network: Header (OPUA)
  • Network: Overview (OPUB)
  • Network: Details (OPUC)

Further, a field in any project management element may also be grayed out due to dependent information already being maintained. Maintaining data in such a field may no longer be possible as doing so will lead to inconsistencies between superior and subordinate elements.

Authorizations and access

If the business user is unable to access any specific project management function in the SAP Project Builder, then using transaction /nSU53 is a quick way to check if necessary access authorization exists. If the access error is due to an authorization issue, then coordinate with the SAP Basis (or the SAP system administrator) team to gain the requisite access.

A second way to check if a business user has the necessary access for a specific project management function is to use Access Control Lists (ACL) available in the Project Builder. ACL enables the system administrator to control which information a business user is allowed to view or change.

Locking issues

To maintain data consistency within a specific project, the system locks other users from making changes to that project when one user is already maintaining information. While the project is available only to one user at a time, other users are only able to display that project. But what if it's a big project and many business users want to create or update information simultaneously? To troubleshoot this issue, the business user can use an individual object within the SAP Project Builder, such as a WBS element that needs to be changed, instead of trying to access the entire project.

Performance issues

Large projects with possibly thousands or tens of thousands of project management objects slow down the system's performance when a business user tries to load the entire project. To troubleshoot this issue, the business user can use transaction PSHLP20 to select the information of a project that the SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) system should load while using SAP Project Builder. If and when needed, data that was not previously loaded can always be loaded.

Posting issues

Depending on a project's stage or status -- such as created but not released, closed or technically complete -- the system will not allow the business user to post revenue or actual costs. To troubleshoot such posting issues, check for the status that the system has assigned to a WBS element or a network. Additionally, check whether the user status that controls specific business functions, such as posting revenue or costs, is possible or not.

To access Project Builder in SAP ECC, use transaction code CJ20N.

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