The Conessent Portfolio Manager combines best-practice experience in the area of project and portfolio management with a modern and easy-to-use web technology.
The main focus lies on a most flexible organization and grouping of projects and an efficient financial, capacity and milestone planning.
The most important features of the Portfolio Manager
- fully integrated in the SAP1 landscape
- easy-to-understand handling
- multi-functional views
- flexible structuring of portfolios and projects
- central project list with bucket explorer
- dynamic and customer-specific attributes
- financial planning:
o monitoring plan/forecast vs. budget vs. commitments/actuals vs. revenues
o calculation of available budget
- capacity planning:
o monitoring planned/forecasted vs. approved vs. committed/confirmed capacity
o calculation of available capacity
- customer-specific milestone planning:
o monitoring planned vs. due vs. actual dates
o calculation of remaining time / delay
- target and roadmap planning, alignment with current project data
- management cockpit with charts and overviews to control status, timeline, budget and capacity
- reporting including export to Microsoft Excel2
- document management (customer-specific enhancement)
Fully Integrated into the SAP Landscape
The communication with the SAP systems is done by using standard functions (BAPIs/BAdIs) via RFC3.
The main functions are integrated in the screens and can be activated by buttons.
Rarely used functions are available under the tab ‘Administration’.
The analysis is done by Excel-like reports, whereas the content can be stored locally for further processing.
At this a project can be assigned to different portfolios at the same time, so that a multi-functional view can be achieved (e.g. production and sales).
The project’s attributes are defined customer-specifically depending on the project type and can be added and changed at any time including the position on the screens.
Projects can be assigned on every level of the bucket structure, whereas a project can be assigned to multiple buckets resp. portfolios (multi-functional view).
Portfolios can also be used to fix programs with positions.
A project can include sub-projects and be assigned itself as a sub-project to another project. At this each project is independent and can be assigned to a bucket different to the sub or upper project.
On demand a corresponding IM position can be created in the SAP ERP system and provided with budget. During realization the IM positions are connected with e.g. internal orders or WBS elements. By this the commitments, actuals and revenues will be returned.
By using structures with sub-projects different and heterogeneous SAP systems (e.g. in different countries) can be connected.
In the left part of the screen the user can navigate along the bucket structure using an explorer, in the right part he sees the projects assigned to the marked and underlying buckets.
Out of the project list new projects can be created and existing projects can be changed or deleted. On demand projects can be copied.
The layout of the project list can be altered user-specifically (e.g. selection, sequence and sorting of the columns including intermediate sums and filters); in addition the data can be exported to Microsoft Excel.
On demand the target values fixed on the buckets (see target and roadmap planning) can be displayed and compared with the financial values of the assigned projects (see financial planning).
Aside free entry it is possible to select single or multiple values from a list or to edit long text fields. On demand the fields resp. values can be made interdependent (e.g. the sub-category ‘X3’ can only be selected, if the category ‘X’ was selected before).
In case of free entries the format can be proved during saving (e.g. 3-place numeric).
The following attributes are mandatory for every project type:
- project number and name (free entry)
- responsible business unit
- priority (high / normal / low)
- risk status (in line / critical / escalated)
- lifecycle status (in progress / on hold / finished / canceled)
All other attributes – as well as the project types itself – can be defined customer-specifically.
Projects in risk status ‘critical’ or ‘escalated’ are listed automatically in the Management Cockpit and can be opened from there.
In the project’s standard financial planning screen the following value types can be entered resp. displayed per fiscal year:
- available (= budget – commitments – actuals)
The plan and forecast values are entered by the project manager. Those are compared with the budget, which is fixed by the responsible business unit manager.
The commitments and actuals are derived automatically from the SAP ERP system and compared with the budget; the delta is displayed as available budget (and marked in red, if negative resp. overdrawn).
To connect a project in the Portfolio Manager with the SAP ERP system an IM position will be created. During realization the IM position is assigned to the relevant orders resp. objects (see structure and example below). By this connection the current budget values as well as the commitment and actual values are synchronized.
On demand (customer-specific) different plan and forecast versions can be used and the budget can be differed by original, supplements and returns.
In addition project-related revenues and the delta to the budget can be displayed.
By the function ‘Sum incl. Sub-Projects’ the financial values from the underlying projects can be added in order to get an overall sum.
In the turn of a customer-specific enhancement the relevant purchase requests and orders can be selected from the SAP ERP system.
Example: connection with a WBS element:
The project’s capacity planning screen is similar to the financial planning screen; the following value types can be entered resp. displayed per fiscal year:
- approved (budget)
- committed (commitments)
- confirmed (actuals)
- available (= budget – commitments – actuals)
The planned, still committed and already confirmed values are entered by the project manager. Those are compared with the approved capacity, which is fixed by the responsible business unit manager.
The approved capacity is compared with the still committed and already confirmed capacity; the delta is displayed as available capacity (and marked in red, if negative resp. overdrawn).
On demand (customer-specific) different plan and forecast versions can be used and the approved capacity can be differed by original, supplements and returns.
By the function ‘Sum incl. Sub-Projects’ the capacity values from the underlying projects can be added in order to get an overall sum.
The project’s timeline is fixed by customer-specific milestones depending on the project type; the following dates can be entered resp. displayed:
- plan/forecast date
- due date
- actual date
- remaining days (delta)
The plan/forecast and actual dates are entered by the project manager. Those are compared with the due dates, which are fixed by the responsible business unit manager.
If there is no actual date, the remaining days until the due date is calculated and displayed (and marked in yellow, if within the next 14 days, or red, if negative resp. in the past).
Projects with an open due date within the next 14 days or in the past are automatically listed in the Management Cockpit and can be opened from there.
Target and Roadmap Planning
In the context of the continuous roadmap planning process yearly target values for financial and capacity planning can be fixed on the different levels of the portfolio resp. buckets. Those targets can be compared with the corresponding values on the projects and aligned on demand.
Under additional consideration of the project’s prioritization the roadmap will represent the set of already running and newly to realize projects.
Projects with the risk status ‘critical’ or ‘escalated’ or an open due date within the next 14 days or in the past are automatically listed and can be opened from here.
- project report
- financial report
- capacity report
- milestone report
All reports are presented as so called dashboards with the possibility to change the layout user-specifically (e.g. selection, sequence and sorting of the columns including intermediate sums and filters) and export the data to Microsoft Excel.
Example: project report and scenario planning
Login, Roles and Authorization
After entering the installation (client), the user name and password and selection of the language the user gets into the management cockpit. From there he can switch into the different screens resp. functions by using tabs and buttons.
Aside the administrator the following standard roles are provided:
- portfolio manager: responsible for one or more portfolios; creation/change of buckets; access to all assigned projects
- business unit manager: responsible for one or more business units; creation and access to all assigned projects
- project manager: access to all projects to which he is assigned namely
- project assistant: like project manager, but only reading
On demand additional roles can be provided customer-specifically.
A user may have several roles resp. be assigned to multiple portfolios and business units.