Get a Quick Start with SEM by Implementing Performance Monitoring in a Flash

  • by Matt Christensen, Director of Enterprise Performance Management, PRAGMATEK Consulting Group
  • October 15, 2004
To demonstrate the value of Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM), you can quickly implement a Management Cockpit by integrating a cockpit with Business Planning and Simulation (BPS) functionality. The cockpit can demonstrate to managers how SEM helps companies plan, illustrate, and communicate executive strategy.
Key Concept
Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) is based on a Business Information Warehouse (BW) backbone. You can populate an InfoCube (the structure used within BW to store data in a manner that is optimized for reporting efficiency) directly by using SEM-Business Planning and Simulation (BPS) functionality. The InfoCube then serves as the source of data for an SEM Management Cockpit. You can implement Web links to make the distinction between BPS and the Management Cockpit transparent to the end user.

A common question that arises when I demonstrate the functionality of Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) is, "Where should I start?" This is an important consideration given today's increasing pressure to quickly prove the value of every implementation project. In my opinion, the key is to isolate a quick-hit solution that is simple to implement and immediately draws the attention of a well-positioned audience.

One possibility that provides visibility as well as solid learning opportunities to the implementation team is a performance metric Management Cockpit integrated with Business Planning and Simulation (BPS) functionality as a data input tool. You can implement this functionality as an initial quick-hit project that sets the stage for future enhancements once user acceptance has been established. The cockpit itself serves as a visual control center from which managers can identify critical performance trends and make timely business decisions.

I'm basing this article on the 3.5 version of SEM, although relatively few enhancements were introduced between releases 3.2 and 3.5. Either version requires a compatible underlying installation of Business Information Warehouse (BW), which I'll assume you have for the purposes of this article. Additionally, core BW knowledge, including the ability to write queries in the Business Explorer (BEx) tool, is a prerequisite. While the planning components of this solution will soon be included in a BW installation as part of BW-BPS functionality, the added SEM functionality must be installed to complete the project with a Management Cockpit.

I'll describe each of the following major steps necessary for you to build a cockpit:

  • Design a BW InfoCube to store your statistical results using a schema such as the one shown in Table 1.

  • Enable BPS functionality as a mechanism for inputting these key figures.

  • Create a query to access the data from the BW InfoCube.

  • Configure and deliver the Management Cockpit.

Matt Christensen

Matt Christensen is the director of Enterprise Performance Management at PRAGMATEK Consulting Group in Minneapolis. He has more than seven years of experience implementing a broad set of SAP financial modules, including configuration and development in R/3, Business Information Warehouse, and Strategic Enterprise Management. Matt holds an undergraduate degree in computer science and an MBA in finance.

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