Use Issue Management to Keep Your SAP Projects Moving Forward

  • by D. Russell Sloan, Implementation and Governance Specialist — SAP Solution Manager, IBM Global Business Services
  • March 20, 2009
SAP implemented Issue Management in the Service Desk to help you resolve issues that put your SAP projects at risk or disrupt processing. Learn how you can use Issue Management to internally create, track, and report on Issues and Top Issues in your project.
Key Concept

Issues are problems that can arise during the design, development, deployment, or support of an SAP solution. Issues can cause delays, add risk, or impede the progress of the project. Top Issues are high-priority problems of the greatest importance, impact, and scope. They need top management attention and should be viewed as risks to the project or business.

Tactical documents record events and activities such as issues, risks, and actions that need attention. These events and activities are transactional in nature and lend themselves to management in a system such as SAP Solution Manager Service Desk.

SAP Solution Manager (Service Pack 15) provides an interface to track these events and activities – for example, Issues and their related tasks (or action items). The interface is simpler and more user-friendly than the standard SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) Service Desk provided in earlier versions of SAP Solution Manager. You can use this Issue Management functionality to involve project leadership in your company in risk mitigation and decision-making activities. Transaction SOLMAN_ISSUE_MGMT provides a shortcut to two standard Service Desk transactions for Issue Management — SLFI (Issue) and TASK (task).

If you are using Issues or Top Issues to represent risks in a project, you need to ensure you do not associate them with a productive solution or send it to SAP. SAP Solution Manager allows you to use Issue Management to alert the SAP support team that you need it to resolve an issue that impedes your project’s progress or affects your productive environment. However, that is beyond the scope of this article. If you would like an overview of the process, see the sidebar “Issues and Top Issues from an SAP Support Perspective.”

I will show you how to use Issue Management to handle project-related issues that you can resolve within your own organization. You will see how you can create and maintain Issues for your project, as well as assign tasks to resolve these Issues. I’ll compare the options you have for Issue reporting and describe a useful feature you can use to see how Issues fit into your complete project structure. I’ll start with some background information on the basics of Issue Management.

D. Russell Sloan

D. Russell Sloan is a specialist in project and program governance for IBM. He focuses on the use of SAP Solution Manager for global rollout projects for IBM’s largest customers, having worked with SAP software since 1996. Russell has degrees in accounting and information systems and has been a team and project leader for SAP projects for more than 14 years. He has been developing and deploying software systems for over 30 years.

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