Express Planning Gives Managers Access to Plan Data in Multiple Systems

  • by Janet Salmon, Product Manager, SAP AG
  • January 15, 2006
Express Planning is a self-service Web functionality in mySAP ERP 2005 that gives managers the
ability to extract the data they need during the budgeting process, even if the data is in a different
system. They also can write data back to various modules and monitor variances without any external
help. Express Planning masks the system complexities from the manager.
Key Concept
The Manager Self-Service (MSS) shipped with mySAP ERP 2005 replaces the spreadsheets that were previously used to enter planning data in CO with a Web application known as Express Planning. Express Planning is a Web application with a roadmap that guides the manager through a series of planning steps. Depending on the planning services you choose, the roadmap can work with Cost Center Accounting (CO-OM-CCA) and Personnel Management (PA) in the mySAP ERP Core Component (ECC 5.0) and planning applications in SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (BI) and Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM).

Years ago I visited a customer site to talk about planning in the CO module. I produced pages of notes about the spreadsheets sent out to collect budget data from managers and how the company consolidated these sheets before entering the data in CO. Today, those spreadsheets have largely been replaced by Web-based planning applications and the controlling department has the job of approving and rejecting individual plans.

While Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM)-Business Planning and Simulation (BPS) and SAP Business Intelligence (BI)-BPS changed the face of planning for many users, questions remained about how to include data that resides exclusively in R/3 (lists of equipment assigned to each employee, for example). Also data had to be retracted to CO that could have been written there in the first place, if the appropriate services had been available.

Express Planning is the answer to those questions. It is a framework around existing planning applications that allows organizations to include planning applications from multiple systems in a single roadmap. It allows the planner to set status information and add comments for each planning step and for the planning coordinator to approve or reject each planning step and provide comments. It is designed to be self-service — a task that the manager can perform with no external assistance, making the manager responsible for arriving at his budget data and later for monitoring variances against this budget.

Janet Salmon

Janet Salmon joined SAP in 1992. After six months of training on R/2, she began work as a translator, becoming a technical writer for the Product Costing area in 1993. As English speakers with a grasp of German costing methodologies were rare in the early 1990s, she began to hold classes and became a product manager for the Product Costing area in 1996, helping numerous international organizations set up Product Costing. More recently, she has worked on CO content for SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, Financial Analytics, and role-based portals. She is currently chief product owner for management accounting. She lives in Speyer, Germany, with her husband and two children.

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