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Methods to Leverage and Optimize SAP Business Workflow in Your SAP PLM Environment

Eric Stajda LeverX


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Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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Introduction Todays Discussion

Learn how to use SAP Workflow in your engineering environment to improve processes such as document approvals, engineering change management, and master data creation, and make them faster and less error-prone. Find out how to use SAPs Visual Workflow Builder to create workflows that map to your organizations product development processes. Gain insight into how much workflow functionality you can deploy out-of-the-box to support a PLM scenario. Learn how to locate standard business objects quickly and easily and how to put them to use in creating a PLM workflow.
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Introduction Todays Discussion (cont.)

Determine if and when it makes sense to customdevelop additional business objects, methods, and events. Step through a live demo of how to create PLM workflows that route documents for approval and expedite the creation of the material master with multiple views. Learn what type of roles you will require in your organization to build and maintain efficient PLM workflows.

What Well Cover


Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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Why SAP Workflow?

Here is my mantra about SAP Workflow


It is all about getting the right information to the right people at the right time

Many processes are still based on paper or email


Not efficient

SAP Workflow can take these processes and formalize them with many benefits
Lets take a look at some benefits

Benefits of SAP Workflow

The quality of the process is assured by pushing the relevant information together with links to related transactions directly to the user. Cycle time is reduced by pushing the process directly to the users.
The users receive notification of a task immediately.

The tasks are performed consistently and diligently by the users.


The workflow system pushes all the necessary information needed to perform a task, including a clear description of what has to be done, how to do it, and the impact this task has on the business process for your company.
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Benefits of SAP Workflow (cont.)

The process instance is transparent.


At any time, any user can check how far the process has progressed and which stage the process has reached.

Deadline handing ensures that users perform the tasks within the time planned. Intelligent reporting highlights the weaknesses of a process. The process definition is transparent.
You can see at a glance how the process works and who will be selected to perform the different tasks.

What Well Cover


Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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SAP Workflow in the Engineering Environment

There are many places where workflow can be used in the engineering environment Many processes require data being sent for review or for further processing Getting the data to the right person at the right time is the key Some example processes where workflow can be used
Document reviews Requesting a new material number Engineering change management process BOM review

More details on next slides


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SAP Workflow in the Engineering Environment (cont.)

Document reviews
Scenario: A document is created in the SAP Document Management system. At a certain point, it must be sent to an individual for review. This can be accomplished by a status change or manually starting a given workflow. Once reviewed, the document is set to be released.

Requesting a new material number


Scenario: At a certain point in the design process, new material numbers are required. A workflow process could be created to allow input of required material data to be input into a form and then sent over to a department that creates the material master in the SAP system.

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SAP Workflow in the Engineering Environment (cont.)

Engineering change management process


This is the main process that usually gets workflow enabled during a project Processes are typically somewhat similar, and usually an industry standard However, each company usually has minor tweaks based on business requirements

BOM review
Scenario: Similar to a document review. Once the SAP BOM is created, you may want to send it to another individual for review. This is to make sure that the content and structure is correct.
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What Well Cover


Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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Basic Workflow Concepts

With SAP Business Workflow you can map business processes in the SAP system and process them (several times if required) under the control of the workflow system A workflow management system can process and monitor structured processes that:
Encompass a sequence of activities Reoccur in the same or similar forms Involve several people or groups of people Require a lot of coordination

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Key Elements

Workflow definition
Triggering event Workflow template Tasks

Elements of the task


Business object Methods Events

If you understand the key elements, you will know everything necessary to build a workflow

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What Is a Triggering Event?

A triggering event identifies when the workflow is to start

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What Is a Workflow Definition?

A workflow definition is a combination of single-step tasks

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What Are Tasks?

Tasks are made from business objects and events

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What Are Business Objects and Methods?

Business objects and methods are used to act upon an object


For example, the business object DRAW is for the document information record. In the business object, we have a method called Display. If we execute this method, it will display a document information record.

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What Well Cover


Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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Tools Available

SAP provides standard tools for developing workflows in the system The main tool is the SAP Visual Workflow Builder
Graphical modeler with drag-and-drop functionality

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Tools Available (cont.)


Any process imagined can be modeled through the workflow builder Standard steps that can be inserted provide a great deal of flexibility Some of the steps that can inserted include:
User Decision Condition Container operation Event creation Process Control Loop Fork
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What Well Cover


Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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Table of Standard Business Objects


SAP provides you with many standard tasks, business objects, methods, and events The table below shows the most important business objects in SAP PLM
Business Object DRAW BUS1001 BUS1080 ECM BUS1003 BUS7051 Association Document management Material Master BOM Change Master Class Notification
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Whats Out-of-the-Box and Whats Custom?

For each business object, SAP provides a standard set of events and methods for acting upon the object
Methods: Change, Display, Create, Get Details Events: Created, Changed

Standard events and methods can vary by business object What is considered custom?
Business objects you create Your own methods or events that you add to a standard business object Example: I would like to set a certain status on all documents associated with an engineering change master when it is set to the status of closed For this example, you would have a custom method that could be called through a task to set all documents associated to a change master to a certain status 24

Demo: Whats Out-of-the-Box and Whats Custom?

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What Well Cover


Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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Creating a Simple Workflow

Now Ill show you a simple demonstration of creating a workflow in the SAP system Workflow scenario
When the status of document information record changes from Draft to Review, I would like to be sent a notification to review the document

Elements we will use:


SAP Workflow Builder Business object DRAW with method Changed Standard SAP Task SAP Document Management to create and change a document SAP Inbox
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Demo: Live Demo of Creating a Simple Workflow

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What Well Cover


Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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Types of Resources Required

As demonstrated, workflow can be very simple or complex Your resource requirements will be based on the complexity of the workflows you intend to implement Resource requirements could be met by one individual or many
You may find or have a resource that can configure the system, build workflows, and write any of the required ABAP

In any workflow implementation, there is usually a small amount of Basis team support required for the initial configuration in the system
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Types of Resources Required (cont.)


Workflow Complexity
Simple: Only use standard SAP business objects, methods, and events Complex: Use standard plus custom-developed SAP business objects, methods, and events

Resources
SAP Workflow Creator

SAP Workflow Creator ABAP

After go-live, plan to have a workflow administrator to monitor the system for workflow errors, provide support if a task cannot be executed, or execute reporting requirements
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What Well Cover


Introduction Thinking about SAP Workflow? Using SAP Workflow in the engineering environment Reviewing basic workflow concepts Looking at available tools Comparing out-of-the-box and custom methods and events Demo: Creating a simple workflow Determining types of resources required Wrap-up
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Resources

Book: Alan Rickayzen, Jocelyn Dart, Carsten Brennecke, Markus Schneider, Practical Workflow for SAP (SAP PRESS, 2002).
Put together by the Developers Of SAP Workflow #1 Book anyone interested in SAP Workflow should have www.sappress.com/product.cfm?account=&product=H950

The SAP Fan Club has a very active forum on SAP Workflow
www.sapfans.com

SAP Business Workflow FAQ from SAP SDN


www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/wiki?path=/display/HOME/SAP%2bB usiness%2bWorkflow%2bFAQ
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7 Key Points to Take Home


SAP Workflow is all about getting the right information to the right people at the right time SAP Workflow can be used in the engineering environment to help formalize and manage the processes surrounding document management, engineering changes, material creation, and other PLM processes SAP provides a graphical Workflow Builder for modeling your processes There are many standard tasks, business objects, methods, and events that can be used Standard items delivered by SAP can be enhanced to facilitate additional process requirements As demonstrated, creating a workflow in SAP can be simple Resource requirements will be based on the complexity of the workflow you plan to implement 34

Your Turn! Questions?

How to contact me: Eric Stajda


http://www.linkedin.com/in/estajda
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