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Case Study
www.theprojectgroup.com
Tel:+49 (89) 61 55 93 - 30
TPG is a registered trademark in the European
Union and in the United States of America.
Copyright TPG The Project Group
All rights reserved 02/2014 (v1.0)
www.facebook.com/tpg.munich
www.twitter.com/tpg_com (@tpg_com)
www.theprojectgroup.com/newsletter
Industry:
- Automotive
- Electronics
Department:
- Engineering
Solution Components:
- Microsoft Project Server
- TPG PSLink (SAP Integration)
New project management solution saves years of work
Initial situation: different systems
The company’s engineering projects are complex
programs with budgets of up to 50 million euros
per year. “These projects involve up to 400 de-
velopers around the world – like a huge machine
running behind the scenes,” says Herbert Kluge,
Senior Manager and PMO director in the company’s
electronics division.
“We use various software systems to support
each step in the workflow of these engineering
projects,” explains Kluge. “For example, we use
DOORS to log customers’ requirements.” He adds
that this process works very well most of the
time. But there was one point in the project work-
flow that was causing a big bottleneck. Reporting
timesheet information in SAP CATS had been a
spanner in the works for some time. “The financial
controllers didn’t have this problem – they would
receive the actual hours worked on each project
and could charge them according to the costs,”
notes Kluge.
Collaboration of controllers and project managers
However, things were not so easy for the project
managers. They had a lot of extra work preparing
the data required by the controllers – although
this process had minimal benefit for them. For
example, they could not determine how long and
on which tasks their team members had worked,
how much money had been spent or how much
work and budget was still needed. This made it
impossible for them to make decisions on addi-
tional resources and budgets.
For many years now, this global automotive sup-
plier has been using Microsoft Project Server for
all the project management in its engineering de-
partment. The company started out with the 2007
version and migrated to the 2010 version later
on. It is integrated with the ERP system and the
combination of the two has replaced the previous
solution. This had caused a significant number of
inaccuracies and extra work for both project man-
agers and controllers.
For example, the project managers had no overview
of how long each member of their team had taken
to complete specific tasks. In addition, project con-
trolling staff had to manually enter or edit project-
related working time in SAP. Since the company
implemented its enterprise-wide Microsoft project
management system and integrated it with SAP us-
ing TPG PSLink, those problems are a thing of the
past. Today, project managers have a transparent
way to manage timesheet and cost controls, while
financial staff receive the data they need automatically.
The engineering department of an international automotive supplier has saved several man-years
of time in budget planning and time reporting since it implemented Microsoft Project Server and
integrated it with the company’s SAP system. Staff no longer need to transfer budget data manu-
ally from various sources – such as Excel – into SAP or enter their actuals twice into the project
management and SAP systems.
“What we needed was
a service provider who
could help us with two
things: mapping our
processes in Microsoft
Project, and making t
imesheet and cost cont-
rolling much simpler“
Another issue with the previous time reporting
process was that external project staff could not
enter their hours into SAP CATS, as they were not
registered in the company’s SAP HR system. This
was a problem for the controllers as well as the
project managers, because all external staff had
to fill out Excel spreadsheets and send them to
the relevant controller.
Difficult final costings for budget
Along with inaccuracies in capturing actual hours
worked, modifying and tracking the budget was
also something of an uphill battle. If project man-
agers noticed in the middle of a project that they
would need more money than initially planned,
they had to read through all the Excel spread-
sheets from the external team members, then
call or email each internal team member to ask
them how long they had worked on which tasks.
That was the only way to find out where the ex-
tra costs had been incurred. Needless to say, no
project manager carried out this immensely time-
consuming task particularly thoroughly.
“That meant that we couldn’t do the final cost-
ings properly either,” says Kluge. “Within CATS,
the team members only logged their time against
PSP elements – in other words, in the overarching
master projects. As a result, the project managers
had no visibility into the time and money spent
on the individual sub-projects. At the end, we no
longer knew what we had initially proposed, nor
whether the project was profitable or a total flop.”
First trial of a PM solution unsuccessful
In 2008, on the project managers’ insistence, the
company finally implemented Microsoft Project
Server as its centralized project management
system. The goal was to get all 2000 employees
in the automotive division to use the enterprise-
wide solution within a year. “Unfortunately, this
effort wasn’t successful,” says Herbert Kluge.
“We tried to move too fast and skimped on
decent training. As a result, the level of accep-
tance was very low.”
After this experience, the PMO manager started
looking for a business partner with expertise in
the implementation of Microsoft Project Server –
among other things. “What we needed was a ser-
vice provider who could help us with two things:
mapping our processes in Microsoft Project, and
making timesheet and cost controlling much sim-
pler.” Soon after, Herbert Kluge started working
with TPG The Project Group to develop the solu-
tion that is in place today
Key information available immediately
Project managers can now see at a glance how
many actual hours have been worked and whether
the project is still progressing in line with the plan.
“As users now enter task-specific actual hours
worked, a project manager can see sub-projects
whose team members are up to their necks in
work and require additional staff or financial re-
sources,” comments Kluge. He adds that this has
finally established a process that gives them con-
trol over the budgets. Every request for a budget
increase triggers a new workflow that stops with
the person managing the budget. When he or she
gives the green light, the task is reactivated and the
project staff can log the time they worked on it.
This ensures that project managers always have
control over areas that are in danger of going over
budget and can decide in good time whether to
invest more money in them. And if they do spend
more, they can more easily justify the extra ex-
pense to the steering committee.
“With the integration of
Project Server with SAP,
we reduced the time
needed to prepare budget
planning from 3 man-
weeks to one man-day.
The manual transfer of
data from various sources
like Excel to SAP has been
completely eliminated.”
“We have saved the
equivalent of several
man-years by eliminating
double data entry for actu-
als in Microsoft Project
and SAP.”
essary,” notes Herbert Kluge. “Once that was
completed, we gradually added more users to
the system in a phased approach. Our people also
worked closely with TPG specialists so that they
could understand from the outset how the new
system works.”
The turnaround is now complete. The next step
will be to add project portfolio planning to Micro-
soft Project Server. In addition, Kluge says that he
wants to migrate to Microsoft Project Server 2013
and its online capabilities in about two years’ time.
The financial controllers now do a lot less typing
with the automatic transfer of actual time worked
to SAP. “We use the TPG PSLink interface to inte-
grate SAP with Microsoft Project,” explains Kluge.
“And as the product’s freely configurable, we’ve
had it tailored to our exact requirements.”
New process with high acceptance
With the well-organized workflow, user accep-
tance is no longer any problem. “We tested the
new process over a period of two months with a
few selected users and optimized it where nec-
The solution: The company uses Microsoft Project
Server for all project management in its engineering
department. It underpins schedule, resource, cost and
budget planning as well as timesheet and project ma-
nagement tasks. The SAP system is integrated with
the project management solution using TPG PSLink.
This ensures that organizational data, preparatory
work and costings for the budget plan are synchro-
nized automatically with no manual intervention at all.
The benefits: Since the company has implemen-
ted the Microsoft project management system
and integrated it with SAP, project managers have
more visibility and control over time and costs,
while the controlling staff receive the business
data they need automatically. Manual data transfer
has been completely eliminated.
The customer: An international automotive sup-
plier that develops and manufactures electronic
components.
The challenge: Project controlling in the automoti-
ve supplier’s engineering department was causing
a significant number of inaccuracies and a lot of ex-
tra work. Project managers had no visibility into the
time and money already spent on a project or how
much they had left. Team members tracked their
actuals in SAP CATS, so they were only booked to
the overarching master project rather than to the
detailed tasks of the sub-projects. Also, the control-
lers had to manually enter external project workers’
actuals in SAP and company employees from other
subsidiaries were not registered in the SAP system
at headquarters.
www.theprojectgroup.com
Tel:+49 (89) 61 55 93 - 30
TPG is a registered trademark in the European
Union and in the United States of America.
Copyright TPG The Project Group
All rights reserved 02/2014 (v1.0)
www.facebook.com/tpg.munich
www.twitter.com/tpg_com (@tpg_com)
www.theprojectgroup.com/newsletter

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Case Study Automotive Electronic: Integration Microsoft Project with SAP

  • 1. Case Study www.theprojectgroup.com Tel:+49 (89) 61 55 93 - 30 TPG is a registered trademark in the European Union and in the United States of America. Copyright TPG The Project Group All rights reserved 02/2014 (v1.0) www.facebook.com/tpg.munich www.twitter.com/tpg_com (@tpg_com) www.theprojectgroup.com/newsletter Industry: - Automotive - Electronics Department: - Engineering Solution Components: - Microsoft Project Server - TPG PSLink (SAP Integration) New project management solution saves years of work Initial situation: different systems The company’s engineering projects are complex programs with budgets of up to 50 million euros per year. “These projects involve up to 400 de- velopers around the world – like a huge machine running behind the scenes,” says Herbert Kluge, Senior Manager and PMO director in the company’s electronics division. “We use various software systems to support each step in the workflow of these engineering projects,” explains Kluge. “For example, we use DOORS to log customers’ requirements.” He adds that this process works very well most of the time. But there was one point in the project work- flow that was causing a big bottleneck. Reporting timesheet information in SAP CATS had been a spanner in the works for some time. “The financial controllers didn’t have this problem – they would receive the actual hours worked on each project and could charge them according to the costs,” notes Kluge. Collaboration of controllers and project managers However, things were not so easy for the project managers. They had a lot of extra work preparing the data required by the controllers – although this process had minimal benefit for them. For example, they could not determine how long and on which tasks their team members had worked, how much money had been spent or how much work and budget was still needed. This made it impossible for them to make decisions on addi- tional resources and budgets. For many years now, this global automotive sup- plier has been using Microsoft Project Server for all the project management in its engineering de- partment. The company started out with the 2007 version and migrated to the 2010 version later on. It is integrated with the ERP system and the combination of the two has replaced the previous solution. This had caused a significant number of inaccuracies and extra work for both project man- agers and controllers. For example, the project managers had no overview of how long each member of their team had taken to complete specific tasks. In addition, project con- trolling staff had to manually enter or edit project- related working time in SAP. Since the company implemented its enterprise-wide Microsoft project management system and integrated it with SAP us- ing TPG PSLink, those problems are a thing of the past. Today, project managers have a transparent way to manage timesheet and cost controls, while financial staff receive the data they need automatically. The engineering department of an international automotive supplier has saved several man-years of time in budget planning and time reporting since it implemented Microsoft Project Server and integrated it with the company’s SAP system. Staff no longer need to transfer budget data manu- ally from various sources – such as Excel – into SAP or enter their actuals twice into the project management and SAP systems. “What we needed was a service provider who could help us with two things: mapping our processes in Microsoft Project, and making t imesheet and cost cont- rolling much simpler“
  • 2. Another issue with the previous time reporting process was that external project staff could not enter their hours into SAP CATS, as they were not registered in the company’s SAP HR system. This was a problem for the controllers as well as the project managers, because all external staff had to fill out Excel spreadsheets and send them to the relevant controller. Difficult final costings for budget Along with inaccuracies in capturing actual hours worked, modifying and tracking the budget was also something of an uphill battle. If project man- agers noticed in the middle of a project that they would need more money than initially planned, they had to read through all the Excel spread- sheets from the external team members, then call or email each internal team member to ask them how long they had worked on which tasks. That was the only way to find out where the ex- tra costs had been incurred. Needless to say, no project manager carried out this immensely time- consuming task particularly thoroughly. “That meant that we couldn’t do the final cost- ings properly either,” says Kluge. “Within CATS, the team members only logged their time against PSP elements – in other words, in the overarching master projects. As a result, the project managers had no visibility into the time and money spent on the individual sub-projects. At the end, we no longer knew what we had initially proposed, nor whether the project was profitable or a total flop.” First trial of a PM solution unsuccessful In 2008, on the project managers’ insistence, the company finally implemented Microsoft Project Server as its centralized project management system. The goal was to get all 2000 employees in the automotive division to use the enterprise- wide solution within a year. “Unfortunately, this effort wasn’t successful,” says Herbert Kluge. “We tried to move too fast and skimped on decent training. As a result, the level of accep- tance was very low.” After this experience, the PMO manager started looking for a business partner with expertise in the implementation of Microsoft Project Server – among other things. “What we needed was a ser- vice provider who could help us with two things: mapping our processes in Microsoft Project, and making timesheet and cost controlling much sim- pler.” Soon after, Herbert Kluge started working with TPG The Project Group to develop the solu- tion that is in place today Key information available immediately Project managers can now see at a glance how many actual hours have been worked and whether the project is still progressing in line with the plan. “As users now enter task-specific actual hours worked, a project manager can see sub-projects whose team members are up to their necks in work and require additional staff or financial re- sources,” comments Kluge. He adds that this has finally established a process that gives them con- trol over the budgets. Every request for a budget increase triggers a new workflow that stops with the person managing the budget. When he or she gives the green light, the task is reactivated and the project staff can log the time they worked on it. This ensures that project managers always have control over areas that are in danger of going over budget and can decide in good time whether to invest more money in them. And if they do spend more, they can more easily justify the extra ex- pense to the steering committee. “With the integration of Project Server with SAP, we reduced the time needed to prepare budget planning from 3 man- weeks to one man-day. The manual transfer of data from various sources like Excel to SAP has been completely eliminated.”
  • 3. “We have saved the equivalent of several man-years by eliminating double data entry for actu- als in Microsoft Project and SAP.” essary,” notes Herbert Kluge. “Once that was completed, we gradually added more users to the system in a phased approach. Our people also worked closely with TPG specialists so that they could understand from the outset how the new system works.” The turnaround is now complete. The next step will be to add project portfolio planning to Micro- soft Project Server. In addition, Kluge says that he wants to migrate to Microsoft Project Server 2013 and its online capabilities in about two years’ time. The financial controllers now do a lot less typing with the automatic transfer of actual time worked to SAP. “We use the TPG PSLink interface to inte- grate SAP with Microsoft Project,” explains Kluge. “And as the product’s freely configurable, we’ve had it tailored to our exact requirements.” New process with high acceptance With the well-organized workflow, user accep- tance is no longer any problem. “We tested the new process over a period of two months with a few selected users and optimized it where nec- The solution: The company uses Microsoft Project Server for all project management in its engineering department. It underpins schedule, resource, cost and budget planning as well as timesheet and project ma- nagement tasks. The SAP system is integrated with the project management solution using TPG PSLink. This ensures that organizational data, preparatory work and costings for the budget plan are synchro- nized automatically with no manual intervention at all. The benefits: Since the company has implemen- ted the Microsoft project management system and integrated it with SAP, project managers have more visibility and control over time and costs, while the controlling staff receive the business data they need automatically. Manual data transfer has been completely eliminated. The customer: An international automotive sup- plier that develops and manufactures electronic components. The challenge: Project controlling in the automoti- ve supplier’s engineering department was causing a significant number of inaccuracies and a lot of ex- tra work. Project managers had no visibility into the time and money already spent on a project or how much they had left. Team members tracked their actuals in SAP CATS, so they were only booked to the overarching master project rather than to the detailed tasks of the sub-projects. Also, the control- lers had to manually enter external project workers’ actuals in SAP and company employees from other subsidiaries were not registered in the SAP system at headquarters. www.theprojectgroup.com Tel:+49 (89) 61 55 93 - 30 TPG is a registered trademark in the European Union and in the United States of America. Copyright TPG The Project Group All rights reserved 02/2014 (v1.0) www.facebook.com/tpg.munich www.twitter.com/tpg_com (@tpg_com) www.theprojectgroup.com/newsletter