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Design support organisations II  
The reason for organizing your support structure is because it is urealistic to handle it through face to face communication and therefore the organizations design issue is to create mechanisms by which an integrated pattern of behaviour can be obtained across all the related groups. The simplest method for coordinating related tasks is to specify the nessecary behaviours in form of rules and procedures. The rules and procedures for organizations are as habits for people they prevent organizations from treating every incident as a new one. But the use of rules and procedures are limited because they are limited to those job situations, which can be anticipated in advance and an appropriate response can be identified. When incidents arise which was not anticipated it has no rules or ready to act response therefore the new type of incident must be analysed and brought up to a hierarchy level who is in a position to gather the needed information for handling the new type of incident. The problem is referred to a manager who have the position to bring together the information needed and who also has the authority to take a decision of how to handle the new type of incidents. From a process view the hierarchy is only used for handling exemptions and new types of incidents and the weakness of this design form is the limited capacity for handling exemptions and unanticipated incidents. The mechanistic organizational form therefore fails if the hierarchy becomes overloaded with handling the exemptions. In many SAP environments you will find several factors, which can affect the stability and therefore be a threat for the mechanistic way of organizing the support structure. These disturbing factors can be new roll outs, re customising, changes of business processes who needs to be re implemented or new sites with not aligned processes. In this situation the organization must develop new processes to supplement the rules and hierarchy of the mechanistic organizational form. Professionalism. So when these factors seems to be influencing the organisation the points of action to decision making overloads the hierarchy. In the case of uncertainty it is more efficient to bring the points of decision down to the points of action where the information is available. However as the decisions for handling exemptions is brought to a lower hierarchy level the organization faces a potential  behaviour control problem. This could be a rule where ”User administration are only allowed to handle security related issues and master data issues are forwarded to other groups for handling”.  But if the decision is brought down to the origin of information three might occur deviations from this rule. The organisation must therefore select a way to handle these behaviour control problems. Your organisation can train and educate your employees in the support so they have an overview and understanding of the overall processes behind the support structure this is also called professionalism. Targeting When your emplyees is grouped according to tasks in the hierarchy such as groups for SAP FI/CO, SAP HCM, SAP Logistic and User administration, you need to set up targets and rules for the groups so an anticipated behaviour is performed by the groups for the benefit of the overall organization.  Targeting could be number of incidents handled pr supporter, Maximum process time for incidents, number of complaints from customers. In this case you can use the goal and targets for coordinating the tasks performed by the groups at their organizational level instead of having each incident brought to a higher hirarchical level. If your organization faces more uncertainty related to the incomming incidents the hierarchical channels become overloaded and the information needed can only be discovered during solving the new tasks. The decision for how to process the tasks can be made and remade each time new information is discovered. Design strategies The ability for an organisation to process its tasks by goal setting, hierachy and rules depends on the combination of frequency, exceptions and the capacity of the hierarchy to handle them. As the tasks uncertainty increases the number of exemptions increases until action is needed against information overload. When the information needed for handling the organisations incidents is becomming overwhelming the organization must employ new design strategies for coping with the uncertainty of tasks. Strategies for handling information overload: You can either reduce the information need or increase the information capacity. The organization must adopt a strategy to either reduce the information needed to reduce the activities or increase it’s capacity to process more information and decisions. The support organization can also choose to develop in both ways where tasks are divided between groups such as support levels where 1 level is set up to recieve the incidents and channel the incident to the right group and to secure the information for handling the incident by next level is fulfilled. If next level can’t fix the incident, the incident is forwarded to 3 level who is highly specialized professionals who have the competences for either solving the incident or forwarding it through an OSS to SAP Walldorf for handling. Strategy for reducing the information Need. The first strategy is to reduce the need for information processing. Slack method. Your supporting organization can decide to use the slack strategy. The slack can be in cooperation with customers to reduce the level of performance, but this is rarly accepted by the customer. To reduce the performance could also be to put related projects on hold, to say no to customers additional needs or change request. A slack can also be to increase the number of resources for solving the issues this is all referred to as slack resources. Slack resources are an additional cost, which could be extra consultants hired to meet the increasing number of tickets and exemptions. It could also be the assignment of external resources who have a larger knowledge and therefore can handle more exemptions. In most cases adopting the slack method is avoiding the schedule problem of optimizing available resources. If an organization does not choose a strategy the slack strategy is the one selected for you since you will end up with a reduced performance level. The slack strategy will therefore bee seen as bad because it adds the organization additional costs. But while it does has additional costs it might be less costly than other alternatives since it is easy to adopt in case of facing complexity. The use of slack can also be used on a short period of time where the organization knows from previous time they will be faced with a bulk of incidents. This could be a request for additional FI/CO consultants for year end and quarterly accounting. When the Performance management program for your employees is handled. In this case the organization can choose to staff up during the bulk. The second method for reducing the information to be processed. Self Contained Groups. The other method for information reduction is the creation of self contained groups. Here the groups will have the resources which is needed for performing the tasks they are confronted with . In a supporting group such as for user administration to SAP they would need to train the members so they not only have knowledge of user administration in SAP, but also knows how the processes in HCM, FI/CO and logistic works and they will therefore be able to distinguish between whether the problem is a master data problem, a customising issue or an authorization issue. In the case of our user administration support group we will split the group into a subgroup who handles HCM problems, a subgroup who handles FI/CO problems and a subgroup who handles Logistic issues. Each subgroup will then be assigned those tasks and incidents who is related to their specific area. But the SAP is an integrated system an the subgroups will be faced with incidents and tasks where there is a need for involving several subgroups or even groups from other parts of the organization. The diversion of groups can also be done based on the complexity of the incidents. E.g. where you set up a subgroup who is supposed to handle all the easy incidents such as a first line support. All the complex incidents or those incidents who turns out to be a required fix of an error will be forwarded to 2nd line of support who will handle this issue.   
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25: Enhance the layout of PPOME and PPOSE the organisational structure
26: Enhance the existing PD model and use it for personnel development
27: To be structural restricted or not to be... thats the question
28: Automate your SAP solution and avoid errors and business break downs
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