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Trying to understand the Organizational Management component of SAP HR Solutions?

by Faisal Iqbal

December 1, 2011

Here’s a brief & easy-to-understand description of the component.

Having a good organizational structure is a foundation for many of your SAP components; HR and beyond. You can control your workflows, authorizations, portal related activities, personnel budgeting etc. Therefore interpreting your organizational structure in SAP system correctly is a key to ensure your investment on other components is secure. And before you get it implemented, make sure you understand the concept. The current blog provides a brief overview of the SAP HR core module – the Organizational Management.

The module is based on 3 main concepts;

A. objects,

B. their inter-relationship and

C. their attributes.

A. Objects

In the context of OM the most common objects, to form the organizational hierarchy, are

  1. Organizational Unit,
  2. Position and
  3. Person.

1. Organizational Unit

In an organization any unit, performing certain tasks by itself, is termed as Organizational Unit; no matter where in the hierarchy it is placed. It could be the highest functional unit or merely a small department / section performing very few tasks.

2. Position

To perform the tasks assigned to an organizational unit, obviously some titles are needed, responsible for executing the functions. These titles in organizational management terminology are called as Positions.

3. Person

The positions w hich describe certain activities in an organization are hold by individuals known as Person in SAP.

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B. Relationship

Each of these objects, when related with each other, form an organizational map / hierarchy, which typically is known as Organizational Chart. Relating the objects with each other is one of the 3 major concepts to be understood for a clear picture of the SAP component.

The directions of relations

The relationships, mostly, are bi-directional i.e. if a low level organizational unit is reporting to a higher level organizational unit, the higher is then obviously managing the lower organizational unit.

Related in a period

These relationship could be time-dependent which means an organizational unit may be reporting to other in one time period but may not necessarily be reporting in another period since the organizational re-structuring is very common to meet the corporate goals.

Cross-object relationship

Just as one type of objects are related with each other, Organizational Unit to another organizational unit for example, different object types are as well related to form the hierarchy.

an example

A good example could be Faisal having a SAP Consultant position at Center of Excellence where Faisal (myself) is a person, my title SAP Consultant is a position and Center of Excellence is an Organizational Unit.

Good enough a bout relationships, I think!

Let’s see the next concept i.e. Objects’ Attributes / Characteristics.

C. Attributes

Just as each of us have an identity through which we are known, organizational objects have the identities as well as different type of information which must exist to differentiate one object with other.

Stored in infotypes

These are objects’ attributes and stored as infotypes in SAP component (I’ve explained the concept of Infotypes in my previous blog while describing the Personnel Administration component and it can be accessed here).

Not all information is stored

Some of the information stored for these objects is mandatory while other is optional. In an implementation, depending on the business requirements, such information could be maintained. Common & minimum information stored for organizational objects is Object Description and Relationship.

Information could exist for certain period

Just as relationship has a validity period, similarly some of the information could have a defined period. For instance, a position available in current organizational hierarchy may not be needed in future.

 

Hierarchy Maintenance & Reporting - Do it yourself part of the component< /p>

 

There are different ways to maintain such structure in system as well as to display these for different purposes.

Maintenance Options

Once you navigate the component you’d observe

1) Organization and Staffing Interface allowing you to maintain the organizational hierarchy as well as the attributes of the objects at one place,

2) Simple Maintenance to let you create a structure first and then by using

3) Expert mode to maintain infotypes.


Reporting

For reporting purposes you may sometime need to navigate just the organizational units under the highest, or positions under an organizational unit or any other scenario, general structures reporting help you with such views where you can, by specifying the starting & end points of desired reporting objects, select different types of relationships and can get the required output.

 

Summary

 

So in short, we could say OM is talking about the objects, their individual characteristics and their relationships with one each other.

A note: I've described the component for beginners earlier in one of my blogs at SDN as well which relates the component with real-life examples and I got g ood feedback about the blog that it clearly explains the component. If you like to see it, here's the address:

www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pu...

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