SAP Portfolio Initiative

Hi everyone, this blog aims to throw some light on some of the topics at an advanced level for those who are new to SAP PPM module and eager to know what it is. In no way can this piece of information be used as a master reference for your organisation’s SAP PPM implementation. An experienced consultant should be guiding your application in all aspects according to your organisation’s business processes and specific requirements.We have covered the SAP Portfolio Management, Portfolio Buckets  and Portfolio Item in our previous blogs @ You can view it here.


– Topic covered in this blog.– Topics covered in our earlier blogs

What is Portfolio Initiative?

Current State: In your Organisation, you are using SAP ERP software for handling your Investments and Projects.  Your Capital Controller needs the complete view of all the projects in proposal stage or visibility of all future projects in the pipeline in a single Dashboard. You also have requirement of performing Planning at the early stage without much of individual project details. The Portfolio Management and its Portfolio Initiatives object are the answer to all your varied requirements.

What are the uses of Portfolio Initiative?

  1. Portfolio Initiative is an essential object of grouping multiple ideas, proposal or confirmed projects. It is used as planning object at the start of the Idea or concept stage, and as the idea matures various projects are identified.
  2. Portfolio Initiative physically holds the data for multiple Portfolio Items.
  3. Portfolio Initiative is used for performing risk analysis.
  4. Portfolio Initiative is used for detailed financial planning.
  5. Portfolio Initiative is used for Capacity planning. It stores initial capacity values and later during the execution you can change the values and use it in the individual projects. The key figures in an Initiative act as a guide value for the Individual (Portfolio Item)
  6. Portfolio Initiative is used in prioritisation of proposals. It uses scoring models and facilitates informed decision making. The Scoreboard is used to evaluate project scores based on selected scoring models.
  7. Portfolio Initiative is used to store relevant supporting documents of a project
  8. Portfolio Initiative combined with the decision points defines the exact status of the proposal.
  9. Portfolio Initiative is used in reporting cockpit and uses graphical report output to display information for risk reward diagram, schedule chart and financial breakdown by fiscal year,

How Portfolio Integrates with other SAP objects?Portfolio Initiative is well integrated with Portfolio Item. Portfolio Initiative can have object link relationship with many SAP Objects.

Object link items

Object link items

Object link items

Future State: Your Organisation has decided to implement SAP Portfolio& Project Management. You will have Portfolio Management to handle your Investment, Expenditure and external services programme. Portfolio Initiative will be created for all new proposals and Ideas. Later you will find out the projects required to fulfil the Initiative.What is the use case for Portfolio Initiative?Here we are going to see a typical use case. We will have a Portfolio Structure based on the Organisational functional divisions. The Portfolio Structure can be designed based on the business function or based on the departments in the Organisation.We will have Portfolio Initiatives, Portfolio Items, cProject and  SAP Project System modules for Capital Investments management and associated projects. Also, we will use Internal Orders and assign them to Portfolio Items in the Portfolio Management for Direct asset purchases and direct sales.

Initiatives Use case example

Where does a Portfolio Initiative position in the Program Hierarchy?The Portfolio is the principal Object in the Portfolio and Project Management. We will utilise buckets to depict the Organisation structure or functional divisions of the programme. The purpose could be Investment within the same company or service offering to the external organisations. We will assign Portfolio Initiatives to the Buckets. Portfolio Initiatives will hold the Portfolio Items(or individual projects) for the entire lifecycle of the projects.

How can I access Portfolio Initiative?Portfolio Item Dashboard will allow users to see the Items as;

  1. List of all Initiatives in a Portfolio

Initiative under Portfolio

At the Portfolio level, you can see all the Initiatives of the programme

  1. List of all Initiatives in a Bucket

Initiatives under bucket

At a Bucket Level, you can see all the Initiatives under a Sub-program (Bucket)

  1. My Portfolio Objects

Initiative under My Portfolio Objects

This view is the most famous one, my Portfolio Initiatives. I have been assigned to this Portfolio Initiative, and hence, I can easily access these Portfolio Initiatives under My Portfolio Objects tab. How to create Portfolio Initiative?Let us go through the various steps in creating a Portfolio Item.1. Click Create in the Initiative Dashboard under a Portfolio2. Click Create in the Initiative Dashboard under a Bucket

3. Click Create in the Initiative Dashboard under a Portfolio Management–> Portfolio Initiatives 

4.Click Create in the Initiative Dashboard under a My Portfolio Objects–> Portfolio Initiatives 5. Once you click “Create” Selection of a Bucket and Initiative type is performed on the next screen. Instead, of Initiative type users can select an Initiative template if it is maintained in the system.

Initiative creation

Enter Name and ID, Dates, status and Save the Portfolio Initiative. If the system has been configured with the mandatory fields, then fill those fields before clicking on the Save button.

Portfolio Initiative creation

Initiative creation

The information that you are supposed to enter entirely depends on the system configuration and custom fields that are used in your Organisation hence, we cannot generalise optional and custom fields for Initiatives.6. Additional information tabUnder the Additional Information tab, few fields cannot be filled in directly. The field will be filled in based on the answers to the questionnaires attached or based on the values of some other field (scoring model). Let us briefly see the prerequisite for questionnaires and scoring model assignments. Administrators will maintain the Questionnaires and the scoring model at the bucket level for the relevant fields.Administrators will maintain the Questionnaires and the scoring model at the bucket level for the relevant fields.

Apart from the evaluation fields, the additional tab has Current decision point information.Classification:  This tab will require input by the Classification hierarchy design and usage in your organisation.Financial Information: Please check the screen shot below for the details of the financial information.From the Financial Information tab, you can launch Financial Planning dashboard. The financial information tab contains the vital information such as Currency, fiscal period breakdown, NPV, ECV and financial summary values.Capacity Information: Please check the screen shot below for the details of the Capacity information. We will discuss more in detail while covering the Capacity planning of Portfolio Item and Portfolio Initiative Capacity planning.Phases & Decisions: The Portfolio Initiatives like Items can have decision points. This decision point acts like different stages of a Portfolio Initiative. The Portfolio Initiative decision points can have statuses.Relationships: Here you will check the Object links and related objects of Portfolio Initiative.Object links: Object link is used to link primarily Project system project or Internal order. You can also choose from long list of other SAP Objects also. If it is not available, it is possible to enhance and object link another SAP object.   Related Object: Related object tab is used to connect the Portfolio Item, which is part of the SAP Portfolio & Project Management.

  • Create a new portfolio item for an item type (or item template) according to the configuration of the Portfolio Item type association with the Portfolio Initiative
  • Assign existing portfolio items. You can only assign items that are part of a bucket within the same portfolio as the initiative.

Assigned Items: In this tab users either can assign an existing Item to Initiative or create new Items under the Initiative.Miscellaneous: Under the Miscellaneous tab we have three sub-tabs:Responsible: Users can create roles and assign Business partners for the responsible role under this tab.Authorisation: The authorization lists that you maintain at the Initiative level. You can use user or user role for authorisation.Initiative Versions: You can create versions for Portfolio Initiatives similar to Portfolio Items. The versions type available is project version and simulation version. The difference is project version cannot be modified, but the simulation version can be amended.Print fact sheet: You can print the contents of the Portfolio Item details using this feature in pdf format.Reporting Cockpit:  Users can readily launch the reports and graphs. From the Portfolio Item detail screen.Charts: You can configure charts to view the Portfolio Item financial and Capacity valuesTimeline Monitor: The Timeline monitor will display the Dates in a graphical output for users review.Checklists: Users can create checklists for the decision points of the Initiative.Stay tuned for the next blog where we will look into Portfolio Item Review in detail.If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.