In S/4HANA Cloud Release 2011, SAP introduced the new concepts of ‘Process Phases’ to track the life cycle of the maintenance processes as an alternative to System and User statuses used previously. The ‘process phases’ have 2 levels of hierarchy viz. ‘Phase’ and ‘Sub-phase’ and are set up by SAP. You cannot change them.
The ‘process phases’ are available for the maintenance objects ‘Notification (Maintenance Request) and Maintenance Order but only for the new scope items as below:
Similar to statuses, phases and sub-phases are used for selection criteria and to permit or prohibit business transactions. They can be manual or automatic.
In S/4HANA Cloud Release 2102, SAP has further improved the phase model by allowing the reversal of many phases.
For maintenance order and operation, SAP has also introduced configurable ‘Phase Control Code’ to allow you to control the transition of phases e.g. blocking a phase / sub-phase. This is very similar to the concept of the user status.
It may be noted that the system statuses continue to exist, but they take backstage.
The blog post explains in detail how the process phases and sub-phases are progressed in a typical reactive maintenance process.
2. Phase Model
a. Maintenance Request
The phase model for the maintenance request (notification) is structured using following phases and sub-phases:
b. Maintenance Order
The phase model for the maintenance order is structured using the following phases and sub-phases:
c. End to End Processes
The new end to end best practice processes (scope item 4HH, 4HI, 4VT, and 4WM) using notification / maintenance orders are structured according the 9 phases as described in the diagram below:
The process phase model not only provide the simplified and granular status management to guide users along the process but also improve tracking and schedule compliance of the maintenance backlogs.
d. Process Phases Details – Reactive Maintenance
The progression of the 9 phases of the reactive maintenance process across maintenance request and maintenance order are described in detail below:
1. Initiation Phase
The initiation phase is only applicable to maintenance request. During the Initiation phase, a technician creates a maintenance requests for an equipment or a functional location using the new FIORI app ‘Create Maintenance Request’. The app provides the simple screen to enter malfunction / maintenance request details and provision for attachments / links.
When the maintenance request is submitted, it is available in another new FIORI app ‘My Maintenance Requests’ where the technician can view all his requests that were submitted, rejected, completed or returned due to insufficient information.
On submission, the new request moves to the next phase ‘Screening’ where it is reviewed.
2. Screening Phase
In screening phase, a Supervisor (Gatekeeper) reviews all the open maintenance requests in the new FIOR app ‘Screen Maintenance Requests’.
While reviewing a request, the Supervisor can also assess priority by selecting a combination of consequence categories, consequences, and likelihood. He can also edit information related to malfunction, responsibility and other details.
After the review, either he can accept them, reject them or send them back to the imitator for insufficient information.
Based on the Supervisor action, the maintenance request moves to following phases and sub-phases:
While the accepted maintenance requests move to the next phase ‘Planning’, the rejected maintenance request gets closed (status ‘Completed’). The requests in sub-phase ‘Action Required’ can be further worked on by the originator and re-submitted for screening. On re-submission, the maintenance request again moves to phase ‘Screening’ but sub-phase ‘Resubmitted (Request)’.
It may be noted that only screened maintenance requests are visible in ‘Find Notification’ app.
3. Planning Phase
In the Planning phase, a ‘Maintenance Planner’ creates a maintenance order for one or more accepted maintenance requests (now called ‘Notification’) using the new app ‘Manage Maintenance Notifications and Orders’.
Once an order is created, the notification and the order move to following phases and sub-phases:
The maintenance planner can navigate to the Change Maintenance Order app from the ‘Manage Maintenance Notifications and Orders’, and add information related to operation, material, labor, services, and cost to plan the order.
When planning is completed, the maintenance planner submits the order for cost approval.
On submission for approval, the order moves to phase ‘Approval’ and sub-phase ‘Submitted for Approval (Order)’. The order operations continue to remain in phase ‘Planning’ and sub-phase ‘In Planning’.
4. Approval Phase
If the workflow is configured for the order type for automatic approval, then the order is approved immediately. If workflow is set up for manual approval, it will move to the approver’s inbox.
Based on the maintenance planner’s action on workflow request in ‘My Inbox’ app, the maintenance order moves to following sub-phases:
On order approval / rejection however, there are no changes to operations phase and sub-phase, and they continue to remain in phase ‘Planning’ and sub-phase ‘In Planning’.
The rejected maintenance order can be edited and re-submitted for approval.
When the approved order is released, the order and operations move to following phases and sub-phases:
5. Preparation Phase
In the ‘Preparation’ phase, a maintenance planner uses the new FIORI apps ‘Manage Maintenance Planning Buckets’ and ‘Manage Maintenance Backlog’ apps to level out the workload over several weeks and check the availability of all the resources, spare parts and services needed.
The maintenance planning bucket scope includes a specific time period and other important attributes, such as the maintenance planning plant or the main work center. Based on this scope, the system groups maintenance orders and associates them with the corresponding planning buckets.
The ‘Manage Maintenance Backlog’ app provides a list of all the maintenance orders in a specific planning bucket with important order details, such as the order status, the order priority, the final due date and the availability of the required stock / non-stock components the external services.
Once all the required resources are available on the required dates, a maintenance planner can select the order and submit it for scheduling using the Manage Maintenance Backlog app.
After the action ‘Submit for Scheduling’ the maintenance order and operations move to the following phases and sub-phases:
The ‘Ready to Schedule’ can be reversed.
6. Scheduling Phase
During this phase a maintenance planner can dispatch the maintenance order or the individual order operations and sub operations to right work center and at the right time.
If additional license of Resource Scheduling is not available, maintenance planner can use ‘Find Maintenance Order’ to dispatch maintenance orders. The limitation with this approach is that you cannot dispatch operations individually but always dispatch maintenance orders with all their operations.
With an additional license, of Resource Scheduling (RSH) maintenance planner can dispatch individual order operations and sub operations. The operations and sub-operations can be either dispatched individually using the app ‘Manage Work Center Utilization’ / ‘Maintenance Scheduling Board’ or collectively using the app ‘Manage Schedule’.
On dispatch, the order / operation moves to following phases and sub-phases:
Dispatch of the operation can be cancelled using the app ‘Change Maintenance Order’.
7. Execution Phase
In the ‘Execution’ phase, a maintenance technician receives all the orders that need to be executed in ‘My Maintenance Job’ app and executes the PRE (preliminary) and MAIN (main) operations for an order and update the same.
In this phase, an order and operation progressed through the following phases and sub-phases:
Once the technician has executed the PRE and MAIN operations and Finally Confirmed them, the supervisor can now change the status of the order to ‘Main Work Completed’ using the app ‘Find Maintenance Order.
The action ‘Main Work Completed’ can be reversed.
After the supervisor sets the ‘Main Work Completed’ the order and operations move to following phases and sub-phases (no change to operation phase / sub-phase):
8. Post Execution Phase
In the ‘Post Execution, phase’, maintenance technician continues to use ‘My Maintenance Jobs’ app and records the time spent on post execution operations, report malfunction details and failure data, and set final confirmation of post-execution operations.
In this phase, the order and ‘post operation’ progressed through the following phases and sub-phases:
After completion of post execution activities by the maintenance technician, Supervisor reviews the recorded time entries and failure data and technically complete the order (along with associated notifications) using the app ‘Find Maintenance Order’.
Once all main and post maintenance tasks have been executed and the maintenance order is set to Technically Complete (Order), the notification, order and operations move to the following phases and sub-phases:
9. Completion Phase
During the ‘Completion’ phase, the maintenance planner or financial controller reviews the actual costs, checks open purchase orders and invoices, settles the orders financially, and changes the order status to Complete (Business). At the end of ‘Completion’ phase, notification, order and operation attains the following phases and sub-phases:
Thereby, the maintenance order is finally set to the Closed (Order) sub-phase.