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Object documentation Planning Level 

Definition

A planning level contains a quantity of characteristics and key figures from a planning area. It determines the level of detail of the planning. Planning area characteristics that do not exist in the planning level are used for aggregation. Selections can be specified for the characteristics in the planning level.

Use

Multi-dimensional integrated planning mostly takes place on different planning levels. The content from these planning levels is connected using bottom-up aggregation and top-down distribution. You establish this connection by creating planning levels whose characteristics refer to each other as regards content (for example, region – country, product group – product), and technically too, with compound characteristics. You create several planning levels for the same general planning task. The planning levels differ in the level of detail of the planned objects (for example product line, product group, product). Key figures, which you plan on the detail level (for example products), are automatically aggregated to higher levels (for example product group).

When addressing a specific business issue you will not need to access the entire amount of characteristics and key figures available in the InfoCube specified in the planning area. You create planning levels in order to limit the characteristics and key figures to those that are relevant to the business issue. You can also make characteristic value restrictions in the planning level in order to further restrict the area that the planning functions refer to.

Example

You can create planning levels for different planning tasks by combining appropriate characteristics and key figures for a specific purpose in one planning level. You could, for example, have a planning level for production planning where you plan the material requirements based on different plants. You could also have a planning level for sales planning where you plan the material requirements based on your customers or on specific sales channels. You can make appropriate selections to split the characteristic customer over several planning packages. Planning can then be carried out by those employees who are responsible for the customer groups combined in the respective packages.

Caution

Note the following features:

§  Key figures of type date or time can only be used when the numeric type “DEC – counter or amount field with comma and sign” is set as the data type.

Key figures of the type date or time with the data type “DATS” or “TIMS” are not supported as these data types are saved internally as character strings and therefore cannot be used for calculations.

§  In planning, all key figures are handled as if they have the standard and exception aggregation behavior Summation (SUM). This applies even when other settings have been made in key figure maintenance. For this reason, you should only use key figures that have the standard aggregation behavior Summation. As long as the exception aggregation characteristic is not used in any planning level, it does not matter which aggregation behavior is set for exception aggregation.

In some cases data inconsistencies can occur when aggregating or compressing data in the InfoProvider. This also applies to plan key figures that are seen as non-summative from a business perspective.

Interaction of Different Planning Levels

A planning area contains the characteristics product and product group (and possibly other characteristics too), with the key figure sales quantity. 

Planning level 1 contains the characteristics product and product group and the key figure sales quantity. Planning level 2 contains the characteristic product group and the key figure sales quantity.

The following records are available to planning level 1:

Planning Level 1

Product

Product Group

Sales Quantity

P1

PG1

10

P2

PG1

20

P3

PG2

30

P4

PG2

40

In planning level 2 you see the following data. This is aggregated using the characteristic product:

Planning Level 2

 

Product Group

Sales Quantity

 

PG1

30

 

PG2

70

The interaction between the planning levels becomes evident when changes are made: The sales quantity value for product group PG1 is increased from 30 to 40 in the first record and saved. The BW system saves the changed record. If you only select data in planning level 1, that is on the level product – product group, the results will be as follows:

Planning Level 1

Product

Product Group

Sales Quantity

 

PG1

10

P1

PG1

10

P2

PG1

20

P3

PG2

30

P4

PG2

40

As planning is performed at product group level, the change to the sales quantity value is written to a “non-assigned product”.

Generally an initial characteristic value can be viewed as a “non-assigned object”. An initial characteristic value is marked with a # sign so that it can be distinguished in the settings from an entry where the user has not entered a value.  The internal format is always the type-related initial value. For a date field this is, for example, eight zeros. Take this into account when you are programming exits.

You can change system behavior by creating characteristic relationships in which you activate derivation of characteristics.  During derivation, the initial values are replaced with valid characteristic values. It is also possible to use a third planning level that only contains products. The product groups are then filled correctly during derivation.

Planning Level 3

Product

 

Sales Quantity

 

 

10

P1

 

10

P2

 

20

P3

 

30

P4

 

40

If the value from P4 is increased with the value from 10 on this level, you will see the following records on planning level 2 (after both changes have been made):

Planning Level 2

 

Product Group

Sales Quantity

 

PG1

40

 

PG2

80

Restricting Characteristics in the Planning Level

The values of a particular characteristic can either be restricted in the planning level or in the planning packages that are assigned to the level. A selection of values for the same characteristic in the planning level and also in the planning package is not possible.

If you restrict characteristics in the planning level to certain values, this restriction applies for all planning packages that are assigned to this planning level.

When you use some planning functions, the system will determine that characteristic value restrictions must be made at specific levels of the planning architecture.

When deciding which characteristics to restrict in the planning level and which to restrict in the planning package, SAP recommends the following procedure:

·  Characteristics whose values should be kept constant for a particular planning task should be restricted in the planning level. This has the advantage that you make the setting centrally in one place and can change it with little effort if required. Typical candidates for a selection in the planning level are, for example, fiscal year or currency.

·  Characteristics whose values are appropriate for delimiting planning subtasks should be restricted in the planning package. In this way you can split the whole task into subtasks that do not overlap. You can then assign them to a particular person responsible. Typical candidates to be selected in the planning package are, for example, article or customer.

Creating Planning Functions for a Planning Level

You can create planning functions for a planning level. In order to carry out these planning functions, however, you have to specify a planning package in the planning level that you can use to delimit the data area in which the planning functions will operate. For example, you can create a planning package for each cost center so that the planning functions that you execute reference just that one cost center (and not all cost centers simultaneously).

Copying Planning Levels

The system supports the creation of several planning levels with the same or similar structure through the Copy Planning Level function. This function enables you to copy a planning level (under a new name) into the same planning area as the original planning level.

Structure

You define a planning level by selecting the characteristics and key figures from the InfoCube that is assigned to the higher-level planning area. In the planning level you determine, for each characteristic, whether the characteristic is to be restricted to certain characteristic values in the planning level or in the lower-level planning packages. For documentation purposes, you can store a textual description for the planning level.

 

See also:

Planning Environment

Planning Package

Where-Used List for Characteristic Relationships