Tim Woods Series: Reduce Waste With a Leaner Alternative to LSMW

By Clinton Jones on March 8, 2017

In the world of ‘lean’, six sigma and Kaizen – waste is the greatest evil, and Tim Woods is the one to blame.

Tim Woods is a mnemonic memory device  acronym that stands for:

T – Transport – the movement of people, products & information

I – Inventory – storing parts, pieces and preliminary documentation

M – Movement – the activities of the process

W – Waiting – waiting for parts, information, instructions and equipment

O – Over production – of finished items or parts

O – Over processing – excessive tolerance or unnecessarily high standards

D – Defects –  the rework, scrap, and defectiveness of documentation

S – Skills –  underutilized capabilities, delegation of tasks with inadequate training

Anyone who works with LSMW can point to a number of Tim Woods aspects that resonate. Which ones have the biggest impact on you? In this blog series, I will deconstruct these aspects and explain how Winshuttle helps eliminate these challenges in data management inefficiency when working with SAP.

Transport

Although LSMW can be used across multiple SAP systems, it’s pretty cumbersome and impractical, and not the way businesses often do things. Instead, LSMW scripts are often created in each system discretely. LSMW provides data transport on a project basis via both the SAP transport system and upload/download. You can do this by using the “Generate Change Request” function that creates an SAP change request containing all the information about the LSMW project. This SAP change request can be exported  or imported. The advantage of this import approach is that the transports can be fully traced, but when you import the requests, the project is deleted from the target system and recreated.

The disadvantage is that you end up with multiple objects – the original LMSW, the export file on the local system and the imported object on the target system. And end users usually can’t use LSMW because it’s exclusively provisioned for IT, BASIS or ABAP developers. These end users usually don’t have access to the underlying business layer in production. In order to use the LSMW scripts that have been created and transported, they have to be temporarily granted access to the target system – something that has to be requested, approved, provisioned and audited.

A new way to extract and load SAP data

Winshuttle’s alternative approach to automation is quite different than LSMW’s. Whether your script is based on a transaction recording,  BAPI, or query, Winshuttle Studio scripts are completely portable. These files are stored as a QsQ or a TxR on your Windows file system, and can be emailed, shared via a network drive or distributed as embedded integration logic in an Excel workbook. This approach is unique to Winshuttle in that it allows you to create explicit relationships between the data template and the integration script. Wherever the workbook goes, the integration object goes with it. This means Excel users who aren’t Winshuttle users don’t have to worry about anything except completing the template. Winshuttle Studio authors or runners will have the script associated with the data template at all times.

Only users with valid Winshuttle author or runner licenses can use the integration objects as scripts or embedded scripts, and they must have SAP access in the target system in order to use the scripts. The movement between integration tools from authors to runners and the templates from data contributors to those who update SAP systems is a very efficient and lean process. It’s much more efficient than using LSMW.

Easy alternative to LSMWLearn more about how you could be using Winshuttle Studio instead of LSMW by downloading the Winshuttle white paper entitled Winshuttle, an easy alternative to LSMW.

About the author

Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.

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