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How to Tell Your Mother That You’re an SAP Authorization Manager

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Oh Mama!

Although the title of this blog refers to mothers, it’s really referring to anyone who’s not technically savvy. The people that, when you tell them that you’re the new authorization manager at your corporation will squint their eyes and say, “Well, I’m sure it’s great and everything, but what does that mean?” The family members who, when they want to show off to their friends, tell them how very talented you are and how you’re “doing something with computers.” Even your kid who embarasses you when he tells his 9th grade class that his father “fixes computers.” Then you realize that you have a problem giving a clear explanation of what you do.


So, What Do You Really Do, Dear Authorization Manager?

Before we can explain in laymen’s terms what you do, let’s establish exactly what your roles and responsibilities are. You’re probably in charge of granting authorizations, deleting authorizations, and no less important, contributing your experience to anything and everything that goes on in the company involving authorizations and permissions.

Now, granting authorizations means that when a new employee arrives or when a current employee requests new authorizations, you’re the one who decides what exact authorization role he or she will get to support the requested functionality. You probably do this either based on your experience, or you use Role Advisor to determine the role with the lowest risk to grant. Anyhow, it’s quite straightforward.

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A bit more difficult is the part about removing unnecessary authorizations. Of course, when an employee leaves the company you should take off all his authorizations, but I’m not talking about that. An important part of your role is to keep the authorizations neat and efficient, so people who aren’t using their authorizations, (especially sensitive ones) will not have them. So at least in theory, you should inspect each person’s authorizations and remove the unused ones. You could do this easily if you have ProfileTailor Dynamics, but if you don’t, it’s probably too complicated, so you don’t do it at all.

And the last part is demonstrating your professionalism by participating in meetings and advising about authorization processes like authorization request, authorization review, IT access to productive systems, etc. This is the fun part where you get to schmooze, eat cookies and drink orange juice.

So how do you tell all of this to your mother?

Mom, I Got the Job!

From my experience, and after asking a couple of my acquaintances who are authorization managers, this is the best way to put it: “I got this prestigious job of being an authorization manager. It basically deals with giving people the right permissions to do things that they need and taking off permissions for risky things, like transferring money. In my job I have to identify sensitive cases like when people get accidental permissions to look at other people’s salary, and I have to remove those permissions immediately. And the best part, because of my expertise, I’m required to advise management.”

Why choose this wording? Based on what I’ve heard from those that have already gone through these painful family experiences, it appears that people can easily grasp simple and sensitive words like “money” and “salary,” and most importantly, that you’re advising the management. Now you can be sure that with this explanation your mother will be very proud of you and your new job and can tell her friends exactly what you do. Right? Well, again you might be doomed to be disappointed. She will probably say something like, “You know, Joe is becoming a really important person in the company now, he advises the management and he’s making more money. If only we could find him a wife…”

Well, you can’t totally fight mom’s point of view….

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Moshe Panzer is the founder and CEO of Xpandion. He has over 18 years' experience as a recognized SAP expert, having worked as a senior SAP & ERP consultant, project advisor, project leader and development manager for large private corporations worldwide. You can read more about Moshe on Xpandion's Management page.


  • Guest
    Manoj 09/04/2014

    Is there any standard templet for authorization which can keep the history of authorization? Some times we forget to remove certain critical/non-critical authorization from indivudual profile. Can we have a track on this? Also those authorization tcode should be fall within that user category.

  • Guest
    Yoav 11/04/2014

    Hi Manoj,
    You can find the history of authorizations using standard T-Code SUIM and using change documents. However, in order to get an alert about sensitive authorizations forgotten in wrong profiles, you will have to implement a 3rd party tool like ProfileTailor Dynamics. Please refer to us if you would like to know more about that.

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Guest 28/07/2017


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