In this article, we delve into key recommendations to help you successfully navigate the SAP® SuccessFactors® Employee Central implementation process, from understanding its functionalities to ensuring accurate data migration and integration with downstream applications.
At Rizing, we have a long history of gaining real world experience, even when that experience includes learning things the hard way. But that experience is often our greatest asset when we can use it to save our customers that pain.
Our time in the trenches of SAP® implementation means we understand the importance of a well-executed implementation strategy.
By following these recommendations, you can establish a streamlined HR management system that supports your organization’s growth and maximizes the value of your SAP implementation.
1) Clearly understand Employee Central before defining your future state for data inventory, integrations, and reporting.
Employee Central is flexible and able to meet many unique requirements. SAP designed the system around best practices, so you can confidently use it to build your master data template.
The organizational and employee data fields need consistent definitions to support correct data migration and maintenance.
2) Define a consistent global organizational structure.
SuccessFactors standard organizational structure includes legal entity, business units, divisions, departments, and cost centers. You can add layers using Metadata Framework functionality.
We recommend you gather a list of job titles and job roles and group them on commonalities like family.
3) Document the process to gather accurate and timely HR data for each location.
Build any constraints into your global project plan. Have a change management strategy identified for mitigating them.
Work with your implementation partner to build these scenarios into your project timelines.
4) Create common global definitions for employee data.
Consider possible issues like – the definition of a full-time employee might differ in the US and China.
Creating consistent data field definitions helps here as well.
5) Commit to Employee Central as the master data source – the “one truth.”
This ensures accurate, timely data flows into third-party systems (like payroll).
Be pragmatic when considering local or custom interfaces – integration is time-consuming and costly.
Organizations that standardize on an “adopt, not adapt” approach will gain a more scalable, maintainable system.
Focus on integrations that are fundamental to business operations.
6) Decide if your long-term plans are to administer Employee Central globally using a shared services model or if you’ll process transactions on a national/regional level.
We recommend identifying global administrators and involving them in the project planning and rollout.
7) Understand SuccessFactors definitions for job families and roles.
Job families define broad job categories. You can create any type of job family.
Example: Create job families for significant functions within your organization, such as Information Technology.
The job role is a way to identify roles in a company that have a similar impact but exists in different departments, require different skill sets, or have varying levels of responsibility.
Example: Job Family: Information Technology / Associated Job Role: IT Manager, Regional System Administrator.
8) Create a minimal number of critical job roles within Role Based Permissions.
Start with your standard list and add incremental roles during the design phase.
We often see 8-10 defined roles, including Employee, Manager, Global HR, Regional HRBP, Payroll, Recruiter, Finance, IT, and Operations.
9) Build consistent, enterprise-wide workflows in Employee Central.
Workflow design will be crucial to user adoption and ensuring the solution is a true people solution, not just an HR application. Seek to streamline approvers globally and design for employee and manager self-service.
Accurate, approved data in Employee Central will make integrations with downstream applications easier.
10) Identify the project implementation team before the project begins.
Ensure project team members are committed to the project and have the right knowledge to engage stakeholders.
Choose a global system administrator and make sure they are included in the project to guarantee knowledge transfer and training.
We suggest a project team of Business, IT, and HR decision-makers.
11) Set pragmatic expectations about the implications of rolling out this system to multiple countries.
For example, do all employees have access to a laptop or PC? Do all locations have enough internet bandwidth?
12) Involve decision-makers in the project and enable them to make timely decisions.
Create a three-tiered internal governance model:
A steering committee to set direction, maintain alignment to larger organizational goals, and sustain project engagement.
Sponsors to raise awareness, maintain alignment within regions and functional
areas, build credibility, and make decisions directly affecting the organization.
A project team to drive success, be constantly involved, make decisions, and represent project stakeholders.
13) Focus on an effective change management approach to drive user adoption.
Enabling your workforce to adopt new processes in a streamlined way will put your project in the best position for success and maximize the value you expect, whether it be a new SAP implementation or another change initiative.
Need More Focused Help?
The numbers vary. But some quick Google searches for “how often do software implementation projects fail?” returns some pretty depressing results.
The best way to improve those odds is to work with an experienced partner like Rizing. Feel free to contact us and discuss the best way to work together.