When SAP released EhP4, obviously one of the more noteworthy enhancements was the improvement to the Performance Management process. As most SAP HCM users/consultants are aware, the prior versions of SAP Performance Management were not exactly the final piece of the puzzle that would put a decision to purchase SAP over the hump.
Now however, people upgrading to EhP4 (and eventually EhP5) are undoubtedly looking to leverage their investment in SAP and improve what they’re providing to their companies for Performance Management. SAP provides customers now with two distinct choices, the predefined and flexible processes. The flexible template is essentially a replica of the prior Performance Management process converted into Web Dynpro ABAP and given a prettier face. The things that you know in Performance Management yesterday are true for the flexible process today.
This is the first of a two part blog where I’m hoping to walk through what the features of the predefined process to help understand what’s different between this and the flexible process. So, since I love a good cliche, “let’s dive right in with both feet” and take a look at what really is included with the predefined process.
A Cleaner Look And Feel
First of all there’s the UI. This is the same UI that exists for the other parts of the ‘Talent Management’ module. This UI looks to be the new face of portal based SAP HCM solutions. This includes items such as the employee’s photo (or a gender specific icon if no photo exists), Adobe Flash Islands for the left hand navigation and calibration, the Threshold Slider UI element for individual ratings, as well as being built using WebDynpro ABAP. This creates good UI consistency with other functionality like the Talent Assessment, Development Plan and the Talent Profile.
A couple of things to be aware of in this area – to get your Threshold Sliders to function correctly, you need to have a Qualification Scale that is any of 3, 5, 6 or 10 values. So if your company has a 4 value rating scale you wish to use for development goals, the Threshold Slider won’t show up. Generally that just makes sense (from a bell curve perspective), but it’s something to keep in mind. Additionally, those left hand navigation bar elements are NOT configurable. You can go into PHAP_CATALOG and think you’re changing what should be changed… but the Flash Island will say what it was originally intended to say. So if you want “Team Goals” to say “Manager Goals” it will look changed in PHAP_CATALOG, but the front end will always say “Team Goals”.
Individual Goals With More Options
Next, onward to the Individual Goals. If you’ve got a predefined template for last year completed, you are given the option to bring a goal over from the previous period’s review. Just the title, it’s not like the previous year’s goal comes into town riding a parade float… it just pre-populates the name of the goal. However, once the goal is there (or one is created from scratch), there are some nice features about the rating of the goal. The Employee, Manager and Part Appraiser are all able to individually rate a goal with their own Threshold Slider. Additionally, the ratings will be hidden from the Employee and Part Appraiser until they have made their own ratings.
Cross-HCM Integrations With Development Goals
After Individual Goals are the Competency and Development Goals. This is where the integrated features start to show off. A Development Goal can be made up from scratch, or it can be added using the qualification catalog which comes up in a popup. Or, even cooler, you can create a goal based upon a profile matchup to the employee’s current position (which is the default) or any other position. So if you’re a Credit Analyst, you can bring up all of the Qualifications required for that position (via inheritance to the position, job, job family or functional area). Then you’ll get a nice view of the requirements, as well as the Employee’s current proficiency. Or if the employee desires to be a Credit Analyst Manager, they can execute the same function for that position. Something to keep in mind, if the Employee’s proficiency for a certain Qualification meets or exceeds what’s required for the position, you cannot add that Skill to the appraisal, theoretically because there’s no need to develop a skill you already are ‘proficient enough’ at.
Now that the skill is created, you have a nice interface for what actions will be taken to complete the goal. Instead of just having a paragraph of text to key into, you can add individual actions. Those actions can be a random action, or they can be a training activity. This is cool because you will be given the LSO course catalog. There you can search by a keyword, a delivery method, or just walk through the catalog. Once you pick a Course Type, its right there in the Employee’s actions for accomplishing the Development Goal. More things to keep in mind – you aren’t actually booking a course. You’re creating a mandatory relationship between the Employee and a Course Type. This will put a record out on the Learner’s profile so they can then go and look for a course offering date that meets their schedule. I believe the logic behind this is that at the time of goal setting, you don’t know your schedule, you just want to let it be known (or a manager wants you to know) that you intend to take a course to accomplish a goal.
Tie Goals To Company Objectives
Next on the list are the Team Goals and Corporate Goals sections. These are great for the Management By Objectives (MBO) crowd. So today, Employees all hear the refrain from their manager, “Once we get the goals from (important person), then you can all populate them in your reviews.” Now, that doesn’t need to happen. A manager (either direct or indirect) can create a goal and drop it into any number of their team’s reviews. Then each employee, when creating their own goals, gets a little “Align To” button on each goal. So when (important person) says there needs to be a 10% soft savings across the department, an employee’s goal to eliminate manual handoffs in a business process can be “Aligned To” that goal. The same is true with Company Goals, but on a broader scale. If the company has a goal for everyone in the company to “Make absurd amounts of cash no matter what it takes”, that goal can be cascaded to some or all of the company, then aligned to by employees. So congratulations, your goal of “Creating a shadow corporation in Antigua” actually does contribute to the corporate strategy!
That’s a pretty good start. If our pretend company isn’t under SEC investigation, we’ll next cover the overall rating, calibration, the process timelines, how the flexible process is different, and my personal favorite – the integration with the Talent Profile.