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What’s Included With The Predefined Performance Management Process – Part 2

You’re back!  So good of you to make it.  If you’re reading this, you undoubtedly found What’s Included With The Predefined Performance Management Process of this blog riveting.  Either that or you’re my mother and you feel sorry for me and this blog makes NO sense to you.  Regardless, you’re here, so let’s keep on learning about what’s now available with the Predefined performance management process.

A Summary of Ratings

The final section of the Predefined process ‘appraisal document’ is where the overall rating is selected and/or displayed.  It also works with the same rules of the individual and competency/development goals where you need to have a 3, 5, 6 or 10 value scale. 

What’s really nice about this section is that it summarizes the ratings the employee has gotten throughout the document.  The overall rating will be prominently featured at the top, but then each individual goal will be listed below, with a color coded icon for the employee, manager, and part appraisal rating.  The same will be true with competency and development goals below that.  In total, you’ll have a great summary of the employee’s assessment for the period without having to sift through each section.

This isn’t the last we’ll see of this page though, as we’ll also be revisiting it when we touch on the Talent Profile.

Calibrating Direct Reports Together

As the manager completes each appraisal document, they’re able to switch to the ‘Calibration’ tab on the Web Dynpro app where they can see a graphical view of how their direct reports stack up together.  There’s a lot happening in this view, so I’ll touch on the high points.

  • All direct reports graphically represented together, separated by performance rating. So now you can see you’ve given all 10 of your employees Highest Achiever ratings without having to go back through each document.
  • When you configure the process, one of your available options is targeted rating distribution. So if HR dictates that 50% of your ratings should be Average Achiever and only 10% of your ratings should be Highest Achiever, you’ll see a shaded and non-shaded section of each performance rating. Your particular case will show 9 employees above the shaded are of Highest Achiever and 0 in the shaded area of Average.
  • Once you realize there’s no way your 10 Highest Achiever ratings will fly, this tab will let you just drag employees to whichever box you wish, in order to level out the ratings. This drag & drop will update the overall rating for the employee’s document accordingly, which is pretty cool.
  • Another option at configuration is that you’re also able to provide the manager with a graphical view of compensation data for the employees being calibrated to help aid in their decision making of performance ratings.
  • Yet another configurable option is the inclusion of a Potential rating in the appraisal document. This would also be assessed on the Overall Rating section above, but it has the added effect of turning the calibration for the manager from just columns of performance ratings into a full-on Calibration Grid (maybe you’d know it as a ‘9-box’ – a concept left for a blog on another day). It has been my experience that Performance and Potential are part of separate business processes, but the option is obviously there if so desired. If it’s excluded, Potential can be assessed in part of the Talent Assessment in Talent Management.

Provide A Constant Reminder of The Performance Timelines

A component of the display for employees and managers now is the process timeline.  When configured, the user will get a visual display of the entire performance process over a period of time; including when each period begins/ends, an explanation of what each period is for, and a marker for where we currently are in the process.  Appraisal documents aren’t hard wired to this timeframe.  So if your manager hasn’t had time to finish the planning phase, the documents won’t automatically move to the next phase when the date comes.  However, the manager will see right in front of them that they’re behind schedule, without getting a mass email from HR.

One of the serious drawbacks of this piece of the functionality is its rigidity.  If your business has additional phases that they think are special, Predefined cannot accommodate them.  If your business wants to remove a phase, Predefined cannot accommodate that.  The process delivered will stand.  Since you know how I love a good cliché, I will tell you, “it is what it is” (But really, isn’t that like saying 1 = 1?  Seriously, everything is what it is).  SAP must have gotten feedback on this issue, because in EhP5, one of the improvements to Predefined looks to be to let you optionally include (I believe) the Review phase.  It’s not complete flexibility, but it’s a start.

Talent Management Integration

Almost invariably when you ask an HR person what they don’t like about their current SAP performance management process, the fact that indirect managers of an employee cannot see performance data without customization will be on their list.  When the head of IT hears great things about you, they have to ask HR or your manager to give them your performance review so they can see for themselves.  Now, if you’re using Talent Management in conjunction with Predefined Performance Management, part of the Talent Profile for an employee will include the Overall Assessment section of an employee’s appraisal document (the one with all the ratings I addressed first in this part of the blog).  So now when the head of your department wants to find out about you, they don’t have to ask anyone or wait.  They can look your information up, including your performance summary, with a click of a button.

Earlier I mentioned the potential assessment that you could include in an individual’s performance document.  Regardless of if you complete the potential value there or if you do it on its own as part of the Talent Assessment, the net effect is that the potential value will be written to infotype 7408 (primary key being Central Person, not Pernr).  If you’re using the Predefined process, finalizing the appraisal document will also write that employee’s performance rating to infotype 7409 (also keyed off Central Person).  These infotypes form the basis for the Calibration Grid which will be used in the Talent Review Meetings (object RM) that will take place.

Differences With The Flexible Process

As I alluded to earlier with the Predefined process, it is definitely rigid.  If your company has unique circumstances built into their process, the Predefined process is not likely to account for it.  That’s where the Flexible process comes in.  Flexible is basically the pre-EhP4 Performance process, but with a Web Dynpro front end instead of a BSP.  It definitely looks better, but it doesn’t come out of the box with all the bells and whistles of Predefined.  There was a good discussion in the forums recently about this very subject that I’ll link for your reading pleasure:

Re: Predefined Performance Management process Issues

In EhP5, SAP has attempted to improve on that rigidity of Predefined, but it’s an uphill climb to allow too much flexibility and still maintain built in integrations and a common interface.

Why Use Predefined?

For me, seeing the Predefined process was a really nice component of EhP4.  Predefined is probably not an exact match for every company’s process, but it’s not far off.  Companies willing to embrace the differences can go to production much faster, at a lower implementation and support cost.  For a piece of functionality such as this that doesn’t generate revenue, these are key concepts. 

These were a fun couple of blogs to write, thanks for hanging in there (or at least for pretending to be interested).  After this I’m hoping to cover a subject tangentially related that I am interested to hear feedback on after it’s complete; Crazy Performance Management business processes.

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  • Hi Chris ,

    The blog highlights the key features of EhP4 Performance management functionality in a very informative way.

    Keep it going.

    Best Regards,

  • Hi Chris,

    Generally the calibration is done at a level or two higher than the current manager.  Let’s say if the director wants to do calibration of all his managers (direct reports) and their employees (indirect reports) how would you do it?



    • Hi Pascal:

      There’s a SuccessFactors joke in here somewhere, right?

      In the exact circumstance you’ve given, the Performance Management module will not accommodate your needs.  This is because neither the performance management module or the talent management modules support the calibration of indirect reports.

      If it were me, I would handle your challenge (assuming we’re still using on-premise SAP and not SuccessFactors) in the following ways

      1) The Talent Management Specialist (TMS) does have the ability to calibrate people at multiple levels and variable number of reporting levels below a certain individual by using the Talent Review Meeting functionality.  They could create a meeting agenda of all the Director would want to see.  The rub is that the TMS would have to facilitate the calibration since the Director wouldn’t have access.

      2) You could manipulate the methods that populate the calibration grid to retrieve multiple levels rather than just direct reports who have completed appraisals/assessments.  This would be more complicated, obviously.

      That’s what I’ve got off the top of my head.  The bottom line is that this is not delivered functionality (at least as of EhP6).  Sorry I don’t have better news for you.