Leveraging qualifications management with SAP ERP HCM (part 2)
In the first part of this blog series, we saw how qualification requirements can be defined in SAP. That is, we defined the critical qualifications (with the critical level of proficiency) that should be obtained by each employee in his/her position. In the present blog post, I would like to highlight how we can measure (or try to) which level of those qualifications do the employees have. So, how can we know at one point in time which employees do have a given level of proficiency in a give qualification. This can be done in many ways in SAP. We will explore mainly 2 possibilities here.
The goals is to assign to every employee a qualifications profile, i.e. a set of qualifications (Q objects) with a given level of proficiency linked to their personnel number (P object or possibly CP object). This is registered in the data model using P-Q relationships. Technically, the qualifications profile is a very simple feature. However, on a functional point of view it can prove to be very challenging. Indeed, qualifications can sometimes be uneasy to measure (what level of a given qualification do I/you have?), and improvement/loss in the level of qualification can be uneasy to model. A key aspect will be here to maintain meaningful qualifications in your qualifications catalog. A good practice would be to start with a simple qualifications catalog containing only core qualifications which are easy to model/measure.
Typically, registering certificates as qualifications in the catalog can be a good starting point (however some coule argue this is moving the complexity to the moment when the certificate is awarded). At least, we know when someone gets a certificate and if this certificate has a validity period, it can be registered in SAP using infotype 1025 for the qualification. Behavioural qualifications will be more difficult to model. But first let’s see how SAP allows us to register the information.
Assessing qualifications: direct update
A first possibility to register the qualifications profile of your employees is to let them update their profile themselves. Up to ehp4, it was possible for employees to fill in/update their qualification profile directly via the Skills Profile iView in Employee Self-Service. This allowed direct update of the P-Q relationships in the back-end (and thus of the infotype 0024, if integrated with PD in the switch PLOGI QUALI). It was also possible to initiate a workflow to add manager approval whenever a skill was changed in the profile. This was triggered by entries in table T779W (or its customer version T779X). See also this wiki for more information on the triggering of the workflow.
With the introduction of the new PD framework (i.e. class CL_HR_QUALI_PROFILE instead of function module BAPI_QUALIFIC_GETLIST), the workflow can be triggered by activating implementation HR_EVENT_CHGSUBPROF of BAdI HRBAS00INFTY. See also SAP note 1548717 for more information on the new PD framework.
With ehp5, this iView disappeared in the standard shipment of ESS but came back in ehp6 as part of the Talent Profile. With the Talent Profile, it is still possible to activate manager approval in the same way as before.
If needed, the manager can modify his/her employee’s qualifications profile. Up to ehp4, this could be done using the Skills Profile iView on behalf of the employee. This is a feature available in the Related Activities section of the Personal Development page (under Team > Employee Information). From ehp6 on, the same feature is available in the Talent Profile for Managers. If you’re on ehp5 with the MSS Add-on 1.0, you can benefit from this functionality too by installing SAP note 1679190.
Assessing qualifications with the annual appraisal
Another way of updating an employee’s qualification profile is of course to conduct employee appraisal. This can be done using the Performance Management module. Integration of qualifications management with performance management is a key feature in SAP ERP HCM. We will see here how this is done in both the “Predefined” and the “Flexible” scenarios in Performance Management.
Predefined scenario: objective setting
In the predefined scenario, employees and managers can add qualifications as objectives in the appraisal form. They can add any qualification from the catalog, and/or add a qualification from the employee’s profile matchup. The profile matchup is the matchup between the qualifications required for the employee’s position (as explained in the first blog of this series) and the employee’s qualifications profile (as explained above). We will come back to this concept in a later blog.
By default, the system will propose the match-up with the employee’s current position, but this can also be done with any other position in the company (this can make sense if e.g. the employee changed or will change of position in the course of the year). By doing so, the manager will appraise his/her employees based on the qualifications they are expected to have for their job.
Flexible scenario: objective setting
In the flexible scenario, there are even more possibilities, but they have to be configured in the appraisal template. Using the fixed enhancement possibility, we can add some qualifications as objectives to the appraisal document by default, i.e. without that all managers or employees have to add them explicitly as in the predefined scenario. Those qualifications can either be the required qualifications defined for the employee’s position or only those qualifications from the position requirement which the employee does not yet fullfil (e.g. if it is required for a position to have level 2 of qualification A, but the employee only has level 1, qualification A will be added to the appraisal document). These 2 options are shipped as standard implementations of BAdI HRHAP00_ENHANCE_FIX but any other option can be chosen by creating a customer-specific implementation of the same BAdI.
On top of this, the free enhancement possibility can also be used. This offers a quite similar functionality as in the predefined scenario, i.e. qualifications can be added to the performance form during the objective setting phase. Four implementations of this BAdI (HRHAP00_ENHANCE_FREE) are offered in the standard with regard to qualifications:
- Add qualifications from the catalog
- Add qualifications from the appraisee’s qualifications requirement profile
- Add qualifications from the appraisee’s job family
- Add qualifications from any job family
This last implementation makes sense e.g. when an employee is marked as having potential for a given job family. Then, the manager of this person might want to appraise him with regard to the qualifications needed for this job family. However, these last two implementations will most typically be used in an implementation of the Employee Assessment process (as part of the Talent Management and Talent Development module, see also below for more info).
Transferring qualifications from the appraisal document to the qualifications profile
After the appraisal has been completed and the qualifications (or objectives) have been rated, the rating can be transferred to the appraisee’s qualifications profile. To do so, one of the following options should be selected in the appraisal template (for the flexible process):
- Adjust qualifications (as of “valid from” date): the qualifications with a rating higher than 0 are transferred to the qualifications profile and considered as obtained as of the start of the appraisal period (start date of qualification equal to the start date of the appraisal)
- Adjust qualifications (as of “valid to” date): the qualifications with a rating higher than 0 are transferred and considered obtained as of the end of the appraisal period (start date of the qualification is the end date of the appraisal)
- Adjust qualifications with notes (as of “valid from” date): the same but the notes entered by the manager are transferred to the note in infotype 0024
- Adjust qualifications with notes (as of “valid to” date): the same but the notes entered by the manager are transferred to the note in infotype 0024
In all 4 cases, when a qualification is given a rating of 0, the qualification is deleted from the appraisee’s profile.
The transfer of qualifications occurs in background upon completing the appraisal document. If required, a customer-specific implementation of the BAdI (HRHAP00_FOLLOW_UP) can be created to fullfil specific needs.
In the predefined process, the transfer of qualifications can be activated but only after SAP note 1749394 has been implemented. This was indeed not possible in the early versions of the predefined scenario.
Talent Assessment and Employee Assessment
Finally, a 3rd possibility to assess qualifications of an employee, is to conduct the employee assessment or talent assessment from the Talent Management and Talent Development module. We will not go into further details on this topic in this blog post but a similar document as the appraisal document described above can serve as basis for the assessment of talent within the company, with respect to their career planning. During this process, key qualifications can be assessed and transferred to the employee’s qualifications profile as in the appraisal process.
In conclusion, we have several possibilities to assess qualifications in our company with SAP ERP HCM. All those possibilities are not mutually exclusive, but they add up. For instance, for some basic qualifications, the direct update can be a useful tool. Also, the direct update allows to have “live” update of the qualification data (as soon as a proficiency level changes, it can be updated in the system). The appraisal document is a better tool for more complex qualifications. The appraiser can focus on a couple of qualifications for the appraisee over the working year and give a rating at the end of the year. Talent or employee assessment can be useful for a more long-term vision.
Now that we have registered the qualification requirements for our workforce and that we identified the qualification profiles of all our employees, we can perform the qualifications match-up. We will see more about this in the next blog post. With the match-up, we will identify which qualifications are missing or need to be improved in the company. As a result, the catalog of available trainings can be updated. Employees will then be able to improve key qualifications by following training. Finally, we will also see how we can hire the best employees with regard to qualifications.