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In Part I of this blog, I discussed in brief the option of the Calendar-Based method for setting initial and retraining assignment dates in SuccessFactors Learning through Period-Based Curricula.  This method is used when the setting of initial and retraining assignment dates should be the same for all users.  In contrast to the Event-Based method, which uses a unique event basis date (assignment date or hire date) for each user, the Calendar-Based method uses a defined Basis Date that is used for all users when determining required-by dates for user training assignments.

When it comes to initial assignments, the Calendar-Based method differs in two ways from the Event-Based method.  The first difference, as mentioned before, is how the Basis Date is set on the Item details in the Curriculum and not dynamically determined based on assignment date or hire date for an individual user.  The second difference, in regards to initial assignments, is the system does not complete the specified period, then add the initial period number to get to the desired required-by date like it does with the Event-Based method.  The screen shot below illustrates the fields necessary to make a calendar-based initial assignment setting for an item within a curriculum.  As mentioned in Part II, I find the fields on this screen to not be in the most logical order, so I highlight the core fields for this assignment in the screen shot below with sequence numbers for steps I recommend to follow in order to make the correct settings here.

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  1. Determine the Initial Basis (i.e. – method) for determining the initial assignment date, either Calendar or Event (for the purposes of our example here, this is set to Calendar)
  2. Because we have set our Initial Basis to Calendar, we must specify a Basis Date. This date will be used in conjunction with the Initial Period/Number values for all users in determining the desired fixed required-by date.
  3. After specifying the calendar basis date, we must specify the Period to be used in calculating the required-by date from the basis date.  The system will define an initial interval using the defined Basis Date and the initial period specified to set a required-by date for training assignments.  The Period can be Days, Weeks, Months, Quarters, or Years.
  4. After specifying the desired Period to use for our date calculations, the last step is to set the Initial Number of periods to use when determining the initial assignment date.  This number is used in conjunction with the defined period in determining the required-by date (i.e. – 30 days, 3 months, 1 year).

Calculating Required-By Dates for the Calendar-Based Method


When it comes to initial training assignments, as mentioned before, the Calendar-Based method does not complete the current period, then add the initial period to calculate the required-by date like the Event-Based method does.  Instead, the core logic behind the Calendar-Based method is defining intervals from the specified Basis Date in the amount of time specified by the initial/retraining period.  Therefore, for initial assignments, the system will define the initial interval by taking the Basis Date and adding the initial period to calculate the required-by date.  It then does not matter when the training is assigned to a user.  Each user who gets the assignment will receive the same required-by date.

The table below illustrates some examples of using the Calendar-Based method in determining initial required-by dates.  Each example assumes Basis Date of April 1st, 2014.

Initial Period

Initial Number

Calculation

Days

90

  1. Basis Date = April 1st, 2014
  2. Add 90 days to Basis Date for initial interval
  3. Required-by Date = June 29th, 2014

Weeks

6

  1. Basis Date = April 1st, 2014
  2. Add 6 weeks to Basis Date for initial interval
  3. Required-by Date = May 12th, 2014

Months

6

  1. Basis Date = April 1st, 2014
  2. Add 6 months to Basis Date for initial interval
  3. Required-by Date = September 30th, 2014

Quarters

3

  1. Basis Date = April 1st, 2014
  2. Add 3 quarters to Basis Date for initial interval
  3. Required-by Date = December 31st, 2014

Years

1

  1. Basis Date = April 1st, 2014
  2. Add 1 year to Basis Date for initial interval
  3. Required-by Date = March 31st, 2015

The Calendar-Based method differs further from the Event-Based method when it comes to retraining as well.  With Event-Based retraining, the basis date used to determine the required retraining date is set as the completion date of the item for the user.  The Calendar-Based method continues to use the specified Basis Date on the item details in the curriculum to create intervals that are then applied into the future to determine required retraining dates for individuals after they complete the training with respect to the calculated retraining intervals.  While the Calendar-Based method for initial assignments does not have any logic to complete the current period before adding the full initial period to calculate the initial required-by date, the Calendar-Based method for retraining assignments does follow this logic of completing the current interval, then proceeding to the end of the following interval to determine the required retraining date.

To help illustrate how the Calendar-Based method uses intervals for retraining, let’s consider a Basis Date of July 1st, 2013 with the following Retraining Period/Number settings.  The tables below are meant to illustrate the intervals that are then implicitly followed by the system when calculating required retraining dates using the Calendar-Based method.

Example 1


Basis Date: July 1st, 2013 / Retraining Period: Months / Retraining Number: 6

Interval 1

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

Interval 2

Jan 2014

Feb 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

Interval 3

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

Interval 4

Jan 2015

Feb 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

Example 2


Basis Date: July 1st, 2013 / Retraining Period: Years / Retraining Number: 1

Interval 1

July 2013 – June 2014

Interval 2

July 2014 – June 2015

Interval 3

July 2015 – June 2016

Using the interval examples above, the following scenarios for retraining could be seen.  Remember the standard SuccessFactors approach of completing the current period/interval before adding the next period/interval to determine the new required-by date.

  • Example 1
    • User completes training on November 12, 2013 (within Interval 1)
      • System completes current calendar period (Interval 1)
      • System looks for the end of next interval (Interval 2) to determine required retraining date
      • Required Retraining Date = June 30, 2014
    • User completes retraining on February 15th, 2014 (within Interval 2)
      • System completes current calendar period (Interval 2)
      • System looks for end of next interval (Interval 3) to determine required retraining date
      • Required Retraining Date = December 31st, 2014
  • Example 2
    • User completes training on November 12, 2013 (within Interval 1)
      • System completes current calendar period (Interval 1)
      • System looks for the end of next interval (Interval 2) to determine required retraining date
      • Required Retraining Date = June 30th, 2015
    • User completes retraining on June 29th, 2015 (within Interval 2)
      • System completes current calendar period (Interval 2)
      • System looks for the end of the next interval (Interval 3) to determine required retraining date
      • Required Retraining Date = June 30th, 2016

Similar to my explanation of the Event-Based method, hopefully you again see how time needs to be taken when considering exactly how to determine required-by dates with respect to the formulas used within SuccessFactors Learning for the Calendar-Based method.  One thing to point out here before continuing on is that you can mix and match the Event-Based and Calendar-Based methods for setting required-by dates for a single item in a curriculum with respect to the Initial assignment and Retraining assignment dates.  For instance, you may have a learning item that users need to complete within 90 days of hire and are required to retake every calendar year.  In this case, the initial assignment date for the training would be unique across users, while the retraining dates should be the same. You would use the Event-Based method for the initial assignment, based on user hire date, with a period of 90 days. Then you would use the Calendar-Based method for the retraining assignment with a Basis Date of Jan 1 of a prior year (i.e. – Jan 1st, 2013), and a retraining period of 1 year. Therefore if a user is hired on March 3rd of 2014, the training item would be initially required for the user to take by June 1st, 2014 (within 90 days of hire).  If the user then completes the training on May 12th, 2014, his/her calculated retraining date would then be December 31st, 2015.  Hopefully with the knowledge you have gained from this blog you can determine yourself why the initial assignment and retraining assignment dates are set in this manner.

After reading the first three parts of this blog, hopefully you have a good grasp of the core functionality of Period-Based Curricula and how you can calculate required-by dates using the Event and Calendar-Based methods.  Part IV of this blog discusses some additional aspects of Period-Based Curricula that can be used to further influence the way these required-by dates for Items within a curriculum are determined.  This includes the use of thresholds, checking previous completions, setting effective dates of items, and setting assignment types.


Part I – Using Period-Based Curricula to Manage Training Due Dates in SuccessFactors Learning

Part II – Understanding the Event-Based Method of Period-Based Curricula in SuccessFactors Learning

Part IV – Other Tricks of the Trade for Period-Based Curricula in SuccessFactors Learning

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  1. Laura Vaccaro

    Thanks for the article.  Still having trouble.  I am trying to create a curriculum with 12 monthly safety meeting items.  So the January one is assigned on January 1st to be completed by January 31 and so on for each month thru December.  The item needs to be reassigned each year the same way (1 year retraining for each of the 12 items).  If someone gets assigned in July, they do not need to take the previous months training for that year, so the item needs to be assigned for a due date of the corresponding month of the following year.  I have tried this so many ways and not working.  For example.  I assign the curriculum to a user in October.  They need to complete October by 10/31/2016, November by 11/30/201 and December by 12/31/2016.  January is to be completed by 1/31/2017, and so on for the remaining months.  Many users are late with training so it should retrain every year based on the month not the due date.  Please help!

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