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SuccessFactors Employee Central uses a simple but effective way to manage the enterprise, which differs somewhat to how SAP ERP HCM manages the enterprise. In this blog, we will discuss the organization structure as well as part of the job structure. Please note that the standard-delivered configuration of Employee Central will be discussed, although we will touch on the extensibility options to enhance this.

The organization structure in SuccessFactors has a different approach than SAP. In addition to having a more granular and configurable structure, it also incorporates the Company/Legal Entity into this structure. In SAP, the Company Code is part of the Enterprise Structure and is assigned directly to employees in infotype 0001. There are concepts of Employee Group, Pay Structure, Pay Scale Structure, and Cost Center hierarchy in Employee Central, but no concept of a Personnel Structure. We’ll explore pay structures in a later blog. The Employee Central system is extremely flexible in allowing the standard configuration to be modified as such to allow a customer to create an organization structure exactly as they require. This could be hiding or changing existing objects or adding new objects. Personally I believe that the organization structure in Employee Central makes more sense to business users and I will expand on this further as we continue.

A little terminology

Before we start, it’s worth going through a little Employee Central terminology:

Employee Central term Description SAP ERP HCM equivalent
Foundation Objects The primary objects and data that is used in employee records (e.g. Company, Job Classification, Pay Grade, etc.) Object Type / Master Data / Transparent table
Assocations Relationships between objects Relationship
Generic Objects Custom objects crated with the Metadata Framework Object Type
Organization Structure The organization structure used to manage the enterprise Organization Structure
Propagation Auto-population of field values on an employee’s Employment Information from Foundation Objects Default values set by Features in PE03

Organization Structure

In the standard-delivered configuration the organization structure is composed of the following Foundation Objects:

  • Legal Entity
  • Business Unit
  • Division
  • Department
  • Location
  • Cost Center

Additionally, these objects can either be removed if not required or re-purposed in the structure (e.g. change a Department to a sub-Division). New objects can also be added within the structure using the Metadata Framework. The diagram below illustrates the “top” 4 objects in the structure, with the standard-delivered Associations between objects:

/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/1_589884.png

A Legal Entity cannot have a parent of the same type. A Division can belong to multiple Business Units and a Department can belong to multiple Divisions. In addition, both a Division and Department can have a parent of the same type, thus creating a hierarchy of these object types.

We can compare the objects in this structure to SAP object types or fields:

Foundation Object SAP ERP HCM equivalent
Legal Entity Company Code
Business Unit Business Area / Organizational Unit (Object type O)
Division Organizational Unit (Object type O)
Department Organizational Unit (Object type O)
Location Personnel Area / Personnel Subarea
Cost Center Cost Center (Object type K)

The Organization Structure Objects

During the implementation of Employee Central, each Foundation Object can be configured to store certain details about the object. This can be used for reference or can be used to populate values into fields on an employee’s Employment Information record (called propagation in Employee Central terminology). Of course, many of these objects can be re-purposed as required and new objects can be added.

Legal Entity

The Legal Entity object – sometimes referred to as Company – contains the definitions for all legal entities that are part of the customer’s enterprise. Every employee must have a Legal Entity assigned when being hired or setup in the system (just as they would in real life!). By default, a Legal Entity defines the country and default Pay Group, Location, currency, and standard hours for employees within that company. Country-specific information can be stored on a Legal Entity object. In SAP ERP HCM, the Legal Entity is the Company Code that is selected on the infotype 0001 screen during the hiring action.

The screenshot below shows the object record for the ACE USA Legal Entity.

/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2_572349.png


The field below the Country field is country-specific fields for the country United States. These fields differ by country. Other data from this page can be propagated to the employee’s Job Information or Compensation Information, such as the Default Pay Group or Default Location field values.

Business Unit

A Business Unit represents a segment of a Legal Entity that focuses on a specific business function, such as manufacturing, sales, or marketing. There is no direct equivalent object in SAP, although a Business Unit could be represented by the Business Area in PA or by an Organizational Unit object in OM.

Division

A Division is simply a division of a Business Unit. However, it can be used directly as a Division of a Legal Entity if required, such is the flexibility of Employee Central. There is no direct equivalent object in SAP, although a Division could be represented by an Organizational Unit object.

Department

Divisions are broken down into one or more Departments. This is more typically represents an Organizational Unit object in SAP and is often the lowest denominator of the organization structure.

Location

The Location, as the name suggests, represents a physical location. It is used to identify the employee’s location. By default, the Location defines the time zone and standard weekly hours of the employee. Locations can be grouped by Location Groups for further organization and reporting. In SAP, the location is often the Personnel Subarea.

Cost Center

A  Cost Center represents the units that account for business costs, just as in SAP ERP and other HRIS’. Although it is part of the organization structure, it is more of a designation for the costs of an employee than part of the organization in which they reside. However, some organizations do use Cost Center as part of the organization structure. Cost Centers can have parent Cost Centers so that a hierarchy can be created.

Generic Objects

Generic Objects can be created in the Metadata Framework and associated to Foundation Objects so that additional layers can be introduced to the organization structure. Generic Objects are created with the Metadata Framework. Extensive details on creating Generic Objects can be found in the Metadata Framework Implementation Handbook on SAP Service Marketplace (S-user required) and in this SAPexperts article Creating Metadata Framework Objects in SuccessFactors Employee Central (subscription required).

Associations between Foundation Objects (including Generic Objects)

Associations are relationships between objects that define the hierarchical relationship and filters for these objects. In essence, they define the parent-child relationship and whether a child relationship must exist for a parent object. In addition, they are used to filter object lists. An Association must have a multiplicity defined, which is either One-to-One or One-to-Many:

  • One-to-One: Defines that the object can only be associated to one other object
  • One-to-Many: Defines that the object can be associated to multiple objects

In the diagram above we can see several associations. Departments are associated to Divisions, while Divisions are associated to Business Units, and Business Units are associated to Legal Entities. Business Units, Divisions, and Departments can have parents of the same type.

Example:

A manufacturing Company has 3 Business Units called “Plastics”, “Woods”, and “Metals”. The “Plastics” Business Unit has 3 Divisions associated to it, called “R&D”, “Manufacturing”, and “Distribution”, while the “Metals” Business Unit has 2 Divisions associated to it, called “Metalworks” and “Alloys”, and the “Woods” Business Unit has 2 Division associated to it called “Carpentry” and “Timber”. This is demonstrated below.

/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/3_589885.png


An administrator is hiring a new employee. On the Job Information screen of the New Hire process an administrator selects the Legal Entity and then the “Plastics” Business Unit. In the Divisions drop-down the administrator will only see the values “R&D”, “Manufacturing”, and “Distribution”. Likewise, if they select the “Metals” Business Unit then in the Divisions drop-down they will only see “Metalworks” and “Alloys” and if they select the “Woods” Business Unit then in the Divisions drop-down they will only see “Carpentry” and “Timber”.

How does this look in EC?

Details of an employee’s organizational assignment is defined when the employee is hired. This information can of course be changed as required. The Job Information portlet found on the Employment Information page of an employee shows details of the position assignment, organizational assignment, and job information. The screenshot below shows the position assignment and organizational assignment for an employee can be seen below.

/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/4_572351.png

Here we can see the different elements of the organization structure that we have discussed. In the screenshot below we can see a demonstration of the associations example that we discussed above.

/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/5_572353.png


Jobs

A Job Classification object (also a Foundation Object) contains details of an employee’s job role. Like in SAP, many employees can be assigned the same Job Classification (although in SAP this is through the Position object). It defines a large number of attributes about the job that an employee will hold, such as weekly hours, employee class, pay grade, and whether the employee is full or part time. In the standard-delivered configuration Job Classifications are associated to Business Unit objects. Country-specific information can be stored on a Job Classification object.

When a Job Classification is assigned to an employee a number of values from the Job Classification Foundation Object can be propagated. This is often common fields like Job Title, Pay Grade, Standard Weekly Hours, etc. The screenshot below shows the Job Information of an employee in the Job Information portlet. This information appears below the Organization Information seen in the above screenshot.

/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/6_572355.png

What about Positions?

Employee Central – as well as SuccessFactors – leverages the Job Classification as the standard “job role” of an employee. However, it does also support full Position Management if required. In SAP HCM, the Position object is mandatory for every employee, while use of the Job varies from organization to organization. In Employee Central Positions are not linked to the Organization Structure, which provides customers a choice of whether or not to use Position Management. Positions can have parent positions and thus a Position-based org chart is available in SuccessFactors. Positions are Generic Objects and are managed through the Metadata Framework.

How does this all compare to SAP ERP HCM?

I believe that the flexibility of the Employee Central organization structure enables organizations to more accurately setup a structure that truly reflects how they are organized. Although this is possible in SAP ERP HCM, it cannot be done with the level of granularity and accuracy that is possible in Employee Central. It is a simple yet effective way to accurately represent the organization within Employee Central as it is structured outside of the system. Many of the organizations that I have worked with have no problem with leveraging the Employee Central’s Foundation Objects to represent their organization structure in Employee Central as it fits how they operate and how they think organizationally.

Summary

The organization structure in Employee Central is extremely flexible and enables organizations to design their organization structure in a way that reflects the real-life structure of their business. SuccessFactors provides endless possibilities in how this can be configured and managed in the system and provides customers with a method to create an enterprise structure that suits their business. Customers should ensure that they investigate the integration options available if they are going to maintain an organization structure in SAP HCM. The standard integration provided by SAP will integrate the standard organization structure from SuccessFactors, but customizing this structure will mean additional mapping and integration work.

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120 Comments

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  1. Colleen Hebbert

    Hi Luke

     

    Brilliant timing for me (and awesome article)… I’m two weeks out from client workshops. I had been going through the Employee Central Training via SAP Learning Hub. I was still trying to get my head around the SAP HCM integration (needed for HR mini master among other things).

     

    Thanks for putting together a practical scenario. The product looks fantastics. Just very hard coming form a SAP background to shift away from looking at organisational structure as the O-S-P relationships.

     

    Can’t wait to see the SuccessFactors products in action!

     

    Regards

    Colleen

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Colleen,

       

      Thanks so much for your comments! I know the feeling when it comes to O-O-S-P, but once you get using the org structure in Employee Central it really does seem like a “ah-ha!” moment.

       

      Good luck and I hope to see a blog post on your first impressions and experiences sometimes

       

      Best regards,

       

      Luke

      (0) 
      1. Rajesh SAP

        Dear Luke.

        I m a new in success factor, getting following issue while configuring the instance.

        1) How to activate “Add new employee” as i am unable to hire new employee in instance.

        2) as per the client requirement I have configured foundation Object through “ Configure Object Definition” but the same object unable to see in “Manage Data”

        3) How to configure succession data model like Biographical Info, Personal Info. Email Id ect.

        Kindly guide.


        Regard,

        Rajesh

        (0) 
  2. Vasiliy Baranovskiy

    Great summary, Luke! Thanks a lot for this and other articles, as I go deep in EC at the moment starting project. It will not be easy way, as there are some critical gaps, especially in Absence Management (compared to SAP).

     

    Just want to focus: MDF Positions is a prerequisite for some SF innovations like Position Tile View in Succession.

    And one wish to product development: make position selection from Organizational(Position) structure (like in SAP) in the action screen. It’s really the case when company has over 9k positions.

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Thanks for your comments Vasiliy and I’m really encouraged to hear that you’re getting your hands dirty with Employee Central.

       

      I agree there are some gaps, but the product is still young and Thomas Otter, Joachim Foerderer, Murali Mazhavanchery and co are working really hard on bringing it up to speed asap. So far they are doing a highly commendable job.

       

      If you raise your ideas in the SuccessFactors Community they will definitely be reviewed by Product Management.

       

      Best regards,

       

      Luke

      (0) 
  3. Robert Voppmann

    Thanks, Luke!

    (First I was puzzled to read that there were no business units and divisions “in SAP”! But then I realized that you are referring to SAP-HCM (OM) only. — Now I wonder why these structure elements are missing in SAP-OM whilest they do exist in other modules of SAP…)

    (0) 
  4. Eva Woo

    this is an excellent summary Luke.

    I can’t wait to read your next edition of the book when it comes out in December. 

    thanks so much for being such an important part of the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central community. 

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Thanks Eva! I’m glad that it’s done. I re-wrote the Employee Central chapter and added 30 new pages of content, plus included a new 118-page chapter on Platform and added more content on integration – especially around EC and APIs. I’ll send you a copy!

      (0) 
      1. Eva Woo

        I cannot wait to read the section on integration in the new book. will it cover side by side deployment?  I sure hope so.

        (0) 
  5. Sascha Reissenweber

    Hi Luke,

     

    first of all thank you for the excellent summary.

    I was wondering, is there inheritance in EC? I know from SAP and even Oracle Fusion that you can have certain information inherited to the Objects underneath. Is there something similar in SF EC?

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Sascha,

       

      There is something similar, but it doesn’t work in the same principle. Data can propagate from the parent Foundation Objects to an employee, but it doesn’t inherit down a chain like in SAP HCM.

       

      Best regards,

       

      Luke

      (0) 
      1. Heiko Lenk

        Hi Luke, Sascha,

        yes, the principle you will find in EC is that data is inherited by propagation and thus will allow the maintenance of exceptions. For example, the supervisor for employees will be defaulted from the position hierarchy, but it will allow you to maintain a different supervisor if needed. This is similar for organizational entities.

        There is a few places though where information is inherited without propagation, specifically for process owners in organizational entities (i.e. head of business unit, functional lead for a division, etc.)

        Best regards,

        Heiko

        (0) 
  6. Pep Chalten

    Hi Luke,

     

    Thanks for your great article.

    I understand there is no tool within EC to actually display this org structure, other than using standard reporting tools. The Org Chart feature in EC shows the employee or the position hierachies, but not the organization structure that you have described here.

    So my question is: how can customers get a graphical view of their organization? Is this in the roadmap for future releases?

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Pepe,

       

      Thanks for your comments! You are correct about the visualization of the structure. This is on the roadmap and I’m hoping it will be delivered during 2015.

       

      Best regards,

       

      Luke

      (0) 
        1. Luke Marson Post author

          Hi Eeva,

          Not of the Business Unit > Division > Department structure. Because of the nature of how it is built, it is difficult to render. The employee to employee and position to position are standard already.

          Best regards,

          Luke

          (0) 
          1. Elvira Sanz Sevadilla

            Hi Luke,

            Are there any advances related to org chart visualitation (I mean Unit > Division > Department structure) or is in the roadmap for future releases?

            Best regards,

            Elvira

            (0) 
  7. Josh Wright

    Thanks Luke, great article.  I have two follow up questions.

     

    1) I assume that a Business Unit can be attached to multiple Legal Entities, is that a correct assumption?

     

    2) Can you time-delimit all of these objects?  For instance, if a department gets phased out on a certain date, can you set a delimit date on the department and have it disappear from future drop down lists while still retaining the history on the employee records?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Josh

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Thanks Josh. To answer your questions:

       

      1) Yes that is correct. Even if it weren’t the standard configuration it could be achieved quite easily.

      2) Although the objects do have an end date, you would set an object to Inactive. All history would be saved, but the object would no longer be active in the system.

      (0) 
  8. Fuad Garayev

    Hi Luke,

     

    First of all I thank you for this great blog. It help me to clear some points. But I have some question about data upload in SF EC. Is there any function like LSMW ? What about structural authorization ?

     

    Regards,

    Fuad

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Fuad,

       

      Data can be uploaded into Employee Central and templates can be downloaded to ensure the data structure. Structural authorizations are included in SuccessFactors.

       

      Best regards,

       

      Luke

      (0) 
  9. Sven Ringling

    Great article, Luke!

     

    very helpful for someone like me coming from SAP HCM onprem.

     

    One question:

    in a global organisation, I would often start the hierarchy with biz units and then have legal entities below. E.g. A biz unit for Smart Phones ond one for Smart Cars – and then each of them has legal entities in various countries. I understand that setup would also be possible, right?

     

    best wishes from Kyoto

    Sven

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Sven,

       

      Thanks for your comments! I hope you’re having plenty of fun in Kyoto

       

      Yes, it is possible to setup the system as you want it. Company is a key object when hiring employees and it drives a number of standard fields, but there would be nothing to stop you having parent objects in the structure.

       

      Best regards,

       

      Luke

      (0) 
  10. Abhayadeep Singh

    Thanks Luke for sharing an excellent article and specially comparison part to SAP-HCM makes it a delight.

     

    I have few question though. Please excuse my naivete

     

    1. I believe in SF job and position are associated however if make changes to attributes of job or vice versa, then are these changes reflect immediately? (In SAP HCM we have to rely on RHINTE).

     

    2. In SAP-HCM world we also use Job to map mandatory qualifications an employee may require? In EC though do we enforce training compliance through Qualification to Job or Qualification to Position or there is another way?

     

    3. Lets say as per your diagram I want to enforce that all employees under plastic have same cost center which is inherited from Job classification. Does this mean that Job structure need to be exactly same as Org structure?

     

    Thanks

    Abhay

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Abhay,

       

      Thanks for your comments! I’ll try to answer your questions:

       

      1. There are rules setup to propagate values and they should work in “real time” depending on your exact scenario

       

      2. Qualifications are managed differently in SuccessFactors. Job Profiles can be created, as well as Position-based Profiles.

       

      3. No it does not. You need to ensure that the Job Classification has the Cost Center assigned.

       

      Best regards,

       

      Luke

      (0) 
      1. Shilpa Ijantkar

        Hello Luke,

        Thank you for the quick response. The concern is in EC the field Manager-ID remains blank as the EP users are not available in the search. Since this field is mapped with EP, on change the Manager Id will be changed to blank.

        Thanks & Regards,

        Shilpa.

        (0) 
        1. Luke Marson Post author

          Hi Shilpa,

          Have you mapped this in the SDM XML? If so, try removing the mapping as this is already hard-coded in the system.

          All the best,

          Luke

          (0) 
  11. Ian Palmer

    Hi Luke,

     

    Many thanks for sharing this.

     

    I have question around workflow in particular for Supply Chain. A number of clients use the Org Structure in SAP HCM to support the approval of orders. For those clients who are looking to move to SuccessFactors will SuccessFactors be able to support this?

     

    Kind Regards

     

    Ian

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Ian,

      Yes it will. However, the packaged integration to integrate EC with SAP ERP can support an organization structure not designed in the same way as in SAP. You are correct that this is fairly critical for cross-ERP workflows!

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  12. Shalini Mandan

    Hello

    I need some help in knowing : how can we create an organization report using adhoc or ORD including MDF objects , where we have structure like

    Level 1 – FO: Division  ( Business Area)

    LEvel 2 – FO : Business Unit ( Business Line)

    Level 3 – GO: MDF Object  ( Business Unit)

    LEvel 4 – GO : MDF Object  ( Org Level 5)

    Level 5 – FO : Department ( Organization Unit)

    When i am trying to extract a report of this hierarchy using ORD, i can select data for for Level 1, 2 and also Custom Business unit is associated to FO: business unit , so i can extract the Cusotm BU codes from Business unit table. How do i get access to these MDF objects in reporting ?

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Shalini,

      You can access the MDF objects under Metadata Framework in the Analytics part of the Analytics module. They are listed under Advanced EC Reporting reports.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
      1. Shalini Mandan

        Hello Luke,

        Many Thanks for your reply .

        WE are using our personal sales demo instance and not able to see MEtadata frame work under report Designer or Detailed reporting.

        This is getting critical for us, as client wants to see organization structure report for the demo and we are not able to produce it.

        (0) 
          1. Shalini Mandan

            Hello Luke,

            We are doing a demo in our personal EC instance and Client needs some proof of being able to produce Orgazniation Structure report , basically proof of handling OM reporting if we cannot demo it in our instance.

            Could you please direct me to some white paper or Proff material from SF that can convince the client that  MDF reporting is not possible in Demo instance and it can be handled via Client test system.

            Many Thanks

            Shalini

            (0) 
            1. Luke Marson Post author

              Hi Shalini,

              I’m not aware of any documentation. The customer can reach out to SuccessFactors, who may be able to provide a demo.

              Best regards,

              Luke

              (0) 
  13. Jakub Cizmar

    Hi Luke,

    Thank you for your article. Its explained in really understandable way and describes parallel between SAP HR and EC org chart.Our company is very interested in Successfactors, because we see it as one of the greatest tool. We are focusing on other modules of SuccessFactors, because EC ( mainly EC payroll) is not localized for our country (Slovakia) at this moment. Org. chart in EC is created perfectly, clearly, easy and attractive for customers.I want to ask you (i dont have information about it yet) if its possible to use only org chart from EC and how its in licenses way of EC, or could you give us some specific and comprehensive resources for this topic?

    Thank you


    Jakub

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Jakub,

      Thanks for your comments! The Org Chart is actually not part of EC, it is part of the Platform that is implemented when you implement your first SuccessFactors module. The organization structure cannot be used in SuccessFactors without EC.

      Even though EC might not be localized for Slovakia, you can add the localizations. I have added new localizations to EC in the past.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  14. Jakub Cizmar

    Hi Luke,

    Sorry that I have questions about simple and basic things. I want to turn off employee central in our sales demo. But I am not sure, if its safe way in case of loosing data uploaded in EC. Is it good idea turn it off and than turn it on without backup?

    Thank you !

    Kind regards,

    Jakub

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Jakub,

      It’s not easy to turn it off fully. You can just change the permissions of the functionality you don’t want to see. If you want a demo system without EC, you need to request one from SuccessFactors Partner Portal. Try system SB1210RC1V2.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  15. Karuturi Aditya

    Hi Luke,

                  May i know the exact application of Cost Centers in a business Scenario as well as the Implications of not using it in a company?

    Thanks,

    Aditya

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Aditya,

      Cost Centers are used in finance to store costs for a business. It is not compulsory to assign them, although it is useful for the customer to know what cost center an employee belongs to.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  16. Karuturi Aditya

    Hi Luke,

                  Thanks for the reply; but lets say we are not using cost centers; what will be the implication if we dont use cost center?

    Thanks,

    Aditya

    (0) 
  17. Abhayadeep Singh

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks for excellent article. I have one more question though.  We have a org strcuture where we have heads on BU and divison levels. Can we directly assign an employee to a business unit or a devision? If yes then these heads will not have any departments as daprtments starts after devison level. What is the best way to implement this scenrios to ensure departments are assigned to heads of devison and BUs.

    Thanks

    Abhay

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Abhay,

      A Head of Unit and Head of Division can be assigned directly to each Business Unit and Division foundation object, respectively.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  18. Karuturi Aditya

    Hi Luke,

                    In a two liner can i get the application of cost centers? If  i use costcenter where the mapping is done?

    Thanks,

    Aditya

    (0) 
  19. Karuturi Aditya

    Hi Luke,

                    I have a field called “Initial Stock Grant” which is captured in Employment Info and i believe its functionality is to tell me whether the employee is eligible for initial stocks that company gives to employees.

                My question is that depending upon this input that i give to this field which is either “Yes” or “No”; will this field gets mapped to EC Payroll and does some transaction(granting the employees some stocks) or something?

    And if suppose if i don’t use EC Payroll or any other Payroll will this have an impact on  something?

    Thanks,

    Aditya

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Aditya,

      It doesn’t have any impact. Please note that this blog and its comments are about the organizations structure. General questions about how Employee Central works should be posted in the HCM space discussions area.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  20. Josh Wright

    Luke,

    I have a question about how to handle Executives in relation to the Foundation Objects. In the SAP Org structure, the executives are assigned directly to the higher level organizations but not the lower levels. What is the best practice for assigning Division and Department to executives who are assigned only at the BU level in the SAP Org?  For instance, in your example, the VP of the Plastics Business Unit will be assigned that BU, but he doesn’t really fit into any of the three Divisions listed since he manages all three.  Is the best practice to create a “Plastics Executive” Division and Department just for the VP or would you leave those fields blank for the VP’s record? 

    Thanks,

    Josh

    (0) 
  21. Joby Joseph

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks for the nice article. It is very informative!

    I would like to get an idea about the “chief” function in SAP HCM. How and where it can be achieved in SF. I am working on a Hybrid model with 14K employees.

    Thanks in advance

    Joe

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks! A Head of Department can be added to a Department, which can be used as the “chief” function. The packaged integration from SAP to integration Employee Central with SAP ERP does not yet support the “chief” function, but it is planned.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  22. Josh Wright

    Luke,

    I am aware of the Head of Unit field but unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to this issue.  The issue is that in the example above, the VP of Plastics personally does not fit into any of the three divisions that report to his unit.  The same issue appears for the CEO as he doesn’t really fit into any of the listed Business Units.  I have since gotten some feedback from SF that it is common practice to copy down an “Executive” object to all the levels so that higher level managers can be assigned to all three levels.  For instance, so that the CEO could have data at all three levels, you would setup “Manf Ltd” as a Legal Entity, “Manf Ltd Executives” as a Division & “Manf Ltd Executives” as a Department. 

    Thanks,

    Josh

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Josh,

      It seems that I didn’t fully understand your original question – apologies for that. Thanks for posting some feedback.

      All the best,

      Luke

      (0) 
    2. A. Reshma

      Hi Josh,

      I am the same scenario. Could you please give more information regarding Global structure where the Executives would be treated differently i.e creating seperate objects.

      Regards,

      Sumitra

      (0) 
      1. Heiko Lenk

        Hi Reshma,

        depending on job level, you could make organizational entities mandatory to fill or not. So for example a CEO would neither need a department, division nor business unit, but for lower levels such entities could become mandatory.

        Would that help your situation?

        thanks,

        Heiko

        (0) 
        1. A. Reshma

          Hi Heiko,

          We have a scenario where after certain Job level , the client does not want to assign any particular Dept or division example for VP/GM/SM.Now they are suggesting to create separate department where all the SM\M can be assigned.Is this a good practice.

          Regards,

          Sumitra

          (0) 
          1. Heiko Lenk

            Hi Sumitra,

            with the proposed solution above you would not need to select departments for these audiences, so there would be no need for creating “artificial” departments. As long as this is compatible with workflows, permissions and possible additional consumers of the organizational structure, this should be the perfect solution.

            Best regards,

            Heiko

            (0) 
      2. Josh Wright

        Sumitra,

        We are creating separate objects for each executive so they fit in the structure.  For instance, for Finance we may have an executive who manages the Tax and AP Departments.  We are adding a third department called “Finance Management” for that executive.

        Hope that helps,

        Josh

        (0) 
        1. A. Reshma

          Hi Josh ,

          Thanks for the reply. But i have a doubt , in this scenario, how will we come to know who is reporting to that particular manager.For Example: GM-Finance is assigned to separate Department Suppose X and he manages A& B. How is the assignment for Dept A & B is done to him and how will anyone know how many people are reporting to him.

          Regards,

          Sumitra

          (0) 
          1. Josh Wright

            Sumitra,

            EC has a person to person reporting structure very similar to SAP so you can always tell who someone reports to.  In addition, each unit (Department, Division, etc) can have a field called “Head of Unit”, which can be used to set the manager of that unit.  In my example above, the Finance Executive would be set as the Head of Unit for the Tax and AP departments.

            Josh

            (0) 
  23. Thomas Barndt

    I am sorry but moderators deleted it again. This time they provided no reason (first Reason was “Not a blog”), so I do not know what’s wrong with my diagram.

    I am not able to invest more time in this. If you are interested in the diagram, I can send it to you per E-Mail. Just send me a message with your address.

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      I saw the blog before it was deleted. It may have been because of the company logo in the diagram. Unless a company is relevant to the article (in most cases not) then it can be deemed as marketing. I would try and submit it again without the logo and see where you go. If you add some more commentary it would be a blog, but a document is also sufficient (but gets less views than a blog).

      (0) 
        1. Luke Marson Post author

          That’s a shame that your employer will only let you post it with their image on, as that is very much against the spirit of SCN…

          (0) 
  24. Joby Joseph

    Hi Luke,

    I would like to ask you a clarification regarding EC integration with ERP for location field. We have a unionised environment with multiple bargaining unit and the personnel area/sub-area fields are used for grouping employees for time and payroll requirements. In this situation, what would be an ideal home for location field? Or, is it better to ignore the location field in EC?

    Thanks

    Joe

    PS:I am enjoying the book:)

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Joe,

      You can map the Location field to whichever field you want, but it’s not mandatory to use it. If there is no way to map it, you can either not map the field back to SAP or remove the field. You can create a custom field to use for Personnel Subarea.

      All the best,

      Luke

      (0) 
  25. Guillaume Scarpati

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks very much for this blog, which gives very helpfull guidance for explaining this concept to customers during the FO workshop, which is always a bit tricky to handle.

    In my two experiences, the below question came out : when you customize parent relationships between department or divisions, and then run a report, if you use a filter on a parent object, do the report select all the employees of the parent object and also children objects ?

    I didn’t had a chance to test it (and we finnaly did not implement the case). Just in case you already know the answer.


    Thanks again !


    Guillaume

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Guillaume,

      Great question! Typically this would be the case. If you run a report for all employees in a specific Division, it will select all employees in the Division and in the Departments assigned to that Division.

      All the best,

      Luke

      (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Doron,

      I am considering it, once I have some time. Currently I am writing the EC book with SAP and so I am focusing on that. Additionally, there are more changes coming in future releases for EC2MDF (e.g. Location and Job Classification).

      All the best,

      Luke

      (0) 
      1. santosh sharma

        Hi Luke,

        I am curious to know that is SAP going to release any specific book for EC which includes everything about EC specially different scenarios of integration.

        Regards,

        Santosh

        (0) 
        1. Luke Marson Post author

          Hi Santosh,

          SAP Press will release a book on Employee Central in December. It is authored by Becky Murray, Murali Mazhavanchery (SAP Product Management for EC) and myself. It will include integration.

          Best regards,

          Luke

          (0) 
  26. Bradley Fernandes

    Hi Luke,

    Great article!

    I was wondering if there is any documentation on the procedure to create an organisation structure and to map employees to the structure created.

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Bradley,

      Thanks for your comments! Unfortunately I don’t believe there is any documentation. Typically your implementation partner can guide you.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  27. Poonam Rajput

    Hi Luke,

    The article is indeed very informative.

    My question is, can we have multiple legal entities in one country?

    Regards,

    Poonam Rajput

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Poonam,

      Yes you can have multiple legal entities in the same country. The system functionality reflects the real-life situation of businesses.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  28. Eeva Kirjavainen

    Hi Luke,

    we don’t have implemented EC yet, but I have been testing different kind of functionalities. I noticed, that when trying to reuse lower level position on higher level, I got error message, that it wouldn’t be possible. Is that true?

    BR

    Eeva

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Eeva,

      It depends on the data on the position. Did you clear the parent position value from the position before trying to move it?

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  29. Namsheed K S

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks for giving us another wonderful blog. I am just a beginner in SF and I have one doubt.

    Actually I am confused.

    I understood legal entity as the top most structure in SF organizational management.  then how one Business unit (which comes below the legal entity) can be associated with multiple legal entity. How this will work in practical scenario ? The same way one  division is associated with multiple business unit, but not reverse. .. Actually it should be vise-versa know.

    My doubt may seem stupid question for you. Anyway expecting a clear answer from you which will clear my doubt.

    Thanks,

    Namsheed.

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Namsheed,

      Legal Entity is a legally incorporated entity, of which only one can exist per country. For example:

      • My Company Ltd in UK
      • My Company LLC in USA
      • My Company GmbH in Germany

      Although these are different legal entities, they can form part of the same company (i.e. they may each be owned by a parent company). They may all share the same Business Unit (for example, Marketing). Marketing may be based out of one legal entity, but it is shared across multiple legal entities. This is a common operating model for global companies.

      I hope that makes it more clear for you. You have to think about it like real life, since that is how the org structure in EC is designed.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
      1. Prabhu Palanisamy

        Hi Luke Marson,

        When creating an organizational structure i would able to see all the foundation objects in the drop down elements, how to control based on the objects selection.

        Thanks

        Prabhu

        (0) 
  30. Joby Joseph

    Hi Luke,

    Is there a view of the organisational structure with position structure in EC? Position org chart shows the position hierarchy. Would like to see the Department name and the positions under them.  Thanks, Joe

    (0) 
    1. Markus Eckl

      Hi Joby,
      there is a quite cool HCP Extension named Ingentis org.manager [web] for SF which fulfills your requirement about visualizing the organizational structure incl. departments and positions. Furthermore it is also possible to do planning scenarios to e.g. check how a reorganization would influence some defined KPI¬īs.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8bnrcmRivk

      (0) 
  31. Bhaskar Tripathi

    Hi Luke,

    Understanding the org representation in any ERP application is very challenging. Thanks for putting this up which is really helpful in that regard.

    In the blog you mentioned,

    There is no direct equivalent object in SAP, although a Business Unit could be represented by the Business Area in PA…

    Why do say that there is no equivalent object in SAP (although, could be represented by Business Area) for SF Business Unit? Isn’t Business Area actually an equivalent object? If not, what differentiates between them?

    Thanks,

    Bhaskar

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Bhaskar,

      Business Unit has no direct equivalent OM object. Organizational Unit is the closest that comes to an equivalent. In some scenarios, the Business Area field in PA could be considered to be an equivalent, but this is not used by many customers.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  32. Utkarsh M parikh

    Hi Luke,

    During data replication from EC to SAP HCM, if dont maintain  object Company or Legal Entity in EC then what will be the impact on SAP HCM-Pa/OM?

    Regards,

    Utkarsh

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Utkarsh,

      You need to maintain the company values as this is used in integration (in the Employee Key Mapping table), as well as in PA. You need to map the values between EC and SAP if the codes of the values differ in each system, otherwise no mapping is needed.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  33. Shilpa Ijantkar

    Hello Luke,

    Great blog.  I had one question. We have implemented Employee Central for only one country and other countries have only Employee Profile.

    The employee’s in the employee Central have managers from Employee profile. Since the employee profile users are not searchable in Job info Portlet, we are not able to fill the Supervisor field. We can still achieve to display Line Manger through UDF upload.

    The concern is when the Employee Central to Employee Profile Sync job runs it automatically overwrites the Line Manager to blank, as the supervisor field in job info portlet is set to No Manager.

    Please let me know if there is configuration or setting we are missing.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Shilpa.

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Hi Shilpa,

      It will only sync values for the employees in Employee Central. The sync only runs for employees when data is changed, except for the initial one-time sync job that is setup.

      Best regards,

      Luke

      (0) 
  34. Jai Singh

    Hi Luke,

    Great article, it clears most of my doubts. I am just trying to understand how to fit in a global organization in EC. As in EC, we have Legal entity is on top and it cant have a parent object. So how do we fit in a global organization in EC. For example –

    Group/Board=>Business Segments(i.e. Automotive/Retail/IT etc)=>Country=>Company (i.e India Automotive, India Retail etc)=>Department (i..e for India Automotive Company – Manufacturing/Sales/Service etc)=>Section=>Sub Section

    Can you please suggest how best we can fit this in Employee Central? Who are the top 4 standard objects and who should be the custom objects?

    Appreciate your help.

    Regards, Jai

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      In real life, in each country Company is top. You may have a company in one country that owns the other companies (as subsidiaries), but it’s not necessary to represent this in EC always (although I imagine some clients want to).

      Looking at your requirement,¬†this is really how the structure can be imagined… but I don’t think it reflects how I would look at the org structure.

      You could have the Board as a Business Unit under a company (since the Board is part of a Company in real life). You can have Business Segments under each company or have them defined under the company that has your board.

      (0) 
  35. Roberto Stanis Davila Soto

    Hi Luck,

    Great summary!
    I have some questions: Will you have information regarding the integration of the EC compensation form using the promotion option? How can you publish the jobInfo from Compensations to EC?Regards.

    (1) 
  36. Muhammed Kadan

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks for the great article!

    I am¬†wondering how success factors manages the scenario “although employee works under company A, he reports to a department which belongs to company B”. ¬†(The department does not exist under company A.)

    And why it has to be defined separately business unit, division and department during hiring process. Why is it not sufficient to be assigned to position of the employee just as in SAP ERP ?

    Thanks in advance.

     

     

     

     

    (0) 
  37. Jesus Alejandro Guzman Bremer

    I haven org chart of the company that has 7 chief directors (IT/HD/Finance…) and 3 presidents of operations reporting to CEO
    I defined them as divisions (each of the 10 teams)
    then each of this teams has either Directors or VPs with their own teams, I created a department for each of the VPs.

    Then I require some of this departments to have sub departments (country level teams) and this split into City Level teams.

    So by this definition I have a small hierarchy of departments under each divisions.

    I believe all I need is to define on the departments association  a parent/child relationship.

    my questions are:

    -1-Will this let me have 3 levels deep departments?

    -2-When I assign the department to a position, do I need to associate only the “leaf” where they are located?

    -3-A department like Finance Office has the Director of finance as a leader, and Directors of accounting, taxes, planning, payroll etc…., each in turn has a department with some people assigned to them. I want to assign Director of finance as leader, and each director as member of Finance Office. Then on each sub department only assign the people there, plus define as leader the director listed above. My doubts are.
    –3.1–If I list the first department I want to¬†see the Director of finance wth all directors

    –3.2–If I list the sub-departments I want to see the members and a mention of the leader (who happens to be at the upper dept

    –3.3–Can two departments have the same leader “Planning and Treasury Director” manages 2 departments, “Planning”, “Treasury”

    (0) 
  38. Samson Vidyanand

    Thanks for the wonderful blog. I have a question about the default pay group though. I understand the reason why they put this at the Legal entity level. However if you are using on prem (SAP ERP) or EC Payroll, the propagation rule may be a little more complex. How do we go about doing this? We have countries with 5 or 6 pay groups depending on the kind of employee, union/non-union, etc.? How would we propagate values based on 2 or 3 fields?

    (0) 
    1. Luke Marson Post author

      Yes. You can use a business rule. The same process that applies to employee Id’s or Position Id’s can be used for Foundation Objects.

      (0) 
  39. Christopher Trum

    Hi Luke,

    Interesting blog. I find very nice the nested option of having sub-divisions. However if you want to have association with a business unit for instance it’s starts to be tricky (at least I didn’t found the solution yet).

    If you do the association with every division and subdivision you will have the sub-division duplicated (displayed below business unit and below the division). Easy solution is to remove the association of the sub-division to the business unit.

    The side effect is that during hiring it’s not possible to select the subdivision (as the filter is done on the association BU <-> division).

    What is the right approach for that? Business rule, condition, ??? so that when I select a business unit I see all associated Division and sub-divisions?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Christopher

    (0) 

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