How to Extend SuccessFactors Core Capabilities using an Integration Platform – Part 1 (Development Goals)
Clients frequently ask us how they can extend the feature capabilities of their SAP SuccessFactors system in the event a critical requirement is not supported. For most clients, once they see the significant capabilities of the HCM suite this is no longer an issue. For others, it can be a valid concern.
What we’ll explore in this series of blogs are the different ways we can extend the capabilities of SAP SuccessFactors using an integration platform and the extensible features in SuccessFactors itself, such as the MetaData Framework (MDF) and Employee Profile module. In this first example we will look at how a development goal can first be vetted before it is added to the Career and Development Planning (CDP) module.
1. Business Objective
Our client used a two-tiered approach to capture and identify which development goals should be assigned to each of their employees. The first step was for the employee, manager, and HR representative to capture all development goals in a shared document. The second step involved a review meeting where the goals would be prioritized and only a select few would be added to the employee’s development plan for that year. The goals that were not selected would remain accessible so they could be viewed and/or added to the employee’s development plan later in the year or the following year.
2. Designing the Process
The SAP SuccessFactors system has a robust Career and Development Planning module, which would be the best option to track the selected development goals. The gap was in where to house all the development goals before they were shortlisted and how to seamlessly transfer the selected goals to the CDP goal plan. Since the Employee Profile (EP) is one of the more configurable modules in SuccessFactors, we decided to create a new background section in the EP as a repository for all the development goals identified by the employee, their manager, and the HR representative.
Here is a view of the Development Goal background section in the Employee Profile:
To seamlessly transfer the selected goals from the EP to the CDP module we used a Boomi process. The SuccessFactors API (SFAPI) was used to extract the data from the Employee Profile, and the existing batch upload for development goals was used to upload the goals into the CDP module.
3. Developing the Solution
To use the Development Goal batch upload process required that Boomi generate an output file that is compatible with what the Job Scheduler batch upload process is expecting. To get the file specs, we used the Generate CSV Header feature from SuccessFactors to get the Header records.
This can be done from the Admin Tools within the SAP SuccessFactors system.
Then, we mapped the fields from the Employee Profile background section to the Development Plan layout.
Here is a visual of how the fields from the Employee Profile are mapped to the Development Plan file layout. The items in green are static, so they are set up as default values in Boomi.
The Boomi process runs daily and looks for all entries with a ‘Yes’ in the Send to Development Plan field and no value in the Added to Plan field. Development Goals are then created for these entries and the Added to Plan field is updated to ‘Completed’ so they won’t be re-processed in the future.
Once SuccessFactors rolls out API’s for the CDP module the batch upload process can be modified to use Boomi to make the updates via web services. For now however, the same approach outlined here can also be used to auto populate or update goals in the Goal Management module.