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Author's profile photo Hemanth Nelluru

Accelerate your Performance forms implementation through simple XML tricks

About me:

I have been working on SAP HCM for over 10 years now, helping customers deliver right HCM solutions. Implemented both on-premise and cloud-based SAP HCM products.


When implementing Performance & Goals module for a customer that operate out of several regions/locations, the customer may have several PM forms as part of the process. While each regional specific form may have localized sections, there should be generic sections across all the forms (for example – objectives, competencies, employee information sections etc.) and it can be quite tedious process to configure/migrate (from one instance to the other) all the forms through admin center (the place where the performance management templates are configured). Knowing few XML tricks can help accelerate the process, I’ve tried it in couple of implementations I was involved with and they proved very efficient.


SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals module is a HR cloud-based software which helps organizations easily sets employee goals and align them with company objectives. SuccessFactors Performance and  Goals module is configured through the “Admin center” functionality within SuccessFactors suite, however, the XML functionality available in Provisioning can also help the consultants in implementing/troubleshooting the module.

How can XML help accelerate the implementation?

As briefly explained above, there are several scenarios that are inevitable during SuccessFactors Performance & Goals implementation and I’ll try explaining few in this blog where XML changes can be applied which are simple to do:


  1. Migrate the entire performance template from one instance to the other:

If you want to migrate entire PM form template from one instance to the other (say for instance from test to live system), you will have to download the form XML from the instance through Admin center -> Form template settings -> Download and save a copy.

Prior to uploading the XML onto another instance, one will need to create a shell in the system, so the import XML works fine (create/copy an existing template through Admin center -> Performance Management -> Manage templates), navigate to the Provisioning system -> Click on the respective company ID -> Form template administration -> Locate the form template and import the XML by clicking “Update by upload” (please see screenshot below). Please note that if there are several sections and permissions (both section and field permissions), then you will need to force the import XML couple of times (3-4 times is what I do). Please also note that the “Form template settings” attributes like Start date, due sate of the performance management template will not be migrated by the XML and you will need to manually replicate them from one instance to the other.




  1. Section by section (Copy in the same template/Migrate from instance to the other):

It can be a possible scenario that you will have similar sections (for instance sections with same section/field permissions) in a performance template (or) you want to migrate a particular section from one instance to the other – in such cases you will not need to migrate the entire XML from one instance to the other instead you can replicate just that particular section so you will not have to worry about re-validating the other sections which saves you time.

For this scenario, you will need to scrutinize the section XML and understand which piece of code you will need to copy, paste. For example, “Goals” and “Competencies” section may have same section and field permissions – you can configure one section through the UI and test it, if it works fine you can simply copy, paste the “Goals” section code onto “Competencies” section. Locate the template XML through: Provisioning system -> form template administration -> locate the form -> locate the section “Competencies” and copy, paste the code from “Goal” section. It can be applied to other sections too by slightly tweaking the code, depending on the requirements.



  1. Update specific section permissions/field permissions:

As explained above, it can sometimes become a tedious job say if you are dealing with 10-15 form templates in one instance and the permission requirements (say for example, remove the ability for line manager to edit the rating in “Overall summary” section) were to be adjusted on the templates. In such cases you can locate the corresponding sections via XML (Provisioning system -> form template administration -> locate the form -> locate the section “Overall summary”), you can remove the line of code that has “Write” permissions and save the section. You can replicate this onto other sections too. Although, the same can be done through the UI doing it via XML can save you extra clicks in few scenarios (for example if you were to modify the section and field permissions for two sections, you will need to switch to different places through the UI whereas through the Provisioning XML technique it is just one screen you can apply these changes from).



  1. Update form label keys:

As you may be aware that “Form label translation keys” are often used in Performance & Goals implementation to control the different texts (Section, ratings, introduction etc.) especially when you’re dealing with several languages in the system and if one were to amp/edit the form label keys for a specific template then XML would be the easiest way. Navigate through: Provisioning system -> form template administration -> locate the form -> locate the section and desired form template entity which requires the form label key mapping and map it using the attribute “msgKey”.


For example:

<obj-sect-name msgKey=”PerformanceObjectivesSection_Name”><![CDATA[2019 Performance Objectives]]></obj-sect-name>


Please note that the form label key “PerformanceObjectivesSection_Name” has to be imported into the system through “Manage Form label translations”.



Overall, XML tricks when combine with the UI implementation (through admin center) can prove efficient and less time consuming during the implementation of SAP SuccessFactors Performance and Goals. The approach can be applied to ongoing maintenance projects as well where customers/partners will have to create a new set of templates for every year and they may have to apply minor tweaks. Am aware that customers currently do not have access to Provisioning tools and hence may not be applicable to them, however, partners can leverage these tools and make best use of them.

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