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Implementation Considerations for a Phased roll out of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central

An important consideration during the planning stage for an implementation of a core HR solution like SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central (Employee Central), especially for larger global scale organizations, is the selection of a roll out strategy of the application to the entire population covering all geographies.

Roll out strategies generally fall into two categories, A Big Bang approach, wherein all countries / employee population go live and cut over to Employee Central at the same time and alternately a Phased approach where parts of the organization, say by business unit, geography, or type of employees go live together.

While a Big Bang roll out approach is technically the preferred approach, larger global customers tend to go with a phased approach to rolling out SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central due to challenges in harmonizing Human Resources (HR) processes and transactions globally due to local, disparate and decentralized legacy systems. A reduced risk and rate of organizational change to be managed also contribute to going with a phased roll out approach.

The phased roll out approach, although an attractive and reasonable option, comes with technical and operational challenges primarily during the interim or transition stages when parts of the organization are on Employee Central while the rest of the organization continues to be on one or more legacy Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS).

This blog post provides an introduction and overview of a recently published Implementation Design Principle: SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central – Implementation considerations for a Phased roll out available on SAP Help, Partner Edge and the Customer community. This document seeks to review and address challenges during the transition state of roll out and looks to provide the customer with considerations to be solutioned for, during the planning process.

Figure 1: Transitioning thru phases of a global Employee Central roll out; Source: Implementation Design Principle: SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central – Implementation considerations for a phased roll out

Technical / Operational considerations that need to be solutioned for when going in for a phased roll out

  1. Cross system reporting challenges due to incomplete organization (part of the organization in Employee Central and the rest in legacy)
  • Broken Manager / Reporting hierarchy – Employee or Manager not in the same system leading to break in reporting hierarchy
  • Broken/Incomplete org charts
  • Difficulty in workflow scenarios when employee and manager are in two different systems
  1. Cross system transfer scenarios: employee movement across systems
  • Employee transfer from Employee Central to Legacy system
  • Employee transfer from Legacy system to Employee Central
  • Global Assignments across systems
  1. Across system reporting
  • Head count and organizational reports need to be appended to get a complete picture

Deployment Options to support a Phased roll out of Employee Central when one or more talent modules are already implemented

Assuming that Talent is already implemented globally but Employee Central as the core HR solution is being implemented in Phases by country(s) / region(s) or business units thru the implementation (project) life cycle

The two common options for deploying Employee Central when integrating into a global SuccessFactors Talent implementation

  • Side by Side  Employee Central deployment model
  • Multiple Employee Profile feed deployment model

Deployment options are differentiated based on their mode of updating Employee Profile, either by a full HRIS sync from Employee Central or via a multiple feed – from Employee Central and legacy HRIS systems

Figure 2: Deployment options for a phased roll out of Employee Central; Source: Implementation Design Principle: SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central – Implementation considerations for a phased roll out

Side By Side Employee Central deployment approach is positioned for organizations which will have a longer (or undefined) transition period (years) versus the Multiple Employee Profile feed approach is prescribed for shorter transitions with a defined road map where implementation phases follow each other sequentially till the entire organization is live on Employee Central.

For a detailed description of the deployment approaches to support a phased roll out of SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and a review of each deployment approach in the context of each of the transition challenges listed above, please refer to the Implementation Design Principle document

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