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Process + Data: The perfect combo to maximize SAP SuccessFactors

A major bank in South Africa went live with SuccessFactors – but later when they tried to report on available data in their system, they realized that they unfortunately missed to leverage on their processes to consistently collect key data which is relevant for HR reporting and compliance purposes. Sounds familiar?  Well, this is not the first time. This is actually quite a common struggle for various organizations, regardless of size and industry, to get a holistic understanding of the data elements involved in their HR processes.

The SAP SuccessFactors Process Library (SSPL) provides a unique and specific body of knowledge which helps avoid implementation risks and implement SAP SuccessFactors solutions as they were designed. The Process Library provides guidance thru its 3 main assets: Leading Practices, Process Summaries, and Process Diagrams. In the last few months, the HR Innovation & Transformation (HIT) team in SAP SuccessFactors Services organization  has been working on reviewing the process diagrams in order to incorporate HR  data element information. This improvement will help bridge the gap between processes design and HR data modelling, preventing potential issues at the later stage of the of the SuccessFactors implementation project or even after go-live.

 

Why do we need to connect data with Process Modeling?

In order to get the most out of data, it must be rationalized in the context of the organization’s processes, where the data is created, used, updated, by whom, and how. This is what process modelling aims to achieve. Without process modelling, organizations will find it difficult to quantify or prioritize the data from a business perspective – making a truly business outcome-focused approach harder to realize. Process modelling enables the customer to understand what they do, how they do it, by which user roles. In the past, industry analysts have looked at data and process modelling as two competing approaches. However, the benefits of the two working in tandem is becoming more and more obvious and soon (if not yet already) it will be more crucial than ever before.

 

The benefits?

  1. During process walkthroughs, it would be very transparent to the customer what data comes into play in the various HR processes. It also gives them an early impression of how important it is for data and processes to complement each other in order to not just execute the process and record the data in the system, but also to validate that the data we are collecting during the processes will not just remain as static data in the system. Instead, these data as a result of the well-established processes can be consumed and analyzed by the organization in order to make more informed decisions about several HR KPIs and therefore allowing them to invest resources in the right initiatives.
  2. We can easily get an extract of which data elements are input or output data in executing specific actions in the process diagrams. This can easily provide a good overview of the possible downstream impacts of not having or making changes to these data elements in the over-all end to end HR process. This provides a more well-rounded view of the organization and the data. Data modelers will benefit from this, enabling them to create and manage better data models, as well as implement more context specific data deployments.
  3. Having the data element information in the process diagrams will also allow us to make a connection as to what data element each role will need to have access to in order to execute actions described in the process diagrams. This can help in role-based permission activities, as well as potentially identify any data security issues that may arise and therefore find ways on how the organization can avoid them.
  4. The data element documentation in the Signavio Dictionary of Process Library  can also be used as a good reference in order to easily enable customers of what each SuccessFactors data element means, the process diagrams where they are used, as well as other relevant information such as which Data Element groupings they belong. This can also be useful when preparing process handbooks or other process documentations for end- user enablement.

The added visibility provided by a connected data and process modelling approach is essential to HR Transformation.  Organizations will need to adopt this sort of approach to govern how its HR data is moved and united, and to identify/tackle any potential security issues that can arise.

 

When will this be available?

We are currently working on a phased approach. Organizational Management, HR Administration and Recruiting Management process diagrams data element update is already published in the Process Library! Next in line are the processes for Onboarding, Performance and Goals, Compensation, Succession and Development, and Learning.

This asset is currently being developed as part of the Data Architecture service delivered by the HIT team. Interested to learn more? Send an email to SAP HIT saphit@sap.com!

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