Introducing the new module of SAP SuccessFactors in 2H2022 – Dynamic Teams
There is a lot of good news for customers and consultants in the new release cycle of 2H2022! Especially, SAP SuccessFactors is introducing the Early Adopter version of a whole new feature called Dynamic Teams. But before we take a look at the release notes regarding Dynamic Teams, let’s gain a general understanding of what dynamic teams are and why dynamic teams are becoming more and more relevant in today’s organizations.
Organizations around the world face the challenge of the changing nature of work. Not only the business market and business strategy are constantly changing, but also careers and working styles are more fluid and flexible. Organizational agility and adaptability are the key initiatives to success and many organizations start to form dynamic teams in order to react to rapid changes and retain market advantage. According to studies of SAP SuccessFactors, more than 82% of employees have participated in a dynamic team more than once in their current organization.
A dynamic team is a group of people with different skills, strengths and working styles, coming together to get a mission done. Once the work is done, the team disbands. Different from traditional teams, a dynamic team is typically cross-functional and not visible in the organization chart. It can consist of people from different departments and has no formally assigned leader. Dynamic teams are working in a self-managing nature with undefined roles.
By forming dynamic teams, the working outcome is significantly increasing as dynamic teams focus on the work to be done and only the people with the required skills come together forming a perfect team. Studies showed that 73% of line managers reported dynamic teams having a positive impact on their business.
But not only organizations profit from dynamic teams, individual employees are more motivated and engaged working in a dynamic environment. Tasks are no longer distributed by managers in a top-down manner, but rather employees themselves know that they are needed to get the work done and create a bonded relationship to the work and the dynamic team. Employees can even learn new skills by connecting with team members from other functions and specializations. As a result, dynamic teams support the employee not only in talent development, but also in business network enlargement. Statistics reported that 66% of employees who had participated in a dynamic team feel a positive impact on their career leading to higher engagement.
Obviously, dynamic teams are the innovative solution for organizations to productivity and company loyalty. Still, according to SAP research, there is only about 20% of employees saying they were highly satisfied with their dynamic team experience. The reason for the little satisfaction quote lies in the lack of supportive context for dynamic teams. Today’s HCM systems only capture an organization’s structure and its inner relationships based on defined job roles and hierarchy levels. But dynamic teams are breaking the hierarchical and functional dependencies and therefore, are not visible in today’s HCM systems.
When dynamic teams are not visible, how can members of a dynamic team be sure that their performance is monitored and their talent development is recognized? Managers fear losing the line of sight because how should they know which employee is doing what and do optimized staffing? How should HR track employee’s performance, distribute rewards or provide feedback? Not only is there a lack of visibility, dynamic teams also do not have the technical support to collaborate and track their own team goals. A next problem: imagine when a leader needs to form a dynamic team for a project. How should this person find the right people without a channel or platform to publish the assignment and select people from?
All in all, the value of dynamic teams is hidden because of the missing HCM support. The good news is that in the release cycle of 2H2022, SAP SuccessFactors introduces the new module Dynamic Teams! And not limited to that, there will be integrations to other modules such as the Opportunity Marketplace and Goal Management.
SAP SuccessFactors already implemented the Center of Capabilities and the Opportunity Marketplace as a foundation for individual employees finding and demonstrating their whole self. “From Jobs to People” is the current trend in the field of HR. Employees are no longer viewed as people performing a job title, but rather viewed as individuals who have unique passions, strengths, expertise, skills, communication and working styles, motivation and personalities. In the center of capabilities, the whole self of employees is documented and recorded. In the Opportunity Marketplace, employees can search for temporary assignments, learning recommendations, mentoring relationships and career development opportunities to upskill themselves.
As a new chapter, SAP SuccessFactors transforms formal hierarchies into dynamic teams. In the following, I will review the release updates of 2H2022 regarding Dynamic Teams and see how customers can have an enhanced dynamic team’s experience.
- Dynamic Teams Configuration (DYT-60)
Firstly, administrators can configure the dynamic team experience by activating certain integrations and functionalities. Administrators can use the Dynamic Teams Configuration page to:
- Enable integration with Opportunity Marketplace for sourcing new team members
- Enable Objectives and Key Results (OKR) functionality
- Configure statuses that can be assigned to objectives, including display labels and colors
- Translate status labels into other languages
We will come to the details of the features in the following release updates.
- Dynamic Teams (DYT-331)
Dynamic teams are created (1) and managed on the new My Teams page. On this page, users can see all the dynamic teams they are participating in (2) and hide teams that are no longer active (by activating the Show hidden button) (3). When editing a dynamic team, two new tabs appear showing more details:
- Team OKR (4) lists all team objectives and key results (for more on this, see below in the release OKR-2)
- Team Members (5) lists all team members, their role description, and their ownership access of the dynamic team in the system. Users have two possibilities to add new team members (6):
- either search for people by name (7) or
- publish an assignment in the Opportunity Marketplace (8) (for more on this, see below in the release DYT-26).
- Dynamic Teams Integration with SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace (DYT-26)
When the customer has license for SAP Opportunity Marketplace and the administrator enables the integration with it, users can publish an assignment in the Opportunity Marketplace and define the capabilities, geographic preference, and other requirements wanted for potential team members to fulfill. Employees who surf in the Opportunity Marketplace and feel that they are suiting the requirements can apply for an assignment and join a dynamic team (8).
The integration of Dynamic Teams with the Opportunity Marketplace makes it possible for customers to build skill-balanced and high-performing teams by searching for team members from a broader and diverse target population. It is also the key instrument for employees to apply for assignments they find interesting and motivated to work on without being told to do so.
- Objectives and Key Results (OKR) for Dynamic Teams (OKR-2)
Objectives and Key Results (or OKR) is a popular goal-setting methodology used by individuals and teams for setting goals with measurable results. OKR helps employees to track progress, create alignment and encourage engagement around measurable goals.
When the customer has license for SAP Performance & Goals and the administrator enables the integration with it, users can define team objectives (1) and key results (2) to monitor how the team gets to the objectives. Users can add up to five key results for each objective. Each objective has a status assigned (3). Statuses can be configured by the administrator on the Dynamic Teams Configuration page (see release update DYT-60). Each key result can be described with a progress achievement status (4) and a “definition of success” (DOS) (5). In this way, team members can observe the progress of a key result to its DOS. Dynamic team members can be added as contributors to each key result (6). Additionally, there is the possibility to leave comments to the key results (7). If a key result is successfully met, team members will receive a congratulatory message on the home page (only on the latest home page).
The integration of Dynamic Teams with OKR-goal setting methodology and Performance & Goals makes it possible for dynamic teams to create and manage meaningful objectives with measurable outcomes. Team members understand how work is being done by who and the organization gains visibility into who is contributing for organization’s innovation and better outcomes.
Note: An “objective” in Dynamic Teams is not a performance goal on your goal plan. A dynamic team’s objective does not appear on the employee’s goal plan activated in SAP SuccessFactors Performance & Goals, nor do they appear in the formal performance review.
Lastly, let me wrap up the article with some final thoughts from my side:
The new module Dynamic Teams, released in 2H2022, creates the foundation to work in a dynamic environment. With the supportive context given, the value of dynamic teams is no longer hidden, and an increased satisfaction can be expected. But when we consider a whole lifecycle of a dynamic team, there are still functionalities needed to cover up an end-to-end dynamic team experience. A lifecycle of a team should include the following phases: a team formation phase, where the right people are selected; a team kick-off, where team members get to know each other and team goals are defined; a working phase when team members work towards the goals and receive feedback on their performance; and a completion stage when team members reflect their talent development and dynamic team experience.
Which stages of the lifecycle are supported with the new releases? Users can form a team by searching for team members in the Opportunity Marketplace. They can define team goals with OKR goal-setting framework and track the contributions of each team member to a key result. We still need technology support for the later stages to give and receive feedback and having a deeper connection to existing performance management processes. Let’s look forward to next year’s releases and hope that there will be more about Dynamic Teams updated next year. If you are interested, keep a look at the Roadmap Viewer and stay tuned in the SAP SuccessFactors Community!
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*Picture are taken from the SAP Release Notes and added with some own remarks
Picture 1: Dynamic Teams Configuration page
Picture 2: My Teams page to create and manage dynamic teams
Picture 3: Details of a dynamic team
Picture 4: Add a new team member
Picture 5: Assignment appearing in the Opportunity Marketplace
dynamic teams sound like exciting new feature. I wonder what is the functionality in terms of approvals, specifically for leaves / timesheets. Currently approvals are usually send to line manager as per organisational structure. Is there (or is it planned?) functionality to set up approvals to dynamic team leaders and also option to assign approval permissions to some dynamic team leaders only?