Tips to Ensure a Successful SAP SuccessFactors Implementation

Enabling companies to flexibly manage all their human resources needs, SAP SuccessFactors provides the functionalities and capabilities that HR departments need to keep their employee information organized. SuccessFactors is a cloud-based human capital management (HCM) solution from SAP—that uses a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model—to support an organization’s core HR and payroll, talent management, HR analytics and workforce planning, and employee experience management. The platform is designed to provide your employees with a better experience and self-service features that make transactional HR processes more human and perceptive. If your IT department is considering a SuccessFactors implementation, check out these tips to help ensure a smooth and successful implementation.

Conduct an assessment: Before the implementation, conduct an overall assessment to:

  • determine why a new solution is needed within your organization
  • understand the resources that will be required for the transformation
  • identify potential risks that may be encountered to ensure you are prepared to quickly handle any issues that arise

Get buy-in from HR and leadership: When companies launch HR digital transformation projects, they are successful only 30 percent of the time. Human resistance to change is one of the biggest hurdles when implementing new technology and replacing old systems. To ensure everyone is on board, get your leadership team and human resources stakeholders behind the transformation and craft and communicate a change narrative to help them understand why the change is necessary and the value and benefits that will be achieved. Projects with high leadership engagement are typically more successful than ones with little stakeholder involvement.

Align resources: Leadership buy-in will also help you procure the right tools and resources required for a successful transformation. SuccessFactors implementation requires a lot of resources and time—different modules can take anywhere between three and ten months! If you carefully plan your resource allocation, it will help divert trouble down the road. Gartner found that when you acknowledge employees as stakeholders and include them in the change management process, it improves the chance of success by up to 22 percent, reduces the implementation time by up to one-third, and reduces time spent on change by up to 12 hours per week per employee. Therefore, it’s important to get a commitment from the right stakeholders as soon as possible in the transformation process and start training them on the new technology.

Set milestones, deliverables, and track progress: When setting your implementation deadline, be sure to account for all integrations that will need to be built. Just like with all projects, your SuccessFactors implementation requires documented milestones and deliverables. Each project phase should have corresponding milestones—key events that ensure the project is staying on track—and key deliverables that tangibly indicate whether the milestones have been successfully achieved. All of the moving parts— people, timelines, budgets, stakeholder satisfaction, etc.—need to be tracked and monitored from start to finish against the original project plan.

Back up all data: To minimize the risk of downtime and data loss, back up data periodically throughout the implementation process so it can be migrated over to your new HCM without loss. Data can be migrated directly from your organization’s legacy system but a safer option is to back up the data and then use your backup environment as your primary source for the migration.

Summary: While the SuccessFactors suite contains the features and functionality your HR team needs to provide an intuitive and positive employee experience, many roadblocks can be encountered during implementation. With planning, training, and proper alignment of resources, your organization can minimize obstacles and overcome challenges to digitally transform HR.

This blog was written by Aleron’s SAP Software Development Manager Shubhendu Tripathi.  Lume Strategies is an Aleron company.

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