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SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central has evolved from being known as, “the system of record,” to the central focal point where everything in the organization comes together to transform how you manage your workforce. The demographics of the workforce is changing and so should your HR system. During the initial phase of the implementation, it is critical to fully understand your business needs and your workforce. Focus on how Employee Central (EC) can help streamline your HR processes and transform your processes into collaboration.

Since you already have plenty to do as you ramp up for your implementation, I’ve put together some questions to get you thinking in the right direction. If you take a little time to pose these questions now, you will save yourself considerable time and help simplify the implementation process.

What made you decide to purchase a new HR system?

Write down the top three reasons why you decided to implement a new core HR system. If any of those reasons include any (or all) of the following: to streamline HR processes, improve efficiency, reduce HR administrative tasks; or something similar, then the last thing you want to do is re-create the old way of doing things into your shiny, new system. This is a perfect time to review your existing processes and identify what's working and what isn't. Create a flow chart for each of your processes beginning with who initiates the request, who should approve, and who needs to be notified. Then review it again and be sure the tasks and approvers you have listed, truly need to be re-created in the system. Once you have streamlined all of your existing processes, save the final version for reference later. The flow charts will provide an excellent resource when it is time to test your new system and will ensure you utilize the functionality within EC to its fullest.

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What does your organizational structure look like?

Employee Central's organizational structure is flexible and can be set up to meet your needs as long as you take the time to define and document your structure prior to implementation. Work with other support groups such as the finance team to ensure the structure represents how your company thinks organizationally and does business. This is a critical piece in your implementation and should be well thought out.

Factors to consider:

  • Are employees assigned to a Legal Entity, Business Unit, Division, Department and/or a Cost Center?
  • Do you want to include contractors (contingent workers) in EC?
  • Do you have a standard naming convention that is used across your company that you would like to use? 

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What other existing tools or systems will this impact?

Have you implemented any other SAP SuccessFactors modules like Recruiting and/or Onboarding that you would like to integrate with EC? Document which fields you want to flow from Recruiting or Onboarding to EC. The more data you can flow from one module to the other will greatly reduce the need for data entry and errors when it comes time to hire a new employee. Are there other systems that will feed into or consume EC data after implementation? There are many ways to integrate EC with other systems, but these may require additional resources and you do not want to wait until the middle of implementation before starting these discussions internally, and with your implementation partner.

What data will you load?

Some things to think about; Are you going to migrate history? Maybe for the initial implementation you just take the top of stack (the most current information). Where is the data going to come from? Is it in a spreadsheet or from your payroll provider or housed in another application? Will you be using the import templates in EC or will you be using a home grown conversion program to load the employees data?

Do you have the resources needed for the implementation?

I know it isn't always feasible to pull someone from their day-to-day responsibilities for the implementation, but it is CRITICAL that they are given the appropriate time to dedicate to the project. It is also key to have the system administrator(s) fully engaged on Day One. (For tips on how to estimate the number of resources needed to support your solution - check out this blog.) This will give them the background they will need to become the Subject Matter Expert. Don't forget you will have to align resources to test the configuration, provide training, and complete integrations. 

Asking these questions prior to your SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central implementation should reduce the chance of an unexpected surprise and provide a solid starting point of the things you'll need to consider to ensure success.

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