The first steps in SAP SuccessFactors

Aug 3, 2021

los primeros pasos en sap successfactors

It’s common that when starting a process of digital transformation in Human Resources, it’s accompanied by a technological enabler such as SAP SuccessFactors to help channel in a more experiential way the cultural change that is desired for the organization.

For those familiar with the SAP ecosystem, experience in your business process basically begins with determining which of all SuccessFactors solutions will be the best fit for your transformation purposes. Seeking not only to support the currently operating models but also improving and/or incorporating new elements that provide the organization with a vision of growth in the medium and long term.

The first thing to know in this process is that SAP, being one of the most important, if not the most important provider of business software, trains its sales executives in its SAP Activate methodology, which seeks from the original definition of project scopes, provide value to the organizations that acquire your product. This stage is known as the Discovery stage where there are three main deliverables: The definition of scope and scenarios to implement, functional demonstration of the product and its value proposition (it’s possible that tools such as, finally, the Systems Architecture of the future state to be provided). The existence of these deliverables will facilitate the agreement between the software provider, client and in the near future with the implementing partner.

discovery-stage sap successfactors

The implementing partner in many occasions is not the same SAP, this gives us a lot of flexibility to choose the most suitable implementer or sometimes called integrator for the organizational culture of your company. There are from consulting boutiques such as Dextera® (small consulting houses and usually specialized in a solution) to large transnational and multi-module corporations (formerly called Big Five) that over time have evolved into various types of organizations, some more specialized than others, where we find IBM®, Accenture®, Deloitte®, E & Y®, Cap Gemini®, Neoris®, Softtek®, etc.

Once the implementing or integrating partner has been selected, they must be a strategic collaborator from day one who must clarify, make transparent, channel and / or resolve all doubts that may arise in the implementation.

When an organization acquires SAP product licenses, in addition to having a customer number, its IT administrator is granted an S-Number, which is a unique identifier within the SAP ecosystem that will be the main administrator of access to the portals and SAP sites on the internet. This administrator will be able to create access controlled by function or roles to users who require access to these portals and websites by limiting their interaction to the associated products, for example, those that will be able to see SAP SuccessFactors topics, those that will review platform topics such as the SAP CPI (SAP Cloud Platform Integration), etc. This S-Number assignment will be used extensively in the documentation described below.


Reviewing in more detail the implementation issue in its first steps, both consultants and the client need to know the Methodology and the documentation on which a correct implementation of the SAP SuccessFactors solution is based. Here it is roughly described:

  • SAP Activate methodology: It’s as its name says the method or the series of steps that must be addressed to carry out a successful implementation. This is an Agile methodology (that is, it has elements in common with those methodologies where it can be seen that among the Roles there will be a SCRUM Master, Standing Meetings known as Daily Stand Up, User Stories, etc.) and differs from cascade methodologies mainly because it is not based on a mapping of current processes to later review future processes and thus review the gaps, here it is mainly a matter of reviewing how apt the organization is to adapt to the standard (Fit to Standard ) or validate the solution, which greatly reduces implementation times.

For more information: 

SAP Community: (Requires registration – S user)

SAP Methodology Activate: (Requires registration- S user in the community)

Roadmap Viewer: (Requires registration- S user)

  • Process Library – HR processes and related Leading Practices supported by SAP SuccessFactors: Contains the comprehensive end-to-end design of the entire SAP SuccessFactors solution. Including some manual steps within the process flows.

For more information:

SAP SuccessFactors Process Library: (Requires registration – S user in the community)

  • The implementation guides: these are the basic documents that the consulting team will use to adapt the client’s requirements within the SAP SuccessFactors tool. These guides explain in detail the specific configuration options for each module and their target audience is oriented to Designers and Configurators (Functional and / or Technical), Solution Architects and Customers.

For more information:

SAP Help Portal: (Requires registration – S user Partner in some cases)

  • The Implementation Design Principles documents known as IDPs: which are Expert level documents that go beyond implementation guides that help solve specific design or architecture issues. At a strategic level, these documents address how it is possible to meet customer requirements in a comprehensive manner, in accordance with the product guidelines.

For more information:

SAP SuccessFactors Implementation Design Principles: (Requires registration – S user in the community)

  • ALP Architecture Leading Practices: these are documents that address, from a managerial or high-level point of view, the design at the solution architecture level and in several cases they are the high-level explanation of an IDP. They will help those who make decisions and/or design the solution at the IT level to take an informed and aligned path to the SAP SuccessFactors solution in the best way.

For more information:

SAP SuccessFactors Architectural Leading Practices: (Requires registration – S user in the community)

  • SAP Best Practices or RDS Rapid Deployment Solution: It’s a default configuration set in SAP that is aligned with the principles of implementation design and the process library. It provides the minimum of what most clients will require, based on experience and learning from years of implementation projects using the SAP tool. This implementation is considered technical in nature and seeks to speed up implementation times. During the design phase it is determined whether any of these components will be used.

For more information:

SAP SuccessFactors SAP Best Practices: (Requires registration – S user)

  • Introduction to the functionality of SAP SuccessFactors: As part of the induction of the work team, it is necessary for them to get involved in the knowledge of the solutions to be implemented, this can be done waiting for their implementing partner to carry out the corresponding demos or the material is previously reviewed by the project participants. The training material in this section helps the learning experience to be carried out at your own pace and here is introductory or system administrator material for those who will carry out the role of system administrator in their post-commissioning functions.

For more information:

SAP New Customer Onboarding

SAP SuccessFactors Training and Expert Accreditation (SFX): (Requires registration- S user)

Important note: The documents, training and methodology mentioned here don’t imply an additional cost for the client.

With the correct understanding and use of these documents, it’s possible to start on the right foot in a SuccessFactors implementation. Selecting an implementing partner is critical to ensuring a successful experience in terms not only of project cost, time, and resources, but of obtaining a long-term business relationship and value creation from your SAP SuccessFactors investment.

For more information on professional implementation services please do not hesitate to contact us.

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