Archive for October, 2015

SAP SuccessFactors Compensation Exam Free Practice Questions

October 30, 2015

I have created in total 321 practice questions  for the SAP SuccessFactors Compensation Exam

You can view a selection of 150 practice questions for free:

Each video contains 50 practice questions.

Questions 1-50:

Questions 51-100:

Questions 101-150:

If you want all 321 questions in a PDF file you can get them for just 1.50 USD at Gumroad.

Further Reading:
SAP SuccessFactors Compensation Exam – How I Passed it
Successfactors Employee Central Delta Exam How I Passed and How I Prepared For it

The SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Certified Application Associate Exam: How I passed it and how I prepared for it

Becoming a SuccessFactors Consultant Part 1 and Part 2



SAP SuccessFactors Compensation Exam – How I Passed it

October 30, 2015


The SuccessFactors Compensation Exam Certification: How I passed it and how I prepared for it

This article has three parts. In the first part I write about my personal experience of the test. In the next part I talk about my learning journey and in the last section I speak about my learning strategy. I will also share my key learning’s recommendations.

  • The certification test experience

I have written in detail about my test experience of the SuccessFactors Employee Central Exam in a previous blog post. I have learned from my past experience and now had the smoothest log in ever.

Again I had 180 minutes time to go through 80 multiple choice questions and I needed to answer at least 44 (55%) of the questions correctly to become certified. For each multiple choice question it was indicated in writing how many answers were expected. A radio button tells you if only one answer is required. Boxes are used if more than 1 answer is correct. 3 were the maximum answers I came across.

SAP provides a lot of information on the certification exam here:—successfactors-compensation-g/

As well you will find a link to 9 example certification questions.

Overall it took me 80 minutes to pass the test. I went through question by question and I skipped a question when I was not sure about the answer yet. Then I went backwards from 80 down to 1 and checked each question again if I was confident about my answer(s) and reworked those that I was still not 100% sure of. Of course I answered all the ones that I had skipped. Each question I read at least two times before I made my choice.

  • Learning Journey

I began with the course THR86_EN_Col52 SuccessFactors Compensation Academy on October 9th and finished by October 15th. I scheduled my exam for October 23rd at 13.45 hrs CET.

In the week before the exam I read the Compensation Implementation Handbook carefully. I further read the chapter about Compensation in the book “SuccessFactors with SAP ERP HCM” by Amy Grubb and Luke Marson was very helpful because it gave me the big picture. This way I could much better structure and oversee all the details given throughout the course and in the Compensation Implementation Handbook.

Further I watched 4 Videos on the SAP Learning Hub in the Compensation HCM Academy Learning Room. The videos were XML Plan Navigation Guide, Setting up YouCalc in Comp Form, Adding Custom Fields, and Adding Guideline and Catch All Formula. If you do not have access to a sales demo instance of SuccessFactors I would highly recommend you to watch at least the XML Plan Navigation Guide video. This is an excellent walk through of the Compensation Configuration XML file by Kate Wilson. The videos are all located in the Content area in the folder Video Tutorial Library.

2 days before the exam I went through my notes three times. I passed the exam on October23rd at 15:05 hrs.

My timing worked perfectly. I had one week to prepare between the end of my course THR86_EN_Col52 SuccessFactors Compensation Academy and the exam.

  • Learning Strategy and Recommendations

I have written in detail about my learning strategy in the a blog post and what research it is based on.

Again for everything exam relevant I created practice questions for myself. In total I came up with 321. I have published my practice questions this time in a blog post here:

I would recommend you to read at least the Employee Central Implementation Handbook. Pay special attention to the info section that are highlighted in light red / pink colour.

If you do not have access to the SAP Learning Hub yet I have collected also some free resources on Successfactors here:

Further Reading:

Successfactors Employee Central Delta Exam How I Passed and How I Prepared For it

The SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Certified Application Associate Exam: How I passed it and how I prepared for it

Becoming a SuccessFactors Consultant Part 1 and Part 2

About me:

My vision is to build a truly integrated HR in the cloud. A truly integrated HR is the key enabler for organizations to maximize their business outcomes.

…WhatsApp Calls – How to Reduce Data Volume and Save Money and Data Roaming Fees ? – Quick Guide for Dummies and Impatient People Like Myself

October 26, 2015

openSAP Run Simple HR with SuccessFactors Employee Central MOOC – my key learnings

October 20, 2015

This course runs from October 13 to November 11 2015. If you want to get a record of achievement you need to follow the timeline of the course. Each week you have to pass a multiple choice test otherwise the test will be closed. However if you do not have time to go through the course right now I would recommend you to still go to the download page for each week and download the videos, slides and transcripts. The download is the second last page in a course before the final assignment.

What I have learned from this course:

Week 1: Steve Babcock lead through this week’s course.

In the first video he gave an overview of Employee central.

In the second video he showed some employee use cases. One was about address change (5:59 min into the video) and the other about Time Off (10:38 min) into the video.

Video 3, 4, 5 and 6 were for me the most interesting videos of this week.

In video 3 Steve showed how a manager will use the system. The first user scenario was about a promotion of a direct report (04.20 min onwards). The second scenario he walked through was about sending a direct report on a global assignment (08:25 min onwards) and the third was about a termination in the form of retirement (10:38 min onwards). And to assure my HR colleagues all those changes have to go through a workflow and need to be approved in one form or another by HR.

The Video 4 is now for HR and is one of my highlights of the week. Steve started off with Workflows and touched on stalled workflows (03:27 onwards) which is one of my favourite topics :-). At least now with SuccessFactors you have an easy way to see where your workflow is stuck and what you can do to release it. I find this piece very user-friendly. The next scenario was about mass changes (05:29 onwards) in the example of a location change of employees. In the third scenario Steve showed how to create a new screen on the portal (interface) for employees without programming (08:32 onwards) in less than 7 Minutes. Not that I have something against my IT colleagues, but having this ability without involving them is in this case a matter between minutes or weeks to months.

Steve created a new organizational unit in Video 5 (03:26 min onwards) with departments.  Then he demonstrated how to create a new position (09:21 onwards).  And then he showed how to add a new field and attached a workflow to it (13:38 min onwards). This all was done without programming. And again this a matter between minutes without IT or weeks to months with IT involved.

In the Video 6 it was about creating new business rules (01:49). Steve’s example was about having a country specific workflow triggered for address changes. Then he showed how to add alerts (07:28 min) when a local job title is changed. And last Steve went through how to create a new workflow (14:10 min onwards). And again all the three items: trigger a country specific workflow, set up an alert for a field, and configure a new workflow is done without programming. Don’t let me repeat my mantra of minutes versus week or months again.

Week 2: Delivered by Tim Wassink, Principal Solutions Consultant in the HCM SuccessFactors line

In Video 1 Tim gave an overview of Employee Central and some of the key features.

Video 2 had some more information on Employee Central Payroll. Tim showed four examples of payroll solutions in different countries. It was on an employees working in the US (11:45 min onwards), UK (14:21 min onwards), Germany (16:05 min onwards), and Saudi Arabia (17:09 min onwards). What was most exiting form my perspective was the error handling in the Payroll Control Center (18:25 min) onwards. It looks like a piece of cake now….at least much more user-friendly.

Video 3 was about deductions and advances. Tim demonstrated the functionality and how to create deductions (03:52 min onwards) and then advances (09:07 min onwards).

In Video 4 Tim focussed on reporting and analytics. My personal highlight was the headcount reporting. One customer said in this video (02:47 min onwards) that instead of weeks it takes now only minutes to have a headcount report. And they do a lot of acquisitions.

And a large part of their workforce do not have access to computers, yet these employees all have now their own mobile phones. (02:52 min onwards). With mobile you are now able to reach this workforce while before you had to rely on cascading via their managers and pen and pencils. How much easier must global employee surveys become to roll out and administer or supply important information when you do a change to your standard processes and systems? Just to name a few examples.

My highlight in this video and maybe of the whole week started when Tim logged in as an HR business partner (03:44 min onwards). It is now so easy to create your own report and then export it to PowerPoint for example. How much easier does it now become to use reports to support your strategic HR work. I think back at how much time it took to come up with reports and how many people to involve. Given all the other tasks often this intend was finally dropped if it was not driven by key stakeholders in the top management team. Tim showed how to create a report from scratch (07:58) and without any complex programming or SQL queries. The whole process is very user-friendly. Then he demonstrated how to design your reports with the report designer (10:59 min onwards).

Video 5 dealt with benefits administration. Tim showed examples from employees working in the US (05:22 min onwards), Germany (07:23 min onwards), Australia (08:42 min onwards), France (09:55 min onwards), and Brazil (10:54 min onwards).

In Video 6 Tim showed how to configure country-based benefits (07:39 min onwards). He explained how to add pay components and then configure business rules (13:21 min onwards). As an example he set up different car allowance amounts in Germany for employees working in the business unit Corporate, contractors and all other cases. He did it purely by the user interface and without any programming. The other example he configured was the a leave and travel allowance for India (16:12 min onwards).

Week 3: hosted by Debi Suslow, Senior Solutions Consultant with SuccessFactors

Week 3 was all about Time & Attendance

In Video 1 Debi demonstrated how to use Absence Management as an employee via a mobile device (04:53 min onwards). Absence Management is called Time Off in Employee Central. It is very user-friendly and I valued the opportunity to see immediately who else in the team will be absent. How often did we have to appoint one member in our team to collect all the absences and present it in an excel file in the next team meeting.

Then Debi showed how the manager will work with Time & Attendance (08:14 min onwards) when she receives a request from an employee. And afterwards how the HR administrator is working with this tool (09:46 min onwards).

In Video 2 it was about Time Sheets. First how an employee enters data into her time sheet (03:25 min onwards). Again very user-friendly compared to the ERP on premise solutions I had to use so far for my time recordings. Then Debi showed how the HR administrator will work with these time sheets (08:34 min onwards) and how this integrates with payroll (11:36 min onwards).

In Video 3 Debi demonstrated how the HR administrator can configure the absence management in Employee Central (05:01 min onwards). She created a custom field in the employee time object for the sick leave request and also how to put a filter on a field so that it only shows in that particular situation in the employee screen (07:01 min onwards). Then she explained how to create a country-specific workflow rule for the sick leave request (08:44 min onwards.). Then she added the rule to the sick leave request screen (13:18 min onwards.) Again all the task were done via the user interface without programming. Through proxy into an account of an employee she can test immediately the changes.

Additionally she updated the policy of sick leave and the attached notifications to the HR administrator / HR Business Partner (15:52 min onwards). She explained how to raise an alert message in the system (19:03 min onwards). I stop telling you again how easy this configuration task was.

Video 4 was about time sheets and work schedules. First Debi added a custom field to the employee time sheet entry object (01:01 min onwards). Then she created as an HR administrator the work schedule (03:01 min onwards). Afterwards she assigned the customized work schedule to an employee (05:56 min onwards). In the last step she showed how the HR administrator can submit time sheets on behalf of the employee (10:40 min onwards). In order to do that she had to set up the permissions in the role-based security section (10:53 min onwards).

Video 5 was a recap of the whole course.

What Corporate Learning & Development can learn from Education Hackers and Employees?

October 6, 2015

My interview with the CEO Nicole Le Maire of NewtoHR on education hacking versus corporate learning?

If you would have asked me about Education Hacking a year ago, I would have probably called your HR Manager and informed the internal security department to have your user account locked. By that time I had seen headlines like: “Teen Used Smartphone, Hacked Department of Education And School To Change Grades” or “Obama to Call for Laws Covering Data Hacking and Student Privacy”.

My perspective totally changed when I attended the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) “Learning How to Learn” The course leader Dr. Barbara Oakley from the University of California introduced two so-called education hackers.

The first, Scott H. Young, was able to complete a 4 years degree program in Computer Sciences at MIT in just 12 months. Scott used the open education resources (OER) from MIT to achieve this amazing result while spending only 2000 USD overall.

The other, Benny Lewis, learned with the help of the internet to become fluent in a new language in just 3 months and was able to do this at a much lower  cost compared to the traditional language acquisition programs.

In this context the term Education Hacking stands for the self-directed search for a smarter and faster way to education, for personal but also for professional skills.

I was intrigued by these astonishing results and set out to use these freely available resources and tools myself. To my surprise after only 2 months and less than 32 hours of net learning time I was able to read my first book in Chinese. After 7 months I knew more than 2000 Chinese characters and was reading my first newspaper article in Chinese.

When I talked with colleagues and employees about my amazing findings I was quite surprised to hear that most of them were already using all these freely available high quality education resources for their own professional development.

As a large number of academic institutions around the globe, as well as large corporations and startups provide more and more of such educational resources the number of employees who turn into independent learners continuously increases.

What does this new trend in employee education mean for the corporate learning & development organization and for professionals working in this area?

Before I go deeper into this topic let`s start by looking at how it all began.

(Title Picture: Creative Commons License Mozilla in Europe Hack-a-Thon

1.    Open Education Resources (OER) – a global movement

One of the main initiators of this OER movement and also one of the forerunners in the academic area was the MIT in Boston with its OpenCourseware project started in 2002. Even though it got a lot of media attention and by 2006 more than 61% of non-US users were accessing it, there was no noticeable attraction for employees. Two things happening from 2004 onwards gave this whole movement a new push.

The first was Salman Khan who published short lessons on K12 mathematic topics on YouTube for his nephews to use in 2005. These short videos attracted more and more viewers over time because parents and children were looking for easy to understand learning resources. Soon the number of viewers surpassed the 100 Million mark. Khan then decided to establish the Khan Academy in 2012.

Khan also influenced Sebastian Thrun at Stanford University to open up the class on Artificial Intelligence to everyone with access to the web. In 2012 Thrun used a similar technology and offered the same instruction online as to his class students. Thrun was surprised and overwhelmed by an online audience of more than 160 000 students worldwide who had signed up. The new term MOOC* for Massive Open Online Course was coined.

This overwhelming success took all the leading universities by surprise and let to a change in mindset. They now fully embraced the idea of open free education resources and started to offer more and more MOOCs. By 2015 there were over 4000 courses available. Additionally this movement was supported by venture capital financing Udacity led by Sebastian Thrun, Coursera and others. These startups provide services for creating MOOCs to universities. In addition aggregators are now providing platforms for an efficient search and easy access to these OER.

Besides MOOCs a lot of investments were made in the area of foreign language acquisition in the recent years. There are several language exchange platforms for people free to use. All they need is internet access and Skype. Online spaced repetition tools help to memorize vocabularies more effectively. And other platforms allow people to correct each other’s written sentences in a foreign language. Last but not least there are now a number of mobile apps available. Almost all of these tools are free and support a specific area of language acquisition, either in the domain of speaking, listening, writing, reading or understanding. What makes them now so attractive to users is the application of the latest research in gamification, social learning and neurosciences.

Clearly this movement has staying power and it will rather increase than decrease over the next years to come.

* Additional Remark: Depending on the view the first MOOCs were actually created and offered by Stephen Downes and George Siemens in 2008 or by Alison in 2007.  

1.1.                   The Impact on Learners

The biggest impact on learners is the democratization of education and the free access to high quality resources. A large part of the offers in the beginning was oriented on personal skills, school topics or academic fields. But the variety of topics in the curricula of MOOC providers is growing. Innovative new content is available faster and large MOOC platforms and OER aggregators make the search and access quite easy. Further new courses target now education of people working in jobs. To give you an example the aggregator class central lists at least 6 MOOCs in the top 10 most popular MOOCs in 2014 that are also relevant for professional development:

1.2.                   The Impact on Corporate Learning & Development

After having a sound education base like a degree or a vocational training certificate employees turn to these new education resources for closing skill gaps or acquiring more knowledge and skills. Often they do it without consulting with their supervisors or HR departments. This can have many reasons. Maybe the internet use policy of the firm allows the use of the internet also for private matters, or because it is generally free and no approval is required or the employees just think that their supervisor or HR departments lack the understanding.

Will thus corporate learning & development departments have to face competition from the internet now?

The answer is yes, but it depends on the view of the corporate learning & development department. Do they see OER as another opportunity to embrace or do they see it as a threat in becoming less important to the development of their workforce?

Let’s look at the benefits first.


One clear benefit that I see is the effectiveness of these tools. People can learn faster and at a much lower cost. They have access to topics that corporate learning & development could not provide on demand and in such a variety. The topics range from soft skills to business acumen to language acquisition. Here lies an opportunity even during periods of economic downturn to engage the workforce by allowing them the freedom to use free available resources on the internet for their development.

Coursera and Udacity are targeting now continuous education for people already at work. They offer so-called Nanodegrees. While attending their online courses is still free, people have to pay for the degree. This is their business model. Facebook and Google honor these nanodegrees. You can say their corporate learning & development organizations have truly embraced this new opportunity.

As it is still early days there are issues to face. For some of them there is a resolution already emerging.


A basic issue is the required internet access. There is a substantial number of companies where users have no or very limited internet access at the workplace.

The misuse of working time for private development with no direct benefit to the company can also become a challenge.

Another key problem of OER is the assurance of their suitability and quality.

Here a resolution is emerging. Renowned providers, quality labels and acknowledged certificates that can be earned are providing a first rating. In addition the social component like openly available user feedbacks and ratings can help.

The recognition of the competencies acquired by people using OER is also something to resolve. Tracking and documentation of OER is not as easy as progress and completions are only tracked within a provider’s platform and no official standard for documentation exists. Public cross-provider LRS (Learning Record Stores) are an answer for this – the first solutions are emerging in the US and more will follow in the near future, also in Europe.

And last but not least the sustainability and ongoing availability of an OER can be a risk. A substantial number of OER come from academic or non-profit organization where funding is not always assured and is a critical topic.


As OER are often focusing on more generic topics in employee development the need to offer these topics by corporate learning & development will surely decrease in the near future. This is an opportunity for corporate training departments to increasingly focus their efforts on strategic, regulatory and other corporate specific topics.

If education becomes more self-driven the people working in corporate learning & development currently handling more generic topics can be freed up in the near future. I will see a shift in responsibilities of the corporate learning function. Their role will include aspects like coaching employees to find the right learning strategy for their employees and evaluating or curating content with users to identify and get access to suitable OER for their development.

Additionally people still need guidance on how to effectively learn and how to best use the internet for learning. Here the corporate learning & development department could offer guidance and workshops for their employees.

Further they could organize an online community on continuous learning on their intranets or if available in their internal social networking platforms for their employees.

Last but not least they should revisit their learning & development policies. What is the acceptable use for the company of these OER resources? Do people need approval from their line manager or their team? What is the freedom of choice? What will they officially support, which degrees will they honor and from whom they expect to use this new type of learning?

Some companies might go as far as giving employee’s unlimited time at work to learn under the condition that they still deliver on their tasks. This is similar to what some silicon companies like Netflix or Virgin offer their employees in the area of time off. They give unlimited paid vacation time to their employees under the condition that they still deliver on their tasks and have an agreement with their team members and supervisor for cover.

To enable the use of OER in the organization the corporate learning & development departments will of course have to familiarize themselves with the specifics of OER and their application. You will find a list of links at the bottom of this post. A good start e.g. is the MOOC on Learning How To Learn.

2.    Conclusion

There is a huge shift from in-house training to the internet and from guided learning to more self-directed learning by our employees. Something that will not go unnoticed by the corporate learning & development departments even though it is early days and even though there are still a number of issues to be tackled.

Education Hackers have shown to an highly interested mass audience that you can accelerate your learning and professional development with the help of OERs. More and more employees are turning to these resources in order to take the initiative of their own development in their own hands.

If people in corporate learning & development see OER as a threat and deny employees the use of these resources for their development, they will in the near future lose the trust of line management and employees.

At least it is now the time for people in corporate learning to familiarize themselves with these new available opportunities.

Have you recently used a YouTube video to learn a specific technique?

Have you searched for MOCCs or other open educational resources lately?

Have you enrolled in a MOOC with a topic relevant to your personal skills in the last weeks?

If you answer one or two of these questions with yes you are on the way to become an education hacker yourself and a trusted source for your employees.

2.1.                   Steps forward

For those not yet familiar with OER and / or MOOCs the best way forward is to try it yourself. There are OER on a variety of topics related to the jobs of learning professionals and HR or training departments.

Corporate Learning 2.0:

Flipped Classroom: :

Dynamic Educators:

Learning How to Learn:

If you are interested in gaining more insight or already convinced that OER is something you want to use please look at the following offers:

Whitepaper on Use of OER

A whitepaper with tips and tricks of the different resources and tools and how to use them within your company will be available shortly. Please connect with me on LinkedIn: or on Xing: or leave your email in this Google form:

“Education Hacking” Workshop

Additionally a two days pilot workshop on Education Hacking is planned. It will address how to be a more effective learner and how to best use OER and other tools in a corporate environment. With this knowledge you will be able to coach your employees or provide a similar workshop in-house or online to your employees. If you want to get more information or participate in it please click here

The final step could be to search for OER to recommend to learners in your organization or even to integrate in your internal offers. Please find some selected links below.

At this point I’d like to thank Leopold Kause from DidacDesign for his expertise provided on OER, his other valuable contributions and the review of the article.

About me: My vision is to build a truly integrated HR in the cloud and leverage the cloud for learning.

I will give a keynote  speech at on 17.09.2015 at the HR exhibition Zukunft Personal in Cologne on Education Hacking vs. Corporate Learning.

3.    Links and Resources

Generic links:


Beispiele (in Deutsch):

Non-profit examples:

Non-Profit Beispiele (in Deutsch):

Aggregator examples:

Aggregator-Beispiele (in Deutsch):

MOOCs über MOOCs oder OER (in Deutsch):

OER-Award in Deutsch:

All links have been accessed and verified on September 2, 2015.

openSAP An Introduction to SuccessFactors Solutions MOOC – my key learnings

October 5, 2015

What I have learned from this course:

Week 1: All Units are presented by Steve Hunt, vice president customer value realization for Successfactors, industrial organizational psychologist, 25 years of experience in HR, 8 of those with Successfactors. He is the author of the book Common Sense Talent Management: Using Strategic Human Resources to Improve Company Performance

The first week consists of 6 Units. Most of the content you will find in the introduction in his book. You can Look Inside the book on Amazon.

Steve starts with the definition of human capital management. He talks about the 4 R’s – right people, right way, right things and right development and how hr processes such as workforce planning and succession management are aligned to the 4 R’s.

Then he looks at integrating HR Processes and how this will change perspectives in HR organizations. As an example he shares one company and how they changed their view on global assignments.

He talks about accelerating change. Steve has a very interesting view on the myth of people fearing change contrary to the mainstream view. I highly recommend you to view the sequence in unit 3A. The only point where I differ is that I see people’s need for belonging and their commitment they made in a group is much stronger than their personal sense of the purpose for the change. See this article What Really Drives People To Commit to Change? – Mini Case Study with Surprising Results.

My personal highlight was the unit 3B in week 1. Steve goes into chronic skill shortages. This is not labor shortage! He shows the factors that create it. But my key take away is his point he makes about what people want from work based on research going back to the 1920s and the only thing that has changed. Worth watching!

He shows a framework with six categories on how to link HR to the business needs. You won’t find innovation (disruptive and incremental) in this model. Steve suggested to place it under scalability and if want under alignment as well. With the ongoing digitalization of our economy we will see increasingly the need for large  scale transformation (restructuring) programs within our companies. In this model it probably will go under efficiency and alignment and scalability. However personally I would see at as a category on its own.

In the last two units Steve looked at how HR methods are impacted by technology and how to deploy it. My key take away is that it is not about automation of manual processes, it is about better ways of working. Example Performance Management: it is not about filling the goals and reviews electronically on time, instead the goal is to have better conversations between managers and their employees.

In order to achieve this you need a very effective process design and very good change management. It must be clear what people should do differently in the future than compared to now. The main thing is to address the mindset of people because this will shape their behaviour. You also need adequate end-user training.

Key is that the CEO gets engaged. Steve gave some excellent examples in unit 6 which I would highly recommend to view.

Week 2: Getting Started with SuccessFactors

Presenter Steve Gregory, senior consultant with the HCM line of business

6 Units from Driving successful business outcomes to the Onboarding

Unit 1: Driving Successful business outcomes

Steve touched on the five key success factors where SuccessFactors can transform business strategies into outcomes such as faster time to market, employee engagement and potentially increasing brand loyalty.

He gave an overview from Attracting to Onboarding and Developing Talents where Successfactors will support with the various tools.

The Learning Managements system (LMS) is also used in heavily regulated organizations where they are audited if the people have the right skills for the task they perform. What I could not get out of the presentations yet how the LMS will deal with Role Based and Massed Scheduled Trainings that usually take place just before a new go-live.

Unit 2:SuccessFactors Talent Foundation Skills & Competencies

Steve shared the three pillars of integrated talent management. Successfactors has a competency and skill libarary which already includes 14 000 Skills and knowledge elements, 250 sample job families each with 4-7 job roles and pre-mapped skills as well as 5 levels of proficiency.

Also with the prepopulated content it seems very easy to create job profiles.

Unit 3: SuccessFactors Talent Analytics & Planning

2000 KPI metrics as well as benchmarks are available. I was just wondering how these KPIs are interlinked and what is a leading indicator and what is lagging indicator.

Steve cited a Bersin by Deloitte study which found that organizations that embrace workforce analytics and planning have 30% greater stock return than the average. They have 79% higher return on the equity within their organization. 15 times improvement in customer satisfaction. Two times as likely to improve their leadership pipelines and two times greater talent mobility within these organizations. I was missing the word execution in workforce analytics and planning therefore I would like to know what these companies did based on the analytics findings and planning. Also I wonder what view the work councils in Europe have on such workforce analytics especially in France or Germany.

Steve mentioned now Generation Z which are the  people born after 1995.

Unit 4: SuccessFactors Recruiting Marketing

This was my favourite unit. I am always interested to find the right channel for the right segment and thus leverage the budget to attract the right talent and at the same improve the employer branding. Successfactors offers a very interesting tool to analyse and control the investment in the different recruiting channels. Also they have a patented technology to place you well in search engines (SEO). Very interesting was the fact that with the system one can now automatically trace where the candidates came across the employer website and the offered position without having to ask them.

Unit 5: SuccessFactors Recruiting Management

You can give the hiring manager view rights within the hiring process via the system. This way it seems much easier to keep the hiring manager in the loop. However this needs to well thought-through and the hiring manager have to be trained to understand the hiring workflow and how to interpret the data.

Also interesting for me to see was the opportunity to use online as well  as paper print outs to monitor the structured interview. Later all people involved in the interviewing process can give their candidate feedback within the system

Unit 6: SuccessFactors Onboarding

A further highlight for me was the onboarding wizard for the hiring manager. Besides the paper-work the wizard shows the hiring manager the various key steps he needs and can take to make the onboarding a success. He or she can start the requisition of all the necessary equiments within the wirzard, he or she can connect the new hire to a number of people and community of practice within the organization and he or she can send a welcome post card. Further options are  available as setting key milestones for the first 90 days and enrol the employee in relevant training programs and other events. When the employee logs in for the first time he will have a To Do List.

However what I find is too much focus is given to the onboarding of new hires and often the onboarding of internal transfers or promotions are overlooked. Think about first time leaders or the first global assignments. I have written my diploma thesis on successful internal onboarding and the key role the HR BP can play in it without a big effort.

Week 3: Perform, Reward, and Learn

Presenter: Steven Gregory for unit 1-3.

Unit 1: SuccessFactors Performance & Goals and Calibration

My highlights were the Goal Wizard that I have mentioned previously that guides the manager to create SMART goals. The ability to cascade one’s goals further down in the organization. Then for a goal of probability of success can be indicated. Interesting new concept. Additionally the execution map allows a leader to drill down in his or her organization at what level and what employee is to see where his or her goal is behind. And during the calibration employees in SuccessFactors can be moved around by using drag & drop in the calibration ratings table.

Unit 2: SuccessFactors Total Rewards & Compensation

Compensation Budgeting which is usually tedious task seems to be much easier to do in SuccessFactors. However the example shown where the total rewards were planned by the manager is usually done by different people in the organization. Often times the bonus plans are separated from the merit increases. And equity or non-cash incentives are managed by someone in HR on a separate plan.

Unit 3: SuccessFactors Succession & Development

Steve emphasized that succession still is more focused on high-level executives and not on the critical and most value adding positions in an organization. What I really liked was the ability to simulate the knock-on effects of promotions. Once the person moves on who are the likely candidates within the organization to fill this new vacant spot. The whole graphical representation is well done. Besides position and people succession there is also now a pool-based succession. You can quickly see how many people the organization has in specified pool. An example for such a pool could be project managers, or people with a certain certification, etc. The other element that I find usful was the possibility to create dynamic presentation. When you present to the executive board and there is a question about the person within the succession plan you can quickly pull up the background information from SuccessFactors. To set up presentations is almost automatic. No need to populate a Power Point presentation manually. As well SuccessFactors allows to compare individuals side by side.

Unit 4-6 was presented by Andy Shean, who is a principal consultant for SuccessFactors.

Unit 4: SuccessFactors Learning – Talent Development

SuccessFactors Learning is an extra application which interfaces with Successfactors HR solution.

This Learning Management now allows to pull MOOCs from Udacity, Coursera, and openHPI via the Open Content Network. Also I liked their theme of seeing an employee as a learner and a teacher at the same time. Therefore a lot of collaboration capabilities were added to the system. One feature that I was amazed about is the ability to highlight a section in a document and attach a question to it or give an answer to. As well the user can create step-by-step guides in a very easy and intuitive way and share with others.

Unit 5: SuccessFactors Learning for External Enablement

This is targeted for externals. For some industries people who come to work for you need to pass certain courses before they are allowed to work for you. As well the organization can also bill those courses to external users. It also includes now a multi-part electronic signatures. Not sure if this compliant for all countries or can only be used in this way in certain countries.

Unit 6: SuccessFacots Learning for Compliance

Nothing new for me. Therefore the only thing to mention are the availability of 200 out of the box reports in the system.

Week 4: At the core

The presenter for this week is Dave McHugh senior solutions consultant for SuccessFactors.

Unit 1: SuccessFactors Emplyoee Central

Employee Central was launched in 2009.

Employee Central Payroll is available in 28 countries.

I am impressed by the intuitive user interface. Especially about the workflows. It is very easy to track who is part of the workflow. Who has an active role and who needs to be informed. And the user can see where the workflow is currently at and who stills needs to approve.

The same applies to absence management. And you have an immediate view of who else in the team will be on absence in that period. All in one instead of someone in the team pulling all the absence data into an excel file and then project this list during the next team meeting.

Another highlight for me was whenever the user changes a value the old value will be displayed with a stroke through next to the field.

Unit 2: SuccessFactors Employee Central Service Center

I have never seen a system yet that helps the user to work seamlessly with the shared service center. Tasks like registering the birth of child just takes 60% less time because it only requires one system and not several different softwares such as Excel, PowerPoint and ticketing system as well as the evaluation form.

Employee can always initiated Ask HR wherever they area in the system and immediate direct their questions to the shared service center. At the same time the SuccessFactors will track service KPIs and give an overview of backlogs and other stats to the people working in the shared service center.

Unit 3: SuccessFactors Global Payroll

According to the survey conducted NGA HR over 35 countries Italy, Germany and France are the top three most complex countries to run a payroll for.

For managing employee on average 16 to 20 data fields per employee. There are 15 different parameters globally that will impact the net result of the calculated salary.

Also impressive was the Payroll Control Center. It gives an overview of the current running cycles and the upcoming processes where one is responsible for. And there is not need to rerun the total payroll when there are mistakes. Only need to fix the mistakes. Also retrorcalculations seem to be much easier to handle.

Unit 4: SuccessFactors Global Benefits

SuccessFactors works together with Benefitfocus. Also very userfriendly way for employees to monitor and change their benefit programs.

Unit 5: Final Recap

SAP bought FieldGlass in order to manage contract labor.

Employee Central is localized for 71 countries and supports 37 languages.

There is 24×7 global help and support. Regional data centers in North America, Europe and Asia and even one in the Peoples Republic of China. What I have not seen if they have a data center in Russia. Since a few weeks data of Russian Citizens cannot be stored outside of Russia.

SuccessFactors is preconfigured with the most relevant business scenarios, SAP best practices and relevant technical settings from pure cloud to hybrid solutions.

This week I will take the final exam.

Becoming a SucessFactors SaaS Consultant Part 1 and Part 2

October 5, 2015

Luke Marson wrote a blog post about the skillsets a SaaS Consultant should have. In on-premise projects there are 5-10 different roles from program manager to hardware consultant while in a SaaS Project all is covered by just one person. This person needs to understand the business process, the technology and how to configure it, how to problem solve, how security works and how to secure data. The person also needs  to know how to manage the project. In summary this SaaS consultant needs a broad knowledge at a relevant level.

Jarret Pazahanick says people underestimate what it takes to learn to become a cloud consultant. A consultant works usually on multiple projects, two to three at the same time which is different to the on-premise projects. The work is done more and more remotely. The person needs to apply agile project management methodology. To have business process knowledge is great, but that is not what the business hires a consultant for. They have the knowledge themselves.

After three weeks of training in successfactors and getting certified a consultant cannot lead immediately a workshop at the client. The client will ask very specific questions if the system can do this and that and how the consultant would recommend to setup this. These questions are best answers by a consultant who has done several successfactors implementations. His recommendation is to join an experienced consultant for a few projects in order to learn before the new consultant leads his or her own project.

The consultant also needs to keep up with the new releases. SuccessFactors has 4 releases per year. Change is a constant and it is so much faster compared on-premise software. Every release comes with 200-300 powerpoint slides about changes. This person needs to have the aptitude of a life-long learner to keep up with this pace of learning.

Becoming a SuccessFactors SaaS Consultant Part 2

What I learned from this video:

John Reed: Do you need industry specific knowledge?

Jarret Pazahanick: Industry specific knowledge is not need in HR, there are only small nuances. There are bigger differences between the different SuccessFactors modules. A consultant needs to know about recruiting or learning. So most consultant focus on a niche area and not the whole spectrum of HR and successfactors modules.

Yet areas compared to the on-premise HCM solutions are pushed together.  If you take for example Successfactors Employee Central which is Core HR the consultant needs to do personal administration, organisational management, employee self service, manager self service, workflow and security. In the on-premise HCM world this was done by 4-5 different consultants.

Staying compliant is much easier now with the cloud solution. Changes in country laws are reflected always in the latest version.

When hiring a consulting firm there can be huge price differences. SaaS Implementation are much cheaper than what customers expect. You need less consultants than before and they can do much more work remotely. Companies purchasing these services still need to learn this.

Jarret Pazahanick focuses on Employee Central and Employee Central Payroll.

Training for non successfactors partner and certification ?

SAP Learning Hub costs 3500 USD / Year to use the learning material. You need provisioning rights to use SuccessFactors. You get the rights only if are certified. It costs 500 USD to take the certification exam. You can do it from your office or home. The certification exam can be taken without having gone through the SAP Learning Hub. After the certification the consultant will have to take a delta exam twice a year.

Luke Marson is a certified Employee Central Successfactors consultant.

Luke Marson’s Blog and Jarret Pazahanick’s Blog. And visit the SuccessFactors Useful Resources and Documents maintained by Luke Marson.

Entrepreneur for Free – Curricula

October 3, 2015

There are many free resources and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from well known universities available.

Having been an entrepreneur myself and having helped others to become intra- and entrepreneurs there is one thing most of us including myself get wrong. You see a problem, an opportunity and you come up with a solution. You implement your solution and you are surprised that there are not enough people who want to pay for your offer or even consider your solution at all.
And it just doesn’t happen to the “stupid” entrepreneurs it also happened to well-known and well-respected entrepreneurs and experts in this field. Peter Thiel for example first designed “Paypal” for making money transfers between PalmPilots and found out that nobody had any use for that product. It was voted by journalist to be one of the 10 worst business ideas of 1999. Peter Thiel is now one the most admired entrepreneurs and investors.

Another example was given by James Green. James Green teaches the most successful MOOC on entrepreneurship which is also the most attended MOOC in 2014. He started a service company to pick up laundry from students apartments and return it later cleaned against a small fee. He had everything in place name cards, company registered, and advertising only to find out that no one wanted his service.

So before you think business model and business plan or before you think how to implement your business idea and fill out all the wonderful templates on value proposition, market size, etc. I would first advise you to take the MOOC “Design Thinking for Business Innovation” before anything else. It is a MOOC for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. Then take the MOOC by Sam Altman from Stanford and then by James Green.

Community building around your idea is more important than a business model. Think about the most recent examples. Neither Google nor Facebook had a business model in place when they started. They knew how or were lucky to build a community quickly around their idea. And as they went along they learned what business model works for them.

  1. Design Thinking for Business Innovation by Jeanne Liedtka
  2. How to Start a Startup by Sam Altman Stanford (watch the first three lectures at least)
  3. Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship by James Green
  4. Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace
  5. New enture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs
  6. Entrepreneurship Capstone Project

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