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

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.

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One Response to “openSAP Run Simple HR with SuccessFactors Employee Central MOOC – my key learnings”

  1. Clemens Link Says:

    Hi ppalme, thanks for your interesting blog on one of the latest openSAP courses. Let me add one comment: there’s no need for learners who do not have time to go through the course right now to download all material (videos, slides, transcripts,..) because it will be accessible also after the course to everyone interested. The only difference is, that after the end of the course you can’t do the assignments or post in the discussion forum.
    Cheers, Clemens

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