The following is written by Mei Kim, Senior HR Technology Consultant at Capital Group in Los Angeles.  Mei is also on the leadership team for ASUG's Human Capital Management Community, where she plans program content year-round. The following is her first-hand account of their SuccessFactors implementation.



The SAP ERP Human Resources functionality (which we now refer to as “HCM on premise”) has brought us to a really good place in centralizing our HR data, and establishing a consistent way of managing our organizational hierarchy.  We have a really good platform with good HR data, strong data governance, process efficiencies and effective reporting. But what can we do now to add greater business value to today’s changing needs in our workforce?


SuccessFactors is making this a reality for us.  Starting with Goal Management and Performance Management (GM/PM), we’re taking on business-facing HR processes that make the greatest impact in our associates’ performance and development.  Employee engagement is a high priority topic with our senior leadership.  So how do we lead our organization from not knowing anything about what Integrated Talent Management really means to embracing this as a vision, and connecting this directly as a success criteria to sustainable associate engagement?


How are we organized?


As part of the HR Technology Group with the HR Business Group, we create, advocate, and communicate the overall technology strategy for HR.  We ensure the strategy is executed through managing technology projects for the HR function. We support the effective use, education and appropriate integration of HR systems. 


We partner closely with the HRIS team in IT when implementing HR technologies.  While HRIS provides the technical expertise, we support the business with change management capabilities, project management, and business process expertise.


How did we get buy-in from our Leadership?


It was all about the value of an integrated solution.  We convinced our leadership that we needed to:


  • Hire the best people more quickly
  • Help our associates develop new skills
  • Develop bench strength for leadership
  • Produce predictive indicators and analytics to inform business decisions and planning
  • Real time people data to support decision making – right resources, right work, right locations, right cost


Step 0: Stakeholder Analysis


Nothing is more important in a change management effort than to first do the Stakeholder Analysis.   The goal is to answer the following questions:


  1. Who are my stakeholders?
  2. Which stakeholder(s) will this change impact?
  3. What role will each stakeholder play in the change?  Who will we need to prioritize to get buy-in, support and to champion the change?  Who will we need to help overcome resistance?
  4. Where are they today, and what will we need to do to get them to the stage we want them to get to?


Once we had identified our stakeholders, we then developed a plan to move each stakeholder from where their position and point of view is today to gain their commitment to the journey we were about to embark upon. 


Step 1: Achieving Stakeholder Buy-In


To paint the picture, we asked our business leaders and stakeholders, the following.  What if:


  • Managers can identify internal employees that could fill a qualified role.
  • We could predict whether our associates had the skill sets to meet future business needs / demands
  • We knew where we have robust succession pipelines and where there are gaps
  • Learning options could be recommended to the employees based on their individual development plans


We emphasized that having an integrated talent management strategy helps us find the best people and put them in the right jobs, improve employee engagement, eliminate skill gaps and shortages, and align talent to meet today and future needs.


We created short videos, to help our Stakeholders visualize what the future could be like if we had a system that could facilitate the development and performance conversations, one that could provide employees one place to manage their career and development plans.  The videos were extremely helpful, we found that many people were visual, and wanted to see and get a sense of what it would be like working in SuccessFactors.


As it turns out, our stakeholders viewed this as a positive change, which would help emphasize our focus on employee development and growth.  Even senior business leaders volunteered to champion the change within their groups.


Step 3: Getting HR on board


So we drank our own champagne first.   We took a leap of faith and started our SuccessFactors journey with PM/GM – and we did it simply.  We took the most straightforward, simple approach to bring about the change. Armed with a SharePoint site as our point of entry into SuccessFactors Performance and Goal Management, we developed and delivered guidance content, video and job aids. 


Our SharePoint Site for Self-Service SuccessFactors Resources:



As it turns out, most people simply just went into the system and starting using it! Surprisingly, the hardest part of it wasn’t the technology; it was dealing with how we thought about the philosophy of setting performance and development goals, year-round coaching, self-assessment, calibration and year-end review delivery.  We used what we learned to develop an enterprise-wide approach in leading change.


Our biggest win was to get our HR folks to realize that integrated talent management is the way to go. For so many years, we’ve struggled with how to effectively support our business in disparate processes and systems. Putting together talent profiles for a succession management meeting would take days because of what we call the ‘eye-ball’ approach, having to manually calculate and determine criteria and metrics needed for the discussions. 


It wasn’t hard to convince folks we needed to automate, make our processes better to accommodate the increasing need to gain better visibility to our talent. 


Step 4: Getting ready for the change with the Enterprise


Light, easy to use, integrated.


That was how we had positioned SuccessFactors.  We didn’t need major classroom training, nor instructor led training.  In fact, our job aids were so simple and straightforward, no clutter, it was as easy as 1-2-3!   We re-evaluated what we would mean by a ‘one-pager’ job aid.  A ‘one-pager’ doesn’t mean cramming everything into one page.  A ‘one-pager’ should say ‘I can do this, this is easy’.  A ‘one-pager’ shouldn’t give off the message of ‘OMG, so much information here, I’ll just put this off till I HAVE to do this!’.


A job aid we created, easy as 1-2-3:




We also chose to do more of a self-services approach.  Job aids, E-learning, and Videos are available on an enterprise-central site, completely built using SharePoint.  Employees that need more help go directly to this site to get what they need.  Content is modular, that the employee gets exactly what is needed, no more no less, in the time that she needs it.  Who-to-call directories are automated right out of our SAP Org Management module. 


Ready,set, go!


Could it really be this simple?


Once our stakeholders were onboard with the integration talent management vision, we got great support our business groups.  Perhaps one of the most challenging for adoption is getting started, and getting used to the new landscape that SuccessFactors offers.   It’s just something we’ll get used to, in a very short period of time.  Employees thought the user experience was much better in SuccessFactors than SAP HCM’s traditional portal experience on MSS and ESS, and were happy to embrace it. All we have to do now is plunge right in!