Managing Succession with SAP SuccessFactors Succession Management


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain the benefits of using SAP SuccessFactors Succession Management
  • Define nomination methods and identify succession tools
  • Discuss Presentations

Benefit and Goals of Succession

Begin the video to get started on SAP SuccessFactors Succession Management.

Succession Management enables organizations to retain their talent, identify talent gaps, and create succession plans by nominating employees to positions aligned with expertise and career aspirations. As turnover or natural attrition occurs, successors are identified via the Add Successors feature to quickly fill key positions and decrease any stress involved in replacement staffing.

Common Succession Management goals include:

  • Identifying candidates for key positions

  • Improving accuracy of staffing decisions

  • Filling positions rapidly

  • Accelerating employee development

  • Increasing employee engagement

  • Retaining or promoting key talent

  • Collaborating across functions and families

  • Creating talent pools

Succession Nomination Methods

There are three nomination methods:

  • Role-Person Nominations: The Role-Person nomination method is the most simple of the three and it is used mostly for replacement planning. In this nomination method, the Succession Org Chart will display the user hierarchy (same thing as the Company Org Chart displays) and the successors will be associated to a combination of UserID + JobCode (role + person). This method of succession planning is focused on the person or incumbent rather than the position itself. For example, a company may select the role-person nomination method if they have grown quickly by acquisition and do not have strong position management in place or need a more simplified method of administration and maintenance. Also, if the incumbent changes jobs, the successors follow the incumbent unless their job code changes. In the event the job changes, all successors are dropped. This is an important factor to consider when choosing the role-person nomination.

  • Legacy Position-Based Nominations: The legacy position-based nomination method uses a position model that was developed for succession planning purposes only. Position records have a small and fixed set of attributes: incumbent, manager position, key position, and title. The rest of the information is stored with the incumbent record. The primary benefit of legacy position-based nominations is that you can plan for to-be-hired (TBH) positions and not lose associated succession plans when a user changes job codes or becomes inactive. TBH records are supported by creating and managing a vacant user record paired with the position. This process relies on the same person-based permissions and target populations as role-person nominations.

  • Metadata Framework (MDF) Position-Based Nominations: MDF positions are generic objects built with the Metadata Framework that can be used for succession planning with or without SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. It offers the same benefits as Legacy Positions, like keeping Succession Plans in-place through incumbent changes and planning for vacant positions, but also allows you to:

    • Extend the Position Object with custom fields (as part of the Metadata Framework).

      Keep the history of changes made to the Position, as part of the Metadata Framework effective dating of objects.

    • Define permissions based on the position attributes, instead of only relying on the user's attributes for the target population.

    • Simplify managing the system because it does not require a TBH user placeholder for vacant positions.

    • Search by Position Title in the Succession Org Chart and it allows you to use the Position Tile.

The Metadata Framework (MDF) is a framework used to customize the instance. MDF provides a set of features that will enable you to build end-to-end applications. Using MDF, you can also add objects to the MDF data model or modify the behavior of existing objects to suit customer needs. Visit the SAP Help Portal to learn more about Implementing the Metadata Framework (MDF).

Succession Tools

Some of the tools available in Succession Management include:

  • Succession Org Chart
  • Position Tile
  • Lineage Chart
  • Talent Pools
  • Talent Search
  • Matrix Grid Reports

Succession Org Chart

The Succession Org Chart displays the hierarchy of positions within a company. It allows succession planners to locate and nominate successors to various positions as well as identify key or critical positions to make sure those positions have successors.

To learn more, watch this video.

Position Tile

The Position Tile allows succession planners to view all positions without having to navigate the position hierarchy. In this view, succession planners can apply various filters to narrow their search results and focus on positions that have important similarities even though they may be widely disbursed throughout the company's position hierarchy.

To learn more, watch the video.

Lineage Chart

The Lineage Chart shows the domino effect of making a successor the new incumbent for a particular position. When a successor is made the incumbent of a new position, they leave their old position. That position must also be filled by another successor who will also need to leave their former role. The lineage chart allows succession planners to view these lineages and make sure successors are named for all potentially affected positions.

To learn more, watch the video.

Talent Pools

Talent Pools allow succession planners to create groups of individuals with similar skill sets. Those talent pools can then be associated with various positions within the organization to provide succession planners with an alternative source of potential successors for those positions.

To learn more, watch the video.

Talent Search

Talent Search allows succession planners to search for successors based on information stored within employee profiles. For example, a succession planner might need to find candidates who are fluent in a particular language and who have expressed a willingness to relocate.

To learn more, watch the video.

Matrix Grid Reports

The matrix grid reports, performance/potential matrix and how vs. what matrix, offer insights across available talent, and help you compare succession candidates from a target population like a team or department. You use the matrix grid reports, also known as a 9-box, to identify your high potential talent.

To learn more, watch the video.


Presentations is a simple and intuitive way for you to create and present interactive presentations that include dynamic SAP SuccessFactors content. It is often used by CHROs and senior HR leaders who deliver talent review presentations to CEOs, executives, and board members multiple times each year. These talent reviews can include Succession-related activities like nominating successors.

Presentations allow HR leaders to display current succession data, so that the most up-to-date and accurate information is presented for discussion. Changes made within a SuccessFactors system will be instantly reflected in the dynamic elements included in a presentation unlike a static Microsoft PowerPoint deck that would no longer be in sync after system changes.

To assemble a presentation, you must:

  • Upload: Upload PowerPoint files to the SAP SuccessFactors application from your desktop.
  • Assemble: Add SAP SuccessFactors content slides such as Succession Org Chart, 9- box, and more.
  • Present: Present in full screen presentation mode from SAP SuccessFactors.

You can add live slides to a presentation to provide further information. Live slides can contain the following dynamic information:

  • Matrix Grid Report (9-box): Performance/Potential matrix or How vs. What matrix.
  • Succession Org Chart: Shows a manager’s direct and matrix reports, and their successors.
  • Team View (Basic Org Chart): Shows a manager’s direct and matrix reports.
  • Talent Pools: Lists MDF Talent Pools. Select to view their members.
  • People Grid: Shows different employees in grid. You can select from one to four grids in the slide.
  • Compensation: Allows presenters with executive review permissions to add a live slide with compensation data based on executive review compensation templates.
  • Position Tile: Customers with MDF Position Tile View and MDF Positions can create multiple views by using different filters for Talent Review presentations.
  • People Profile: Customers with People Profile can add slides one at a time or in bulk as a team or dynamic group. Users can use this live slide to navigate various individual profiles during a Talent Review presentation.

To learn more about presentations, visit the SAP Help Portal and view the Using Presentations documentation.

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