SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2072027 - Manage Goal Data - Goals disappeared after changing Goal Categories - Goal Management


  • Changing Goal Categories


  • Goal Management

Reproducing the Issue

  • Can we change goal categories?
  • Do I need change the category ID of can I just change the title?
  • What are the impacts of changing the category ID?
  • Why have existing goals disappeared after updating the categories on my goal plan?


A goal category has two important values.
     <category id="Financial">
1. The category title: <category-name>Financial</category-name>
This is the value that your users see on their goal plan. You can change your category "title" with no impact to existing data.
2. The category ID: <category id="Financial">
In addition to the title the category also has a hidden ID. It is this ID that all goals become associated with, NOT the goal title. Whenever you have a plan in use where people have existing data, you must keep the existing goal category ID's intact. Any change to the ID will break the link between the data and the category causing all existing goals to become hidden (it will seem they have been deleted).

In the above example if you wanted to change the category to "Financial Goals" change the category title.
     <category id="Financial">
          <category-name>Financial Goals</category-name>

Note how the id=Financial remains unchanged. Now users will see the new title Financial Goals, and any existing goals they had will show with the new title. If however the change made was     <category id="Financial Goals">
          <category-name>Financial Goals</category-name>

Then all existing goals that were in "Financial" will become hidden or orphaned. The data still exists in the system in the non-existent category Financial.


When existing data exists it is best therefore to never change the category IDs. You may simply want to leave the existing category and add an additional category to the plan.

  • If you do need to change the ID this can be accomplished via an export of all current goal data before you update the goal plan via Reports > Goal Search.
  • Then update your goal plan category-id and reimport the goal plan.
  • With your exported data file, create a goal import file to UPDATE existing records with the new goal category. There are a number of considerations that need to be met to successfully update goal data.



  • Backup your existing goal plans before making any changes!
  • SuccessFactors cannot restore old goal plans you change.
  • SuccessFactors cannot easily find out what old categories you might have used if you changed these but failed to keep a backup of the original plan. To do so requires a special engineering request that can take 3-4 weeks to perform.
  • You can reload old plans to quickly check if the goals show without the risk of any data loss.
  • If hidden goals appear then you will know the goals have been hidden due to the change in category-id. 
  • If you still do not see the old goals with the original plan loaded, or via a goal export using the Goal Search Report then this confirms that a person with delete permissions deleted the goals.
  • SuccessFactors cannot retrieve deleted data or report on who deleted the data or when it occurred. Clients are responsible for monitoring changes to goals via the goal modification email notification. If this email is turned off managers loose insight into when goals may have been edited or deleted.


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