SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2075930 - Admin 101 - Pre-Planning for a New Performance Process - Performance Management


  • Guide to Starting A New Process 101 for Performance & Goals.
  • We have a number of related articles to help administrators plan and launch new cycles. Please view the list of articles here:       Performance & Goals processes   


  • Performance Management



  • Successful clients are happy clients, and being successful often relies on getting things right from the very outset when starting a new process or process change. It is the aim of this solution to provide a comprehensive list of items for your consideration so that you can be successful.
  • This list is by no means all encompassing, and may not include items specific to your configuration.  Also keep in mind that these are best practices, and not necessarily absolute do's and don'ts (there are often exceptions to the rule).
  • This list is in no particular order, but without a doubt, the most important consideration, and the one most often ignored is failure to test thoroughly.


Items to Check to Prevent Issues

  • Allow sufficient time to develop and test your forms (4 weeks minimum - see timeline below
    • While you may not be making any logic changes to last year's program, SuccessFactors may have introduced new behaviors and settings that have changed the product in recent releases. If you are copying on old template to reuse it, then you will need to test it against the current build.
    • Have you reviewed the test forms to see what they look like in each roles completed folder?
    • Even if you are using a copy of an old template, do NOT neglect to perform testing. Always QA all expected behaviors of any new or copied form.
    • Check the right people can see ratings, weights and comments in all sections at all steps.
    • Check that the people that should not see ratings, weights and comments in certain sections and at certain steps cannot see them.
    • Check if an employee should be allowed to see the ratings or comments provided by the Manager.
    • Check the contents of each form section, like competencies and goals.
    • Also consider in your testing, not just how the form should work, but also consider how the form shouldn’t be working as you review results. Put yourself in the end-user’s shoes by logging in as each test user involved.
    • Purposely make out of process mistakes to test unexpected results, as it is common for an end user to do things you had not imagined they would.
    • When testing a new form, be sure you complete a sufficient number of forms so that you can also test all reports that will be used for reporting purposes.
    • Test emails and routing notifications for all users and steps in the process to confirm the correct people get the correct emails for the correct steps and actions, as well as making sure that people that you do not want to get emails do not get them.
    • Test Forgot Password and Send System Message separately from routing emails.
    • Document your results for future reference. Should an in issue be spotted later in the process, you will be able to refer back to your testing results to see if the issue was apparent then but missed, or if it was working in the past, and that possible a new bug has been introduced into the SuccessFactors Application.
    • Do the scores you are receiving on the form match what you are expecting?

  • Create new goal plans. If you have a Performance Form that has goal sections, we recommend you create a new goal plan created for this year. more info on how to do this..
    • For goal sections, have the correct goals from the correct goal plan populated on the form?
    • If using autosync for goal sections, are goals correctly syncing between the Performance Form and the Goal plan when changes are made to the form and vice-versa to the goal plan? 

  • Create new route maps: You can reuse a route map from last year, but it can be a good practice to create a new route map for the new form template.
    • Be sure not to rename your route map step IDs without considering the impacts, as the original template may have permissions that work based on the original route map step IDs. If you need to rename steps, then your new form template may also need to be updated with these new Step IDs, otherwise the form may not work as expected at certain steps.
    • If you are adding steps to your route map you may need to contact customer success to have the permissioning reviewed and adjusted via our Technical Service Engineers or Admin Tools, if needed. Allow 2-3 weeks for any change control process.

  • Rating Scales: Never modify an existing rating scale, if you are changing rating scales it is better to create a new one for your new process.
    • It is always best practice to have consistent rating scales throughout the form and in your reports.

  • Reports: Are you seeing the proper Goal, Overall and Competency scores via List View Reports?
    • Have you setup a new "Process" with the proper scale for the New Year? more info..
    • Test Dashboard Portlets to confirm that the data on your forms is feeding through into ALL the portlets that you expect to use for reporting. Some Dashboard Portlets require that your form is configured with special hidden sections (obj-comp) to calculate the required results. It is NOT possible to fix forms once they have been launched if they are missing the required code used by the Dashboard Portlets.
    • Have you reviewed how each form looks when opening the form from the List View, for roles included in the process and roles not included in the process, for each step in the route map?

  • Form Template Settings: When you copy a new template from last year, the settings you had set last year do not automatically apply on your cloned form and will need to be manually set via admin tools.
  • Are you using Get Feedback? If so have you tested that workflow in your form to make sure all possible recipients can provide feedback as expected?

  • Are you using Offline Forms? If so have you tested that functionality in your new form?

  • Competencies: Does the form populate with the correct competencies expected for the jobcode? Note, this is difficult to test as if you have a large number of jobcodes and competencies, and any one of your jobcode to competencies mapping is incorrect, you are not likely to be notified of this issue until an end user notifies you that the form has no competencies, or incorrect competencies.
    • Never, ever delete a Competency in your Competency Libraries. If there is any data in your Competency Library that you will not be using this year, simply set it as "Hidden". Never delete it as historical forms still refer to the competencies IDs, and deleting them will cause errors.
    • Competencies in your test site may have different ID's that those in your production site if you have not had us clone or sync your sites. Therefore hard coded competencies that worked on your forms in test may not work when the template is copied into production until you adjust the ID's.

  • Form Elements: If the form has checkboxes or radio buttons, try to replicate all possible settings to confirm all values save as expected. Make sure all reports report on the correct value you set.

  • Product Updates: Have you reviewed the release notes from recent releases to be sure there are no new features you want enabled, prior to launch?Review and download product updates here..
    • Check out the Upgrade Centerfor any new options you can enable.

  • Troubleshooting Resource For Performance & Goals. If you do encounter issues during the roll-out, refer to this helpful resource for troubleshooting advice.


Pre-Cycle Planning - Points to Consider

1.       Are you launching to the same group as last year or is it changing this year (impact on custom filter for choosing target populations)?
2.       Do you expect to have changes in competencies libraries or job codes this cycle (impact on form config, job code mapping in Families and Roles and/or competency libraries)
3.       Do you plan on launching forms in one language or multiple languages (impact on form creation and form configuration)?
4.       Are  you going to feed the ratings to an external system (impact on Ad Hoc Reports and Quartz scheduling)?
5.       How did your company manage hierarchy changes last cycle and is it changing (impact on FTP/import settings and/or Employee Change Engine).
6.       Has the timeline for your cycle changed (both for when cycle is starting and the amount of time spent in each cycle phase)?
7.       Have business drivers changed in the last year that are impacting the way you would like to measure performance? (goal-focused, competency-focused, etc)
8.       Has your approval process changed in the past year?  (route map changes)
9.       How do you plan on calibrating performance? (either through SF tool or externally, customers need to consider how PM data is going to be exported for use in calibration discussions)
10.     Are you planning on linking performance to pay this year (either within SF or using existing tools)?


Production vs Test Sites

Please keep in mind that production and test are not connected in any way, entirely separate sites and therefore not likely in-sync. As you load new data into each site, such as goals, compensation data, and templates etc, the sites become out of sync. Therefore when you develop and test a template in your test site, the results cannot be assumed to be exactly as you will encounter in production as data may not be the same, and most issues for compensation are related to data.

  • Add additional time for another round of testing in production on top of what is planned for your test site.

  • Add time in case you need to reconfigure your form templates to work in production.

You may want to consider paying a fee for SuccessFactors to clone your entire production site to overwrite test so that it is an exact byte for byte copy. This can save additional design and configuration time with complex process launches as it brings a more consistent experience to the testing phase within both instances.



  • Closing out the previous process: Most forms can be mass moved using the tools available in admin tools.
  • Turn ON email notifications that are needed before creating forms. Turn OFF email notifications that are not required.
  • Have you updated your Email Notification Templates to have the most current contact information in the body of the emails?
  • If you need to restrict access to the SuccessFactors application during your process, remember to limit access by setting Default User Group Assignment.  Only those who are assigned in the group will be able to log in. 
  • Have you reviewed all the options in Company System and Logo Settings? It is always good to review the options year over year as we are adding new abilities all the time.
  • Never, ever delete a Competency in your Competency Libraries. If there is any data in your Competency Library that you will not be using this year, simply set it as "Hidden". Never delete it as historical forms still refer to the competencies IDs, and deleting them will cause errors.
  • Before you import new data into the SuccessFactors Application always be sure to take an export of the current data


KBA , LOD-SF-PM , Performance Management , How To


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