There are many ways to approach the implementation of your new SuccessFactors Human Capital Management (HCM) solution, and not surprisingly, some approaches work far better than others. However, you must never be misled that cloud-based solutions, like SuccessFactors, can be implemented very quickly. Those who see quick implementation overlook critical areas, like having the right technical person in-house to assist in the implementation process, being aware of future needs so integration points can be included at the right stage of the project, or simply not going overboard on all the functionalities of the system but keeping within your needs and abilities to maintain the system once it goes live.

We aim to provide some helpful tips from our AKT experts who have successfully completed over 100 implementation projects.


  1. Assign a dedicated systems administrator with the correct skills set – It is not enough to simply expect that an HR representative or manager will help during the implementation process. The implementation process of any HR cloud solution is very hands-on, involving several stages such as data migration, data collection, setting up permissions, testing and maintenance, to name a few. SuccessFactors Employee Central is no exception and having a technical person as part of the client’s team, is critical to a successful implementation. Note: this person’s role is not limited to dealing with the system but he/she should have the ability to leverage his/her influence to get other stakeholders on board.
  2. Be diligent in looking for both external and internal integration points – Missing opportunities to integrate sub-project plans when the opportunity arises will lengthen the implementation time as it could involve major re-work. For example, if you plan to integrate payroll in the Employee Central module then the project leaders must be made aware of this from the beginning, so that it is either done in the first iteration design or enough time is allocated to do it in the second iteration. In our experience, a regular Employee Central implementation project should take three to six months, but in some cases it has taken up to one year because the integration design was left to the final stages. This advice is also relevant if thinking of implementing additional SuccessFactors modules, like Talent Management and Performance Management.
  3. Create minimum permission roles and groups to support your business model – When implementing SuccessFactors Employee Central, it can be tempting to create a myriad of Role Based Permissions (RBP)/Security. However, you must think holistically as the RBP permissions spans the entire range of SuccessFactors functionality. Furthermore, this area will need to be maintained regularly after go-live so you may accumulate useless information, create bottlenecks and lose track of protocols if there are too many.
  4. Limit workflows to a small and manageable number – To prevent internal frustration, workflows should be standardized at a high level; such as, hire, terminate, or pay rate change(s). This will allow for more global processes, which will reduce administrative maintenance and facilitate a more streamlined reporting portfolio.
  5. Limit the migration of historical legacy – The effort of having overly historical data in the system far outweighs the benefits. Think about it, besides current employees why should you spend resources to migrate employee data from 1978? Even for more recent hires, most of them may no longer be at your company. There may be a need for the latter information in case of re-hiring opportunities, but consider only migrating basic personal information, latest salary levels and their last three performance evaluations, for example. Choosing to migrate everything can extend your implantation process to at least a year or more.


Implementing a cloud-based solution like SuccessFactors Employee Central can be challenging, but armed with the knowledge of what to expect and the right implementation partner only helps to positively impact your project’s success.

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