Successful implementation of SuccessFactors Human Capital Management (HCM) projects do not just happen

and they are not merely the result of good luck. They are the product of good design, proper planning and

project management, and the hard work of a dedicated team of professionals. In other words, simply investing

in an HR cloud solution such as SuccessFactors, is not enough. Instead you must first realize that the system

is just that – a tool that is managed by people – hence as the proverbial saying goes “garbage in, garbage out.”


All too often, the initial thought is that once the decision is made to implement SuccessFactors, the experts step in,

and magically the system will be integrated into the companies’ existing HR processes. Some, if not most companies,

underestimate the level of involvement that will be needed from their internal resources in order to ensure a successful

implementation. While others often don’t have the required skills in-house to support the implementation.


For customers embarking on a Performance and Goals project, here are some best practices both from an HR perspective

as well as the System Implementation side, that will contribute to a smoother implementation.


Goal Management

  • HR Obligations: We know that you think your organization is very different from others, but after implementing over 200 projects believe us when we say, many goals are common throughout organizations and can therefore be used a starting point to set your own company goals.That being said, it cannot be stressed enough the significance of setting SMART Goals so they can be fully integrated into the performance cycle. Also when these goals are correctly defined, they can become an ingrained part of your corporate culture and not just an annual requirement. Related Links: Goal Setting – Setting Employee Goals Effectively is Critical to Your Success 
  • System Recommendation: SuccessFactors comes with a Goal Dictionary that can be imported during the implementation process. This allows you to begin the process with a list of pre-set goals and later add some of your own goals.

Performance Management

  • HR Obligations: It is important to recognize that less is sometimes more, so limit free text. Many employees may be reticent or even unable to express themselves freely on demand, therefore keeping the forms simple and easy to complete without including too many mandatory free text sections increases employee motivation to complete the form.
  • System Recommendation: Too many times during the implementation process we’ve seen companies strive to add more and more levels of approval or input to performance management forms from line managers. We suggest to reduce the number of route steps. This reduces log jams; e.g, senior managers who have too many performance reviews to approve, will delay or spend less meaningful time on them. So, keep it simple and reduce the number of route maps. Related Links: Getting the Most Out of Performance Appraisal Systems


  • HR Obligations: To ensure an objective and unbiased performance review, the process must be fair and balanced. Different leaders have different management styles, which are often reflected in skewed employee reviews. Therefore it is important to get all managers aligned on a process that can be used consistently across all teams belonging to the same departments, in order to ensure a reliable rating of employees. You should ensure equitable performance, compensation, and talent ratings across teams, departments and organizations have been agreed upon by all relevant parties.
  • System Recommendation: Designate a Facilitator for every Calibration session to drive the system. The Facilitator must be someone who is privy to the information and comments that will be raised during the sessions. Related Links: Introduction: Calibration – SuccessFactors

The successful implementation of your SuccessFactors Performance and Goals module will not be the result of luck. Managed properly, it should be the culmination of the design of the implementation approach and the dedication and effort of the project team members. In addition, you must also consider how performance-based compensation plans are to be constructed to serve the organization’s long-term and short-term goals.

Want more details?

In What to Expect When Implementing SuccessFactors Performance & Goals Management, AKT highlights a few issues that rarely get the attention of those organizations going through the process of implementing SuccessFactors.

Download free AKT’s guide:
Guide to Implementing Performance & Goals Management

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At AKT, we pride ourselves in being technologically innovative and thought leaders. Our blog offers fresh ideas and insights on digital HR from our global experts, to help you keep ahead of the curve.

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