Introduction to SuccessFactors Position Management: Q&A on Optimizing Your Org Structure in Employee Central

February 17, 2015

Thank you to everyone who joined our online Q&A on Position Management with SuccessFactors Employee Central, moderated by HR Expert editor M.S. Hein.

Jyoti Sharma Kevin ChanSuccessFactors HCM consultants Jyoti Sharma of HRIZONS and Kevin Chan of Coeus Consulting took readers' questions on Position Management in an hour-long online chat. Topics including comparisons of on-premise SAP HCM org management vs. SuccessFactors Position Management, importing positions from SAP ERP HCM to Employee Central, support for org charts and matrix relationships in EC, and more.

View the chat replay below or read the edited transcript to review all the discussion. 

For more tips and insights, review Jyoti's past Q&As and her contributions to HR Expert, including “Creating Metadata Framework Objects in SuccessFactors Employee Central,” featured in the anthology SuccessFactors and SAP ERP HCM: Technical Tips and Integration Advice


M.S. Hein, Editor, HR Expert:   Welcome to today’s Q&A on SuccessFactors Position Management. I’m M.S. Hein and I’m pleased to have SuccessFactors HCM consultants Jyoti Sharma, of HRIZONS, and Kevin Chan, of Coeus Consulting, with us to answer your questions.

Jyoti is an SAP/SuccessFactors Solution Architect and is VP, Consulting & Services | Cloud HCM at HRizons, an author of an upcoming HR Expert article on Position Management, a contributor to the new HR Expert anthology “SuccessFactors and SAP ERP HCM: Technical Tips and Integration Advice.”
Kevin is an HCM integration consultant and is Dell Boomi Certified and SuccessFactors Associate Certified in Employee Central, Compensation, Performance Management and Goals.

Welcome to you both!

Jyoti Sharma, HRIZONS: Hi Kristine and Margaret, thanks for having us today. Great questions from the audience and looking forward to teaming up with Kevin Chan today. Thanks to all the folks making time for the Q&A today.

Kevin Chan, Coeus Consulting: Hi Kristine & Margaret. Thanks for having us. Look forward to answering your questions.

M.S. Hein:   We’ve had a great response to today’s Q&A and there are already some questions queued up and waiting to be answered. So, without further delay, I’ll let you get to those now.


Comment From Danielle

What are the main differences between SuccessFactors Position Management and On Premise SAP Org Management?

Jyoti Sharma:  Excellent question Danielle! Here are some major differences between EC Position Management and Org Management in SAP on-premise.

  • The Position object does not inherit all the attributes of the Job Classification (i.e. Job Code) Foundation object. Using the Rules Engine you can create a rule to define which attributes of the job classification should be filled when creating or changing positions. Some of the common standard fields between Job Code and Position object that can be filled are Job Title, Job level, Regular or temporary, Pay grade etc. If you have custom fields then they can be filled as well using the Rules engine.
  • EC Position Management empowers you with a position based org chart that displays the position hierarchy and if the integrated with Recruiting Management you can create open requisitions right from the Position Org Chart.
  • To account for global organizational needs, you can define child objects that will contain the country specific fields. Alternatively you can have a conditional association which enables you to enter data on the UI based on the country as well as the value in another field, say for example, the paygrade.
  • EC Position Management allows you to use Event reason derivations so that the system selects the relevant event reason when a position is created or changed. These changes are workflow enabled as well.


Comment From Andreas Kiepke

In a side-by-side architecture between SAP ERP HCM and SF EC, we would like to import positions from SAP ERP OM into SF EC position management. Are there any recommendations regarding this topic? Is there a standard integration scenario on the development roadmap?

Kevin Chan:  In a side-by-side scenario, HR data - typically position data - is only maintained in one system (either EC or SAP ERP OM). However if you did want to replicate the position data there are standard EC positions management APIs that can be used to create custom Boomi iflow to extract SAP ERP OM positions into EC position management. I am not aware of any standard integrations scenarios for this in the development roadmap.

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Comment From MCas

How does JPB and Position Management benefit RCM? Do you need Position Management to leverage JPB? Can you demonstrate using the org structure and Position Management?

Jyoti Sharma:  RCM (Recruiting Management) has been set up to utilize job descriptions from JPB. You can bring in information from JPB similar to what you bring in from families and roles. And no,  you don't need JPB to leverage Position Management.

Comment From Elio DAmore

The client wants to implement SuccessFactors Talent Management Modules PM, GM, SM, CDP, SM, CAL and 360 on top of EP data in a hybrid scenario (SAP HR is and remains the master for transactional HR data). Because of SM and CDP and their processes, they need to have OM structure replicated and sync in SuccessFactors. Can it be done without implementing EC?

Kevin Chan:  In a talent hybrid scenario, the employee data integration replicates the line manager relationship from SAP to SuccessFactors the employee profile. This is then used by other talent modules such as succession and CDP to build their org structure. However, if you would like a detailed OM structure then you will need EC and Position Management.


Comment From Karthik

For a hybrid solution, would it still be required to run PA OM integration programs like RHINTE00 - Transfer Organizational Assignment (PA -> PD), RHINTE30 - Transfer org. assignment in batch input folder for infotype 0001?

Kevin Chan:  Yes, for talent hybrid integration we still need PA OM SAP integration. RHINTE00 will continue to be used to keep both in sync.


Comment From Ralf

Compared to SAP OrgManagement,  is it possible that EC Position Management also offers a  view with OrgUnits, Positions, and Incumbents? So really showing what we call an OrgChart?

Jyoti Sharma:  Yes, EC Position Management when implemented allows you to see a Position-based org chart. Here’s a screenshot illustrating it:

Position Org Chart


Comment From Guest

What is the recommended way to set up positions at different levels? Can the head of division also be implicitly made the supervisor for all positions in that division?

Jyoti Sharma:  You can use the matrix relationships in the position hierarchy to accomplish position set-up to create a hierarchy. No, the head of a Division cannot be implicitly made the supervisor of all positions in that division from a reporting line perspective. However, you can have all other positions in a particular division report to the Division Head’s position as the parent.


Comment From Guest

Which is the best way to set up the org structure in EC if there are 6 to 11 levels in the client organizational structure? Should the foundation objects, like division with child relationship, be used to support multiple levels?

Jyoti Sharma:  There is no one way of setting up the org structure for any client that does not subscribe to the standard Foundation objects. It requires thorough brainstorming of all aspects that necessitate a 6- to 11-level org structure. In most cases it is possible to reduce the number of levels once we understand the business intent behind having a structure like that. There can be a number of ways to tackle the multiple levels in an org structure by a smart usage of standard Foundation Objects and Generic objects.


Comment From soumendu

Is there any way we can maintain matrix org structure with position management?

Jyoti Sharma:  Yes, you can maintain matrix relationships with EC Position Management. With the 1502 release, the matrix relationship maintained on the position hierarchy is inherited by the employee assigned to the position as well. In fact using RBPs you can also restrict access to the Position object based on the matrix relationship. This is a very potent feature, one that we are seeing grab customers’ attention.

Here’s a screenshot illustrating a matrix relationship on a position object:

Matrix Relationship 


Comment From Deepraj

What kind of requirement would suit jobInfo-to-position sync instead of position-to-jobInfo sync?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Deepraj, great question. Here are some scenarios where jobInfo-to-Position sync will be helpful:

  • When you change the employee record on the jobInfo such that the system regards the change as Position reclassification of Position transfer. In such cases having the jobInfo-to-Position sync will ensure data integrity.
  • When a position is maintained both in an old and the current jobInfo record and the position was not changed manually when creating the new jobInfo record.


Comment From Elio DAmore

I understood that in order to import SAP OM Objects (like Position and Job Code) into Employee Profile (Client is not using Employee Central), corresponding custom General Objects need to be created in SuccessFactors. For a client that wants to manage Succession Planning using position instead of employee data, is there any out-of-the-box integration package available from SAP? Is the client forced to buy a license for using General Object SKU in SuccessFactors ?

There is no standard integration to send position data from SAP OM to SuccessFactors. However, if you did want to replicate the position data, there are standard EC position management APIs that can be used to create custom Boomi iflow to extract SAP ERP OM positions into EC position management. Regarding licensing, to use position management you need an Employee Central license.

Comment From Guest

What is the main selling point of position control vs. upkeep via the Employee Profile in Employee Central?

Jyoti Sharma:  Position control prevents you from creating unnecessary positions leading to budget overspills. It also helps you maintain a stable headcount in a department. Also, Position Management is a feature included in the Employee Central product, and is not a separate product. Employee Profile does not provide you the extensive abilities for maintaining and tracking positions as EC Position Management.

Comment From Pieter

Can you leverage the position/org structure as maintained in ECC in the SuccessFactors system? We have business processes in place to maintain the ECC structure.

Kevin Chan:  When you are maintaining HR data in SAP, you use talent hybrid integration. In this scenario, yes, you can maintain employee and org structure data. The employee data integration replicates the line manager relationship from SAP to the SuccessFactors employee profile. This is then used by other talent modules to build their org structure.


Comment From Renee Lewis

Approximately how long do you think a good implementation of Position Management would take an organization of 2000 employees? We currently have just under 600 unique Job Classifications.

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Renee,

The implementation timeframe will depend on a few factors which I will list here. This is based on the assumption that you have already implemented standard scope Employee Central:

  • Are you a global organization? If yes, have you already completed the harmonization of your job codes globally?
  • Have you already completed an exercise to brainstorm what a potential position management solution will look like for you?

Assuming the above steps haven't been completed, we would generally estimate the following timelines:

  • 1 week for requirement gathering workshops and validation of requirements.
  • 2-4 weeks for configuration and testing. A lot depends on the complexity of requirements and rules that need to be configured, workflows to be enabled, etc.
  • Approximately 1 week for data import, assuming that you have to gather all the data elements and populate the templates.

Hope this helps provide you some idea of what a Position Management implementation will look like.


Comment From Kheren

In EC, can we create n levels of foundation objects like groups and sub-groups, areas and sub-areas? Is that a good recommendation? Is there any restriction?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Kheren,
Yes, in addition to the standard Foundation objects you can enhance the org structure by creating generic objects.
There aren't any restrictions, but I always recommend customers to really think through the number of levels that they intend to create in the org structure.
The key is to use various aspects of EC to meet the business needs. Creating an org structure with multiple levels may not always be the right approach, but then it depends on the unique needs of the customer we are working with.

Comment From Guest

Is it possible to roll out the functionality incrementally? Our business feels there is a use case for position management to be implemented as standalone module; however, our implementation partner has said that Employee Central must be implemented in its entirety and it replaces on-premise PA and OM. That does not really sound practical because obviously there is no local solution for Middle East countries in EC at the moment, whereas on-premise SAP offers a country solution for UAE, KSA, Qatar, etc.

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Guest, No you don't need to implement EC in its entirety, but you do have to turn it on and get the bare bones in place, i.e. the Foundation Objects and Employee data objects. Once you have done that, you can implement Position Management. The key factors to consider are as follows:

  • What processes and functions will be carried out in SAP vs. EC?
  • What will be your integration strategy between SAP and EC?
  • Will EC be used only for Position Management while all other info is read-only in EC, and SAP is the system of record instead?

Hope this helps.


Comment From Kheren

I wonder if when creating Positions in EC, it is a good practice do that through a workflow? Right now i believe you can only create positions but with no workflow associated.

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Kheren, you can create workflows for positions with OnSave. It is a good practice to have workflows especially for Positions that may belong to higher pay grades and require approvals. Here's an example of a position workflow: 

Position Workflow


Comment From Guest

Could you use a tool like Nakisa to maintain the structure?

Jyoti Sharma:  I believe you can, but EC comes with an elaborate org chart based on reporting line as well as Position if you have implemented Position Management in EC.


Comment From Pieter

Is it recommended to convert from using ECC OM to using SuccessFactors OM going forward, or is a hybrid model acceptable?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Pieter, it really depends on what the business needs are.
If you are on SAP on-premise and planning to replace it with SuccessFactors, then yes, you can do so. Alternatively, you can explore the side-by-side deployment model if that may suit you better in the interim.


Comment From soumendu

We have Boomi replication for org structures where BU, division and departments will be org units. What if the requirement is 10 -15 levels of org hierarchy? What is planned for that?

Kevin Chan:  If you have multiple levels of org hierarchy, this can be handle by connecting departments together.

Here is a screenshot of how the BU, division and departments would relate to each other:

Org Hierarch

I have also included a screenshot of the parent division field where you can link two departments together: 

Parent Division Field

Comment From AM

Is it possible to differentiate between the data that gets synced to the Job Info using the 'Position to Job Info' sync and what gets propagated to the employee's Job Information when I assigned the employee to the Position?
For example: I might want to propagate the Organization and Job Information when I assign the Position, but only want the Organization changes (not Job changes) on the Position to be synced to the Employee automatically.

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi AM,
Yes, you define what needs to be synced in the Position-to-Job sync or Job-to-Position sync rule in the Rules Engine.


Comment From Kheren

Is it a good practice to give permission to managers to create positions? In that case, where on SuccessFactors should they go to request or create a position?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Kheren,

You can give permission to managers, but EC also has the capability to look for a vacant position if one already exists -- and if not you can tell the system in the Position Management settings to create a new position. If you decide to give managers access to create positions, a good approach would be to have them do it from the Position Org chart.


Comment From soumendu

In a hybrid solution, we need to capture the org unit to be replicated in SAP for structural authorization. How is the position relationship with the Org unit captured in SuccessFactors to make this happen?

Kevin Chan:  In a talent hybrid solution, the org unit can be integrated to SuccessFactors on the employee data integration via the department field. This can be then used as one of the criteria in SuccessFactors role-based permissions.


Comment From Deepraj

How does JPB benefit Position Management and EC in general?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Deepraj,
JPB is set up to be integrated with Recruiting so clients can use it for job descriptions. There aren't any explicit benefits of JPB in the context of Position Management and EC.
Also, EC is deeply integrated with RCM (Recruiting Management) now, so the preference really should be to use EC for maintaining job codes and positions. You can create open requisitions right from the Position Org Chart! :)


Comment From Guest

We are looking to default values from a Job Code assignment to a position via business rule. One of the values is from a standard picklist. It seems we are only able to add MDF picklists to the Object Definition for Position (not standard picklists). The picklist value from the job code therefore doesn't default as it isn't an MDF picklist. Have you faced this issue before and how did you resolve it? Thanks!

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Guest,
Correct. You need to create an MDF Picklist and if you are trying to pull values for a data element that has a regular picklist, then the picklist code of your MDF picklist must match the picklist code defined in the csv file for the regular picklist. HR Expert might also have some articles that can help here or here.


Comment From soumendu

For structural authorization, Position to Org unit relation is important.  Will it possible in SuccessFactors?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Soumendu,
You can maintain any of the Foundation objects used in org structure on the Position object. The system will then pull all values of, say, for example, Business Units, Departments, etc., to be assigned when creating a Position object.

Comment From soumendu: Great. That’s the idea. Thanks, Jyoti.

Jyoti Sharma:  Sure, you are most welcome Soumendu.


Comment From Guest

What is the normal behavior in the position org chart when a manager changes position? (We have experienced that the manager in his new position doesn't automatically assume the reports of his new position.)

Jyoti Sharma: If you are using the matrix relationship on the Position object, then after the 1502 release the inheritance of the matrix relationships takes place in all cases.


Comment From Kheren

Just as a comment, we have RCM and JPB based on Positions, and I understand RCM only supports JPB based on Roles, NOT based on Positions. I wonder if you have thoughts on that? Is there is something we have been missing?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Kheren, your understanding is accurate.


Comment From Guest

We are looking to implement position management with the position hierarchy as the leading hierarchy. If the manager position changes or the incumbent of the parent position changes, then the Job Information for the subordinate employees does not update automatically with the new supervisor. Is this an scenario you have encountered before?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Guest, if you are using matrix relationships on the Position object then after 1502 these relationships are inherited to the jobInfo of the employee assigned to the changed position.


Comment From Michael

Is there some graphic (or could you tell me) how Job Classification, Job Function, Job Role, Position are interacting? I have a basic idea, but i dont get the big picture :)

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Michael, that is a great question but better responded through a verbal discussion, however I will attempt to provide some clarity here:

1. Job Classification is a Foundation Object that is used to maintain various attributes a customer needs on the job code.

2. Job Function is also a Foundation Object that can be further used by companies to qualify their jobs. 

3. Position is a generic object available through the MDF. The Position object allows you to create position/positions linked to a Job Classification (i.e. Job code that will have a job description and other attributes).

4. I will introduce the concept of jobInfo here to give you the big picture: The jobInfo section in the Employment Information View for an employee consists of all the org, job, and position-related information for the employee. So in essence, the Position, the Job Classification, Job Function all come together in the JobInfo Section of the employee record. You can choose what elements you would like to maintain in the JobInfo for an employee.

5. There are also extensive capabilities in the system to default and propagate data elements between the Position object and the JobInfo in the employee record.

6. Job Families and roles are concepts used mainly by the Talent modules. Job Families broadly categorize your jobs in a company, and Job Roles are titles used to define a particular designation held by an employee. Job roles specific to a group based on pre-defined criteria are combined under a Job Family.

You may have a follow-up question on how all this plays out when you implement Employee Central? Now the job and roles and families are integrated with various modules (Performance, Recruiting, Succession) based on the Job Code. When EC is implemented, the Job Classification Foundation object in EC needs to be integrated to job families and roles so it can be re-used there, leading to reduction in data maintenance and data consistency.

Hope the above helps gain some clarity. I also have an upcoming article on Position Management that will shed some light on Job and Position.


Comment From Goedele

What are the main limitations/differences of using Position Management when a client only has EP and not Employee Central?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Goedele, Position Management is a feature within the EC product so you cannot use Position Management if you have just implemented EP. You will need to implement EC to leverage Position Management. Now, if you are planning to implement the Talent modules first and Succession is one of them, then it is advisable to turn on Position Management to leverage MDF positions for Succession.


Comment From Guest

How does your system support employees placed in dual positions?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Guest, EC does have capabilities to handle concurrent employment with limited functionality at the moment.


Comment From Deepraj

Is there a way to restrict employee selection in Take Action> JobInfo > Position Info > Positions under Employee? Although the person making the change should know whom to select, we often get this requirement from clients. It is similar to the Supervisor field in jobInfo, which cannot be restricted to just managers?

Jyoti Sharma:  Hi Deepraj,
That is an interesting requirement. I am not aware off the top of my head if it is possible, but there definitely is a potential for a creative solution by using RBP and rules.
If you want to email me the detailed requirement I would love to prototype or even brainstorm the solution with you. Cheers and thanks for asking such great questions.


Comment From Jeremy

You guys are rocking it! Great job!

Jyoti Sharma:  Hey Jeremy, thanks for making time to support us here! See you in Vegas soon.


M.S. Hein:  Thanks to everyone who joined in today’s Q&A. If you’re looking for more SuccessFactors advice after the Q&A has ended, you’ll find technical tips on both core HCM and SuccessFactors here at HR Expert.  And Jyoti is currently working on an article about Position Management for HR Expert, and will also be joining us at HR 2015 this March in Las Vegas.


Kevin Chan: Thanks everyone for your time today. We had some great questions. You can reach me at  at and visit the Coeus Consulting website.

Jyoti Sharma: Thank you all for your participation today. I enjoyed it thoroughly and hope it added value for you as well. Feel free to follow up with me at and the HRIZONS website. Thanks Kristine, Margaret and Kevin.

M.S. Hein:   For more on SuccessFactors, you can read Jyoti's co-authored article “Creating Metadata Framework Objects in SuccessFactors Employee Central,” in the HR Expert anthology SuccessFactors and SAP ERP HCM: Technical Tips and Integration Advice. This anthology gathers some great technical tips and advice from other expert authors, including Danielle Larocca, Priynk Gautam, Prashant Rastogi, Luke Marson, Mohan Paul Varghese, and Manjunath Bannur in one complete package

M.S. Hein:  Thank you to Jyoti Sharma and Kevin Chan for taking the time to answer questions today.

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