Highlights of EP4 Talent Management (Series 1 of 10)

One of the most common questions we get from clients concerning Talent Management during implementation or even in pre-sales discussions is:  What do I get when I enable Talent Management?   While I hope to explore the various detailed components within Talent Management EP4 in upcoming posts of this 10 part series, to get started I thought it would be good to give a general overview.

In order to appreciate the changes incorporated into EP4 Talent Management, a brief review of history of the talent suite in SAP will be our starting point.  In most recent history, Pre EP4 ECC 6, the major components of Talent Management consisted of:

  • Qualifications catalog
  • Skills profile in ESS
  • MBO Appraisals.


Qualifications could be entered by the TM administrator, essentially items like Education, Certification, Soft Skills, Tech skills, etc.  The Qualifications catalog is basically a glorified list – or inventory.   This list is something that the client will either need to get a subscription to or create their own custom Quals catalog.  A Key point to note and a common question from most clients: What’s in the standard delivered Catalog?  Answer: There is no standard delivered SAP Quals catalog. It must be built, complied, categorized and organized.  This activity is very time consuming if the client has not already gone down the path of making a multitude of decisions around what’s included in our catalog, what do we want to track? Who owns the Quals catalog? etc.  In addition to the inventory of qualifications, each Qualification may require a level or skill rating scale designation to go with it.  So a folow up activitiy involves setting up scales and matching them to Quals.     Once the Quals catalog is built, Quals can be attached to OM Objects ie.  Positions, Jobs, Orgs and if desired – people.   The process of attaching Quals to positions and jobs is another very time consuming activity, usually involving the employment group or even the compensation department.  Once Quals are attached to Jobs or Positions, these qualifications are inherited by any more specific Org Object in SAP.  Starting from the most general to the most specific:  Org(O),Job(C),Position(S),Person(P).   The importance of this point is that if you attach the Qualification at the Highest or most General level ie. Org, you typically will have fewer items to setup and maintain.   The more specific a client gets, and usually they want it at the Position level, the more time and maintenance they will be getting themselves into.  It’s a simple math issue – typically a large company – like SWA – will have around a thousand Orgs, but contains over 34,000 positions.   1000 vs 34,000 – so yes that would be 34 times the effort.  So enough on Quals.  Key to note here is in Pre-Ep4 SAP, this was the OM object list you could tie Quals to (Org,Job,Position, Person).

The Skills profile, delivered as a standard iview in ESS by SAP in ECC6.0 , is used by the Employees to note the Qualifications they posses and their skill level at that qual.  To see the qualifications attached to employees, you can run the standard report – Talent Profile matchup.

The last component of TM in the Pre-Ep4 ECC 60 scene is the appraisal portion of the suite.  MBO appraisals – or more formally known as (M)anagement (b)y (O)bjectives templates are configured primarily in the transaction PHAP_CATALOG.  In addition there are a couple other key transactions to configure Appraisal Documents in EP3 and earlier SAP.

  • PHAP_ADMIN – Report on Appraisal documents and control the status of docs:  Delete, Update,View etc.
  • PHAP_CHANGE – Edit an existing Appraisal Document
  • PHAP_CREATE – Create an appraisal document from a released Template
  • OOHAP_BASIC – displays the settings : columns,values,scales, push buttons, workflow settings etc.
  • OOHAP_VALUE_TYPE – Rating Scales, and values.
  • OOHAP_SETTINGS  – contains the high level switch to enable the new PA system

MBO appraisals utilize the BSP (Business Server Page) technology in the pre – EP4 SAP world.   They have notoriously limited navigation, look and feel unless you want to spend alot of time developing JAVA/HTML wrappers to improve the experience.  On the plus side of things, MBO appraisals accomidated for several delivered badis, and a standard Workflow delivered out of the box.  Finally the print version of the Appraisal includes a PDF version standard.

In the next blog post I will be focusing more on whats new in EP4 TM and diving deeper into each of the elements included in the TM suite.  For a brief visual overview of whats new in EP4, EP4 Talent Screen Shots, it includes many screen shots of the new functionality in EP4 – good for client orientation and expectation setting.

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