Lessons Learned Implementing SAP Qualification Catalogs and Career Models

SAP Qualification Catalogs and Career Models implementations are usually more complex from the functional perspective (process definition & implementation; data generation and maintenance) than from the technical perspective (configuration; FRICE). Here are some lessons I have learned when implementing this functionality with different clients:

  • When defining Corporate Competencies Model, the Competency SME team should work closely with the SAP HR implementation team in order to align the deliverables with the SAP PD requirements. A SME and a methodology (Hay Group, others) is also recommended for this effort.
  • A Job Classification with specific jobs definition aligns better with SAP PD requirements, since more qualifications can be assigned at the Job Level (or Functional Area and Job Families in latest releases) instead of the Position Level. Qualifications assigned at position level require a more significant maintenance effort. This is also valid for the Career Model definitions, which should be composed mostly (ideally just) by Jobs. For instance: Avoid using Analyst (generic), instead use Marketing Analyst or IT Analyst (specific)
  • The different levels of expertise for a specific skill; knowledge or experience should be defined as proficiency levels for one qualification, instead of defining different qualifications for each level. This approach is relevant in career/succession planning, Profiles Matchup and Recruitment process where current employee/applicant Qualifications Profiles are compared with the Jobs/Positions Requirements Profiles. If different Qualifications are defined for each expertise level, the searches will not match the Qualifications for proposing suitable internal/external applicants for a position or for finding Jobs/Positions based on employee Qualifications for his/her development in the company
  • Implement PD functionality for a Pilot Group which represents the different areas and hierarchy levels of the organization for evaluating the model implemented and the different processes. Once this model is validated and possible adjustments are incorporated, expand the solution to the rest of the organization.
  • Since these are sensitive and usually new processes for the employees and the organization in general, the change management support is critical for a successful implementation. For a long term effective implementation of these processes, a proper definition and implementation of the specific procedures including the permanent data update is critical. This aspect is specifically relevant for the employee Qualifications Profiles.
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