A New Paradigm for SAP SuccessFactors Payroll

One of the curious things in life is that what might appear to be simple, is really more complex than it seems. We can look at the recruiting process, for example: We need to fill a position so we tell HR, they post some ads and work with recruiters to get us a list of candidates, we interview them and hire one. Those in HR know the process is much more detailed and complex than that, but if you’re not the process owner then you don’t really ever get an appreciation for those details and complexity. The same goes for my favorite function – payroll.

First - Think Big

It happens all the time, and has happened for years. When a customer is evaluating new HR/Payroll software they ask questions in terms of how they do things today. In today's terms. Will the new software allow us to do 'x' in process 'y'? Maybe because the current software platform had to be customized to do 'x' and we want to make sure the new software can do that too. Or, maybe because that is all we know to ask, to frame questions in terms of what the current system does. Regardless, that approach misses a lot of opportunity.

Using Leverage

With the growth of Employee Central and the decline of on-premise SAP HR, there are a lot of companies in the process of replacing their HR systems. Those who are not actively in that process are actively contemplating it. And the opportunities for improving your HR/Payroll operations haven't been so numerous since the last time you implemented systems. So take advantage of it!

Like a box of chocolates

Over the years I've had the experience of buying a few used cars. I’ll borrow and tweak Forrest Gump’s catchy line: buying a used car is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. At least not until you have it and drive it for a while. The first car I bought was great off the lot, and then proceeded to need a lot of repairs. The second car drove like the champ it still is. Last week I bought another one and, well we don’t yet know how this one will turn out. Another month or two will tell us how we fared.

The Interview vs The Template

When we replace HR systems (with SAP, SuccessFactors or anything else) there is usually a group of consultants who know the current system but not the customer’s business practices, and a customer who doesn’t know how their new HR system works. To make that new HR system work, we have to set it up for the customer’s business practices. And that means gathering and sharing information. I think too often we focus more on gathering than sharing, but that is a topic for another day.

Simplicity as a Touchstone

Fools ignore complexity, Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it – Alan Perlis

I’m convinced that one of the most overlooked aspects of HCM technical consulting is the practice of implementing simple solutions. Simplicity is most always the best path to follow. Simple solutions are easier to setup, configure and train regardless of the technical platform. They are more reliable and they generally cost less to run and maintain.