Deployment of the SuccessFactors succession module

Talent management is essential for all companies, it provides the opportunity to prepare for inevitable employee turnover.

Talent management is essential for all companies, it provides the opportunity to prepare for inevitable employee turnover.

Talent management also permits the development of the human resource proficiencies with the end goal of them being the principal force of the company.  The SuccessFactors succession module allows the company to plan ahead, anticipating risks and therefore limiting them.

What do you need to do to prepare for the installation of SuccessFactors within your company? This article will give you some advice to guide you through the deployment.

3 Concepts to define

Young indian businessman having video call talking to potential employee.
  • What is potential? And how do you define it?

The trick here is to define your objectives in an unbiased and quantifiable manner. The feelings of just the manager or HR manager are not sufficient. Some criteria examples to take into account are as follows: The employees soft skills; their innovation and creativity, the employees past experiences and their growth potential within the company.

  • How can you measure performance?

A company can choose to evaluate the performance of its employees by way of annual performance evaluations. However, there are certain cases where this may not be relevant. For example an employee who has just joined the company, or who has been absent for a long period of time throughout the assessment period.

Young Smiling Businesswoman Interviewing Employee.
gestion de talents
  • How to recognise your talents?

One of the functionality solutions offered by SuccessFactors is the Talent Pool. This is a rapid identification data point, providing the information to recognise the top talent.

Other popular talent indicators are the risk of employee loss, the impact of the loss and the reason for departure.

Deployment steps:

  1. Anticipate the calendar

Several companies use one or more moments in the year to work on their succession planning. The most current period to commence is directly following the annual performance reviews.

In effect, this gives companies the opportunity to take into consideration and employees current performance evaluations, new fixed objectives, and the related development plans.

It is important to define the major steps in your succession plan, and to communicate a detailed timetable to each concerned party.

Concretely, the first step in the process is to gather information regarding each employee. Information such as their previous experience, their goals, and any other relevant details such as diplomas, linguistics and mobility can assist you in defining the succession plan.

The second step involves managers or the HR department in charge of this planning ‘flagging’ (signaling) talent that is currently within their teams.

Once these first steps have been taken, you have the initial tools necessary to begin your planning.

2. Plan for system administration

It is important that your company designates administrators dedicated for succession before the succession planning commences. This is for several reasons, as follows:

  • Ensuring that the Succession software has the correct authorisation and permission, making the necessary changes.
  • Installation of the calibration model, and the parameters to be used for the for the planning of the new year.
  • Run information reports on the previous years before commencing the planning campaign. The system does not always save and store data automatically, for example in the case of those that are undated.


It is equally essential to determine who is the succession planner, and what exactly is their role. For example: Will managers participate? If so in what capacity?  Will they remain unbiased between their department and others due to the nature of their close-working relationships?

3. Which method should companies privilege when organising their successions?

There are two methods to organise successions within SuccessFactors:

  1. A first method based on the job title
  2. A second option based on the job title holder

What we advise you:

The best practice consists of using the approach based on the job position. This is because the succession plan remains intact even if the job holder changes.

It also provides information regarding vacant positions and the required competencies to occupy them. These may not necessarily be the competencies held by the predecessor.

Contrary to this, when we use the second option based on the holder of the job title we focus primarily on the replacement planning, without actually taking a step back to look at the job requisites themselves.

To take this further: accompagnement tools

What are the other tools offered by SuccessFactors to help you in reinforcing your processes for succession planning?

  1. The “Development plan” module is a useful and complimentary tool. The development objectives of an employee can align with the competencies required for a future position, allowing the employee foresight and the ability to prepare for succession.
  2. The portal “Career goals” on the employees profile can be an excellent source of information. It gives us insight into the career aspirations of an employee. This information is essential in identifying an employees interests, and determining their aptitude and suitability for a potential position. 

When setting up the succession management in SuccessFactors, it is important to remember, and consider the points mentioned earlier. Having this knowledge beforehand, and taking into account the global talent management strategy, will help you to go a long way in ensuring a successful deployment.

For more information regarding SuccessFactors Succession module, and how it can be integrated into your company’s strategy please don’t hesitate to contact us:

IRH is a SAP SuccessFactors skill Centre.

Adeline Larnaud

Adeline Larnaud

HRIS consultant


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