Human Capital Management Blogs by Members
Gain valuable knowledge and tips on SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite and human capital management market from member blog posts. Share your insights with a post of your own.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
More and more companies nowadays are considering migrate their core HCM system to SuccessFactors Employee Central.

In this essay, I’d like to share some experience of managing picklist migration when transforming core HCM system into Employee Central.

First, when to do the picklist migration?

Lots of clients invested in SuccessFactors talent solution in the past and plan to migrate the core HCM system to SuccessFactors need to consider picklist migration.

Picklist migration is conducted by SAP and the schedule could vary from client to client. It will be a mini project to get it done separately.

The most cost and time effective way is to manage it together with SuccessFactors Employee Central transformation project.

Second, how this will impact project timeline and instance strategy.

It's important to align cut over activities with picklist migration schedule in both Preview and Production stack.

  • DEV and QA instance in Preview stack

  • Recommend having Preview stack migration completed before SIT

  • UAT (and/or Payroll Parallel) and Production instances in Production stack

  • Recommend having Production stack migration completed before UAT (This is to make sure it will be properly tested in Production stack before moved to Production)

Third, prepare buffer for migration issues and exceptions.

From employee central perspective, there are varies of things may lead to migration issues, which require extra time to fix the issues and wait another round from SAP to complete the migration.

Due to the gratuity of picklist configuration and other on-going project activities, following items will help to manage this procedure and reduce risk.

  • Build proper naming convention of new picklist for different SuccessFactors Modules

  • Follow Picklist Migration Guideline and Validation Check Tool provided by SAP

  • Make use of Success Check process to identify picklist issue before migration and cut over (recommend before SIT)

For production cut-off, it is critical to make sure all the existing picklist are exactly the same as the one in Production, except new picklist values or new picklists to be synced.

  • Before 2005b release, instance sync tool will overwrite picklist with same external code and regenerate new option ID. This will impact existing Talent modules like REC, LMS if the existing option ID is referenced.

  • After 2005b release, SAP introduced a new rule to validate picklist external code and picklist ID not consistence between source and target system

Following is the general process flow and decision point for reference.


Employee Central as the core and fundamental component of the SuccessFactors solution, is not just the “system of record” but as the hub where everything in the organization comes together to transform how you manage your workforce for business goals and success. A small decision with Picklist, Data Model, User Role will have “Butterfly Effect” that result in big differences in the later state of the project.


The journey to next generation HXM platform and Employee Central is never easy.
1 Comment
Labels in this area