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Making HCM a Business Priority

SAP TVN 3.0 & Succession Management

SAP TVN continues to take centre stage in SAP's Talent Management strategy. Having recently implemented the Succession Management module for a global company, Stephen Burr of ROC talks about his experience and gives an insight into the latest release of SAP Visualization Solutions by Nakisa (SAP VSN) Succession Management Global Implementation

ROC is currently implementing SAP Succession Management for a leading global manufacturer in Europe with over 80,000 employees, operating in over 70 countries. A huge plus going into this project was the up front work the organisation had undertaken in preparing themselves for such a project. From a business perspective, they have a Global Head of Succession Management and clearly defined appraisal and succession management processes which are already being followed (although currently utilising a variety of technologies). These processes gather important information such as performance and potential ratings in a constructive and guided way. From a technology perspective, they are a strong advocate of SAP technology and have a global SAP instance (with SAP's Portal). In addition they already utilise an organisational charting tool, performance management, have a competency catalogue and had started to define their Job Architecture (or "Talent Framework") structure. Succession Management is the icing on the cake that sees them benefit from the foundations they've laid.

Usability was Key...

A key project goal was Usability, so all access is portal based. Talent Management Specialists use SAP's Portal content in conjunction with the Job Architecture and Succession Planning modules of SAP Talent Visualization by Nakisa (TVN). Job Architecture is used to visualize, live from SAP, the hierarchy used to organise and manage Talent related data such as positions, jobs, job families and functional areas. Key to this structure is the concept of assigning competencies at any level and having them inherit down.

Figure 1:

Example of a Job Architecture

Making HCM a Business Priority

SAP TVN 3.0 & Succession Management

Succession Planning is used to identify of key positions and manage successors to these key positions by looking across their organisational structure. talent groups are not initially being used in their processes and some further work is planned on the assignment of competencies to their Job Architecture before the "profile match" functionality can be fully utilised to find suitable candidates for succession based on their competencies versus those required of a position.


On 29th September 2010, SAP VSN version 3.0 was released onto SAP Service Marketplace after it gained SAP Premium Qualification. This means it has been certified against parameters of security, accessibility, performance & documentation. This version of the product adds further capability in the Organisational and Talent Management areas of SAP and highlights how SAP and Nakisa are working jointly to ensure that this solution extension is included in the product and enhancement pack roadmap.

Figure 2: Succession Planning

ROC Extras...

The project has stuck close to the key business processes and utilises most of the standard SAP functionality (ECC6, Portal and TVN). However, we have still enhanced the functionality to hold some additional data against employees ("talent") as well as adding some reporting (via the Portal) because the client wanted access to the raw data to manipulate it for further statistical analysis and present it in a variety of additional styles and formats. On the SAP TVN side the application has been extended to visualize additional data, key to their business. However, it is also true that the project is not aiming to utilise all standard functionality from day one. For example,

What's New...

New in VSN 3.0 is the introduction of 3 new modules. `Data Quality Console' and `Org Manager' are within Organisational Visualisation and `Career Planning' is within Talent Visualisation. Career Planning is aimed at empowering employees and builds on the talent framework and competency catalogue to enable every employee to ask: · Where am I now? A snapshot of current competencies · Where do I want to be? Search & identify jobs of interest · How will I get there? Analysis of competency gap between current snapshot and what is required for jobs of interest.

Making HCM a Business Priority

SAP TVN 3.0 & Succession Management


Stephen Burr, SAP VSN Solution Architect Stephen Burr is ROC's Senior Architect for SAP Visualization Solutions by Nakisa, with a number of years' experience in the technology (over 10 assignments to date). He has expertise in both Organisational and Talent Visualization solutions and has spoken about these at numerous SAP HR Insider events and on ROC webcasts. Figure 3: CareerPlanning E: [email protected] Twitter: @BurrStephen

User Experience Improvements...

All VSN modules have had some updates to the GUI to enhance the user experience by utilising Adobe Flex powered charts which greatly enhances the chart navigation and rendering. The most prevalent module, OrgChart, has some new features such as Social Link which provides employee self service features for business and social networking and Succession Planning also has the new addition of a "guided process" to walk you through finding and assigning successors.

About ROC

ROC is global services partner of Nakisa and continues to work closely in such things as beta testing and acting as implementation partner on ramp up projects. ROC's expertise continues to grow (we recently put live the first 3.0 OrgChart customer) and we welcome the recent announcement of Nakisa's certification programme to recognise this. To find out more about SAP TVN and ROC's extensive experience, please contact us on [email protected]

And Behind the Scenes...

VSN has evolved too; it is now deployed on the SAP NetWeaver CE platform and is upgradeable (from 3.0 onwards). The application is further configured with the addition of "Add Ons" which can be deployed to enhance the standard functionality further. A welcome change for me as an implementer, is the ability to access any backend tables and remote enabled functions (standard or custom written) allowing for easier extension to the standard product to meet customer requirements. t: +44 (0) 8702 41 43 49

ROC is BS EN ISO 9001:2000 certified for `implementing and supporting SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions'


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