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Best practices for SAP SuccessFactors release management

One of the advantages of owning a cloud solution is ensuring that your system is on the newest and greatest solution. With SAP SuccessFactors, their bi-annual releases are most times packed with new features and functionalities. Sure, releases are exciting, but do you have a process in place on how to manage these releases? What is your strategy internally?

These releases, a lot of times, reflect on the user’s configuration and can impact their current SAP SuccessFactors system. Yes, there is time before it hits production so that you can preview these new changes, but how you manage this time is important. Read below for some best practices for SAP SuccessFactors release management.

Having a plan is key to a successful release

Between preview and production, there is a month-long window. Prior to and during this time, an organization should have a process in place. Who is involved from your side? Having dedicated staff and strong communication is important when ensuring the release process goes smoothly. Relying on a partner, like HR Path, can really help make sure that you have support on how it may impact your configuration as well as best practices for your organization with these releases. With these releases, features need to be validated. For example:

  • Will these new features fit within your process?
  • Make sure your process still works and if or how the process will change
  • Make sure your users and admin are prepped
  • Follow-up activities on how to organization

Determine what you want to enable

You may not want to enable everything within the release. Some of these features may not be practical for your organization at that moment or it may dramatically impact your configuration. Sure, makes sense, but be careful that you don’t fall too behind. Do not want to enable a feature in a release? There are some things to consider:

  • If you fall behind, stay as close to the new upgrade as possible
  • You will start seeing glitches.
  • Be sure to validate why you do not want to enable a certain feature
  • Eventually you will have to move to the newest release, time depends on the functionality
  • If you wait too long, it could be more costly

Leverage resources that are available to you

SAP SuccessFactors has many online user groups and communities where you can connect with others. During releases, this can be very beneficial to discuss with other organizations who could be experiencing similar situations to you. At HR Path, we have a series of webinars where our senior consultants highlight the releases in the different areas/modules. They provide guidance and wisdom on what they recommend you should consider as well as the best options for the release.

Test, Test, Test – Automated Testing for SuccessFactors

Of course, with releases, testing is critical. It is important to see how the release impacts your configuration before it hits production. Not only that but there are also bugs that occur within the system from releases. In some areas of SuccessFactors, there could be issues that would not be addressed until the mid-year release and then resolved at the year-end release. If SuccessFactors introduces issues into the release, customers will need to live with this for six months. For this reason, customers will need to pay close attention to issues introduced by the release to be sure their system is running optimally until the issues are resolve during the next release.  This is why ongoing testing is critical.

HR Path offers full testing coverage from manual testing to automated testing. Test4Success is our automated testing service for SuccessFactors that can save you time, costs, and ultimately reduce risk in your environment. With our Test4Success offering, you can automate all testing for every module of SuccessFactors. We have created a service that offers 1,000+ predefined tests that are adaptable to your environment. Test4Success also creates customized tests to cater exactly to your needs. As well as our automated testing offering, we have a manual testing service that can make sure your whole testing strategy is being optimized to its full advantage.

Interested in learning more? Be sure to join us on October 12th for a special webinar as HR Path sits down with our client, Corning, to discuss how they have leveraged Test4Success – Automated Testing for SuccessFactors – during releases. Click here to register. 

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