SAP HR and HCM training tutorial

This SAP ERP Human Capital Management (HCM) training tutorial will help SAP HR and HCM administrators maximize their use of SAP ERP HCM.

This training tutorial is designed to help human resources (HR) administrators better utilize the SAP HR module,...

SAP human capital management (HCM) and the entire collection of SAP HR tools as a single platform for monitoring, managing and analyzing an organization's HR processes.

In this guide, SAP HR administrators will find tips for SAP HR planning, such as:

  1. How to create a business case for SAP HR in your organization;
  2. How to plan an SAP HR implementation;
  3. How to manage employees better;
  4. How to build in organizational controls;
  5. How to execute SAP HR projects; and
  6. How to improve SAP human resources (HR) training.

This SAP HR training tutorial will walk HR managers, HR directors and SAP developers through SAP's HR/HCM modules, while providing tips from SAP HR and SAP /HCM experts that will help an organization improve its SAP HR system.

Table of contents:

SAP HR/HCM planning
Information technology skills for the SAP HR developer
Managing employees with SAP HR
SAP HR reporting tips and techniques



SAP HR/HCM planning

There are many different kinds of HR software and many enterprise HR software vendors. If you're an HR director evaluating HR software solutions, the ERP vendor SAP will probably be on your short-list of prospective vendors. No matter whether your HR-related function is technology- or business-oriented, you'll find information in this training tutorial to help with your company's SAP HR/HCM planning.

Understanding SAP HR

HR applications touch upon many processes in an organization, not to mention every employee. Implementing SAP HR or upgrading to SAP HR is a major commitment in terms of time and money that may make the HR department reconsider all of its people-facing policies, rules and goals in such a way as to ease the transition to SAP-supported business processes, taxonomies and tools.

For SAP HR training, managers may be interested in reading books about SAP HR such as HR Personnel Planning and Development Using SAP and mySAP HR: Technical Principles and Programming. These two books explain the strategic scope of an SAP HR project as well as the technical details involved. In order to better understand the practice of HR in the e-business era, check out e-HR: Human Resourcesin the Digital Age. Excerpts from other SAP HR books and HCM from SAP Press books on the site.

For SAP HR planning, begin with the SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) Solution Map to see what SAP is offering in terms of high-level functionality. You might also want to examine Structures in SAP HR for a look at nuts-and-bolts functionality. If you still need more business context, read the SAP ERP HCM overview.

More tips for SAP HR planning
Learn how to approach SAP HR ROI in a systems context

Find answers to SAP HR training questions

Understand the unfolding HR transformation

 Another important skill is being able to change settings in SAP HCM, so you can configure SAP HCM to your company's specific policies. It might come in handy to know where to find the settings pertaining to retroactive accounting in SAP HR payroll. Other good HR skills to have are knowing how to limit quota deduction amounts or how to make an SAP HR change from the calendar year to the fiscal year.

Making a business case for SAP HR

An HR manager or IT manager may have to make a business case for SAP HR. They can get the ROI numbers and benefits lined up by measuring the value of SAP HR solutions. It will help to know the weaknesses of SAP HR. Deploying an SAP enterprise application is often a long-term commitment, and you'll need to conduct your due diligence throughout the evaluation process. One idea is to specify key functionality and use weighted criteria in picking your human resources software vendor of choice.

SAP HR and SAP HCM benefits

In some cases, return on investment (ROI) can be the determining factor in choosing an HR solution or looking at SAP ERP HCM. For example, the city of Mississauga, in Ontario, Canada, decided to implement SAP HCM after years of using Oracle's PeopleSoft HR software, citing a need for a greater ROI.

The city was looking for more functionality in its HR software, such as better workflow and employee self-service, which would allow employees to access and update their personal records.

When the city decided in 2008 to replace its Oracle PeopleSoft HR system with SAP ERP HCM, they could not calculate the long-term cost benefits of SAP HCM, but were able to calculate that, in the short term, SAP would wind up costing 45% less per CPU than Oracle PeopleSoft. Another cost benefit was that Mississauga had historically paid less in consulting costs for its SAP upgrades in ERP Financials applications than for PeopleSoft upgrades. Another incentive: The city already used SAP BusinessObjects as a BI platform, so managing one platform – SAP -- would save IT administrators a good deal of time.

Another SAP ERP HCM user, the British Satellite Company, decided to replace its separate HR and payroll systems with SAP ERP HCM Personnel Administration, Organizational management, Benefits and Payroll. By centralizing its SAP Human Capital Management system, the company was able to integrate the requirements of the new system into one set of processes, and automatic integration with the existing finance system was introduced to help streamline the payroll process.

Implementing SAP HR

If you decide on SAP as your HR/HCM solution, you may want to consult an SAP HR implementation guide. Most companies have to tweak the SAP HR/HCM module, which is why it pays to know about optimizing HR with custom objects.

The core of SAP HR management and planning is to translate board-, executive- and regulation-driven goals into policies that touch all employees and govern the processes surrounding the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to post-termination record-keeping. That's a vast undertaking, but one that makes more sense if you break it up into smaller segments. Start by thinking of SAP HR as a set of administrative tools that lets you drive HR policies into the heart of an organization.

More SAP HR training resources

Get tips and advice from's new SAP HR expert, Sheryl Springer Middleton.

Read her advice on SAP HR or pose your own question to her or our panel of other SAP experts.

Consolidating multiple HR applications

Many companies that have opened offices in other countries or grown through mergers and acquisitions have found themselves with multiple human resources systems from different vendors. More of these organizations are consolidating human resources software applications to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of applications and the cost of service delivery, as well as to get more accurate information.

In 2007 Inverness Medical Innovations acquired a company called BioSite, which was using HCM software-as-a-service from Workday Inc. By early 2009, Inverness had acquired a total of 70 companies, and wanted one primary HCM solution. Inverness was considering Workday's HCM SaaS product as well as SAP HCM, since many of the companies that Inverness had previously acquired were using SAP ERP for financials.

Now, Inverness runs Workday's HCM software to track compensation, benefits and employee time off and integrates information from outsourced payroll providers and benefits carriers.

Understanding SAP workforce management benefits

Another category of software related to HR is workforce management. Today, companies are looking for ways to get more out of their top (and most expensive) resource -- their employees. In that light, many companies are taking another look at workforce management software.

Companies aren't just using workforce management tools to track employee hours anymore. Tools like labor analytics are helping many companies better meet their strategic objectives as well as increase revenues.

Steve Goldman and Don Giffels of Workforce Insight, a strategic workforce management consulting and implementation firm, offer tips for a successful workforce management software implementation in a podcast on In this podcast they also explain how to build a business case for workforce management software, such as SAP HCM, and discuss the integration challenges as well.

Dig Deeper on SAP HCM