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The purpose of this page is to explain the basics of Nomination Methods and to act as a navigation point to Wiki Pages that describe configurations related to the overall behavior of the Succession module (i.e. related to all nominations throughout the system, and not specific to one screen).


The goal of succession nominations is to create succession plans, made up of one or more successors, which you can view in places like the succession org chart, position tiles, and the succession portlet of the People Profile. To help you achieve this goal, Succession has 3 types of configurations for named successors, which are called Nomination Methods, and affect how you add successors (whether you associate successors to positions or to users). The 3 Nominations Methods are Role-Person, Legacy Positions and MDF Positions. This page provides a simple overview and some helpful resources on these methods. For complete information, refer to the Administration Guide Choosing Your Succession Nomination Method. In addition to the nomination methods for named successors, Succession also have a feature called pool-based nominations, which is also briefly explained in this page. 

If you are not sure which nomination method you have, please refer to SAP KBA 2569082 - Succession Management - How to identify the Nomination Method configured for your instance?


The Role-Person nomination method is the most simple of the three and it is used mostly for replacement planning. In this nomination method, the Succession Org Chart will display the user hierarchy (same thing as the Company Org Chart displays) and the successors will be associated to a combination of UserID + JobCode (role + person). 

Because the successors are associated to a combination of UserID + JobCode, the successors will stop displaying in the Succession Org Chart if the user changes Job Code. When this happens, you should transfer the successors of the old Job Code to the new one. For more information, refer to SAP KBA 2362701 - Succession Management: Transfer nominations when employees change Job Code.

For more information on the Role-Person nomination method, refer to Administration Guide - Role-Person Nomination Method.

Position-based methods

In the Position-based methods (Legacy Positions and MDF Positions), a new entity, called the position is introduced to hold Succession plans. So, customers that choose this method will need to create and maintain Positions, which can be thought of as an instance of a Job Role. For example, you have a Job Role definition of "Sales Representative", with its associated competencies and duties. A position would be a specific instance of this Job Role, such as "Sales Representative North", that needs to be occupied by an employee, to deliver the work that needs to be done.  

In Position-based methods, the successors will be associated directly to the Position (Position Code), which means that the succession plans stay in-place even if the incumbent (user) of the position changes. You can also have vacant positions, which are positions that are not occupied by anyone at the moment, and you can do succession planning for them as well.


Use instant (formless) nominations for all nomination methods. Form-based nominations are only supported for the role-person nomination method.

An important aspect of the Position-based models is that you need to keep the Position data updated, so that the Succession Org Chart displays current information and you can effectively create succession plans for your company. 

Administrators have two options for creating and maintaining the position model: (1) generating it from employee data, which is done via the Sync Position Model with Employee Data feature, or  (2) importing it from an external source, which is done via the Import Positions feature.

It is strongly recommended that administrators pick one and only one of these methods for managing the position hierarchy. Combining imports with sync operations can result in duplicating position data and/or overwriting good data with bad. Note that you must populate the position model with one of these two methods before using the position org chart, otherwise you will get an error. Also, please note that, if you don't update the position model regularly, you may see inactive incumbents, wrong reporting relationships and not be able to find new employees in the Succession Org Chart. 

Option 1: Sync Position Model with Employee Data

This option is intended for customers that do not already have a master source for position data. The sync function can be used to “seed” the position hierarchy based on the employee data. You can run it once employee records are loaded and it will create a matching position for each employee. Then, after creating the position model for the first time, you should set up a process to run it regularly, in order to update the Position Model based on changes made to employee data. 

To be able to use the sync, the user should have “” permission, which is available under “Manage Succession” tab on Role-Based Permissions. The permissioned user will then see "Position management: Sync Position Model with Employee Data" under Admin Center > Succession. The behavior of the Sync is a bit different for Legacy and MDF Positions. For more information, refer to the links in the respective sections below.

Option 2: Importing position data

This option is intended for customers already managing positions in their HRIS or other "master" system, or customers who have purchased succession planning licenses for a smaller population than the number of total employees they are loading. 

Legacy Positions

Legacy position-based nominations offer a basic position model for use in Succession only. Position records have a small and fixed set of attributes: incumbent, manager position, key position, and title. The rest of the information is stored with the incumbent record.

The primary benefit of legacy position-based nominations is that you can plan for to-be-hired (TBH) positions and not lose associated succession plans when a user changes job codes or becomes inactive. TBH records are supported by creating and managing a vacant user record paired with the position. This process relies on the same person-based permissions and target populations as role-person nominations.

For more information on the Legacy Positions method, refer to Administration Guide - Legacy Position-Based Nominations.

You can manage positions either via import from your external HRIS or with a sync process that mirrors the employee structure to the position structure. For more information, refer to the links below: 

Administration Guide - Importing Position Data for Use with Legacy Position-Based Nominations

Administration Guide - Generating the Position Model for Legacy Position-Based Nominations from Employee Data

MDF Positions

MDF positions are generic objects built with the Metadata Framework that can be used for succession planning with or without SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central. It offers the same benefits as Legacy Positions, like keeping Succession Plans in-place through incumbent changes and planning for vacant positions, but also allows you to:

  • Extend the Position Object with custom fields (as part of the Metadata Framework);
  • Keep the history of changes made to the Position, as part of the Metadata Framework effective dating of objects;
  • Define permissions based on the position attributes, instead of only relying on the user's attributes for the target population;
  • It does not require a TBH user placeholder for vacant positions, which simplifies managing the system;
  • You can search by Position Title in the Succession Org Chart and it allows you to use the Position Tile.


Employee Central Position Management

If you're using Employee Central to manage your positions, then you should only use MDF position-based nominations. In this situation, the same position object is shared between Employee Central and Succession. Therefore, you manage positions in Employee Central and the Succession Org Chart leverages this data for succession planning.

When you have Employee Central Position Management, the incumbents are no longer associated to the Position object through the "incumbent" field of the Position object. Instead, the users are associated to positions through their Job Information record from Employee Central (the association is Employee > Job Information > Position).

For more information on MDF Positions method, refer to Administration Guide - Metadata Framework (MDF) Position-Based Nominations.

If you don't have Employee Central Position Management, you'll need to keep your Position Model updated by using the Sync process or by Importing Positions. For more information, refer to the links below: 

Administration Guide - Importing Position Data for the MDF Position-Based Nomination Method

Administration Guide - MDF Position Sync

Pool-based methods

Talent Pools offer an alternative approach to succession planning by allowing you to group successors. They can also be used to group your talent for non succession related needs like development plans, rotation programs, or high-potential pools.

This is mainly intended for managing mid-tier (non-critical) positions, where you don't need specific successors for a position, but you can have groups of successors shared across positions. 

To better understand how this works for Succession Planning, let's look at the diagram below. 

  • Users are added to a Talent Pool, where they can have an associated Readiness rating and Notes for the nomination;
  • For a Talent Pool to be used for Succession Planning, it needs to be associated to a Job Role;
  • Incumbents and Positions are also associated to Job Roles, via the Job Code attribute (users) or via the Job Classification object (positions). 
  • Once you have a Job Role that has positions and a Talent Pool associated to it, we consider that the Talent Pool is acting as a group of successors to those associated positions. And then, the Talent Pool starts appearing in the Succession Org Chart as the group of successors to that position. 

For complete information on MDF Talent Pools, please refer to the Administration Guide - Talent Pools (MDF).


Related Content

Related Documents

Related SAP KBAs

  • SAP KBA 2569082 - Succession Management - How to identify the Nomination Method configured for your instance?
  • SAP KBA 2362701 - Succession Management: Transfer nominations when employees