SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2077332 - Creating and Updating Variable Pay Programs


This KB article provides information for creating and/or updating Variable Pay programs


  • SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite
  • SAP SuccessFactors Compensation



  • Refer to these Admin Guides well before each and every cycle. Most typical VarPay cycles will take 1-2 months of design, planning and testing before forms can be launched safely to end users. Even if you plan on making only minor changes, please always build into each cycle sufficient development and testing time. 
  • While your program may not have changed much, the SuccessFactors application itself has had major quarterly releases since your last cycle and therefore may have new functionality impacting behavior.
  • Never forget that some elements of a VarPay Program cannot be updated once launched to your end users! While some data can be updated if it is part of your design, it is NOT possible to change the fields, xml, or form logic of live worksheets, so an xml change (and some data changes) can require a relaunch.

The following provides all of the major information which needs to be reviewed/considered when launching a variable pay cycle. Refer to it throughout your cycle:

  1. Variable Pay: Downloadable Admin Guide - This is your No.1 official resource. Please download the latest version after each major release
  2. Optimize Your Variable Pay Template Settings
  3. Setting up permissions for admins, planners and users
  4. Troubleshooting Why Worksheets Won't Create
  5. Manage Data - Change Data on Live Variable Pay Worksheets

Note: We do not support any XML level changes for live Compensation or VarPay programs; however, there are powerful capabilities to change many of the live worksheets via regular Admin Tools. Please review Variable Pay: Troubleshooting Guide which higlights the many options available to administrators for managing live programs

Upgrade Center

  • Visit the Upgrade Center via Admin Tools to determine what new features exist which can be enabled entering your cycle
  • Notable features we recommend all clients upgrade to without delay are:
  1. Compensation Admin 2.0 
  2. Compensation Profile

What considerations call for separate Variable Pay Programs?

If the following items vary and you will typically need separate Variable Pay Programs for each:

  1. Different calculation structure: If the structure of the calculations varies the organization will need separate Variable Pay Programs. This is to accommodate the set up of the calculations structure logic:
    1. Base X Business Performance 
    2. Base X Business Performance X Individual Performance 
    3. Base X Business Performance + Individual Performance 
    4. Base X Business Performance X Team Performance X Individual Performance 
    5. Base X Business Performance + Team Performance + Individual Performance
  2. Different Variable Pay Form Templates: If the fields, routing, or structure of the Variable Pay Form Templates vary, the organization will need separate Variable Pay Programs. This is to accommodate the one-to-one relationship of Variable Pay Programs to Variable Pay Form Templates
  3. Different Administration Period Dates: If the period dates vary, the organization will need separate Variable Pay Programs. This is to accommodate proration calculations
  4. Different Rating Values: If an employee has multiple jobs in a year and a different rating are used for the calculation of each position, the organization will need separate Variable Pay Programs
  5. The above is not a comprehensive list. It identifies the common scenarios when you will need separate Variable Pay Programs

Pre-Cycle Planning for Varpay

Note: If you are changing how your program worked (as opposed to relaunching the same program) then engage your Implementation Partner/Professional Services early. Product Support is unable to provide consultation to reconfigure existing programs/build new programs

  1. Are you launching to the same group as last year or is it changing this year (impact on custom filter for choosing target populations)?
  2. Do you expect to have changes in guidelines, calculations or worksheet layout that could impact current logic built into your cycle?
  3. Do you plan on launching forms in one language or multiple languages (impact on worksheet creation and configuration)?
  4. Are  you going to feed the ratings to an external system (impact on Ad Hoc Reports and Quartz scheduling)?
  5. How did your company manage hierarchy changes last cycle and is it changing (impact on FTP/import settings and/or Employee Change Engine)
  6. Has the timeline for your cycle changed (both for when cycle is starting and the amount of time spent in each cycle phase)?
  7. Have business drivers changed in the last year that are impacting the way you would like to measure performance? (goal-focused, competency-focused, etc)
  8. Has your approval process changed in the past year?  (route map changes)
  9. Will you be using our Calibration tool this year? Be sure to build this into testing an planning

Other Items to Consider:

  • Launching plan – how do you plan to mass create these worksheets? Are filters and data set up correctly to ensure that the correct group receives the correct template? 
  • E-mail notifications – Check Document Creation and Document Routing notifications in particular. Should these be enabled or disabled? 
  • Are you planning on making changes yourself using the new powerful Admin Tools Self-Service options? If so, please do not make the common mistake of leaving it to the last minute.You should build into your timeline as much if not more time as you would need if getting SuccessFactors to create your plans for you (1 month minimum). Why? To ensure if anything goes wrong during testing you have ample time to engage Product Support to have changes or issues addressed


Configurations, updates, SF, Success Factors, CMP , KBA , sf varpay cycle preperation , LOD-SF-CMP-VAR , Compensation Integration Issues with Variable Pay , How To


SAP SuccessFactors Compensation all versions ; SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite all versions