SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2229918 - Legacy Positions: Sync Position Model with Employee Data options


  • What options are available in the Sync Feature?
  • What option is best for my company?
  • How does the Sync Position Model behave with the Employee Data function?

Image/data in this KBA is from SAP internal systems, sample data, or demo systems. Any resemblance to real data is purely coincidental.


  • SAP SuccessFactors Succession & Development
  • Legacy Position Model


The Sync Position Model with Employee Data screen looks like this:


IMPORTANT: Read the on-screen instructions carefully before submitting the Sync.

Positions with inactive incumbents will be:

The first option to select in the sync function is what to do with inactive incumbents: either mark their positions as TBH, or delete the positions.

The sync process bases its changes on employee data, so this only changes positions that have inactive employees in them, positions already marked as TBH. (To delete TBH positions, you must either go to the org chart to delete them manually, or use the import function with the “DELETE” command described below.)

  1. Marked as TBH: vacated positions will remain on the position model and will be marked as TBH (the administrator intends to fill this position with another employee).

  2. Deleted: If you selected, those positions will be deleted from the position model. In this case the system uses a logical (“soft”) delete; the position record is retained in the system but hidden. To restore the position in the event of an error, import the position (see file format described below) with a “REACTIVATE” action. The position code can be retrieved by running the Position Export with the “Include deleted positions” option selected.

  3. Mark as TBH if they have successors, otherwise Delete: only the positions that have successors will be marked as TBH. If the position does not have successors, the position will be deleted. 

Special Note (i): If the sync process encounters an active employee that is an incumbent in a deleted position, and that position reports to a position that is filled by the employee's manager, the system will reactivate the deleted position (rather than create a new one).

If an employee reports to a new manager:

There are 3 sync options for when employees report to new managers. Typically, customers should choose one to standardize on that best fits their needs:

  1. Always create a new position for the employee (successors stay with old position, now TBH)

The first option is conservative , erring on the side of creating new positions, which is the safest route—all position-based succession plans will be preserved. However, this can also result in unnecessary positions records that will have to be removed manually.

  1. Update the position to report to the new manager's position (successors move with them)

The second option is aggressive: positions always follow employee changes, and new TBH positions are never created in the wake of an employee move. This means you will spend less time cleaning up unnecessary TBH positions. However, you will have to manually intervene when a position gets moved that should have been kept under the old workgroup.

  1. Create a new position for the employee only if they leapfrog or move laterally, and only if they have successors

The third option is a hybrid approach, which applies some additional logic. Here is a scenario that illustrates the behavior with this option:

    1. In the starting state, Employee A reports to Employee B who reports to Employee C, and Employee D is a peer of Employee C:


    1. Employee B moves to another team, now reporting to Employee D, and Employee A is temporarily assigned to report to Employee C (via the employee import).

      • Sync process is run.
        1. Employee B gets a new position; his old position is now TBH (and retains the successors, if any).

        2. Employee A does not get a new position.

    2. When Employee B’s old job is filled, Employee A slides back down to report to the “new” Employee B (via the employee import).

      • Sync process is run.
        1. Employee A does not get a new position.

    3. Employee A gets a big promotion, and is now at the same level as Employees C and D (“leapfrogging” Employee B).

      • Sync process is run.
        1. If Employee A had successors, Employee A gets a new position; her old position is now TBH (and retains the successors).

        2. If Employee A did not have successors, Employee A does not get a new position…the new Employee B now has no direct reports.

Special note (ii): It is unlikely that any set of rules will be right 100% of the time for a large and complex organization; there is always the possibility that after the general rule is applied and the sync process is run, a manager or HR planner will need to intervene and manually update the position hierarchy.


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