Implement and Manage Competency Frameworks in SAP SuccessFactors

Implement and Manage Competency Frameworks in SAP SuccessFactors

Reading time: 5 mins

Meet the Experts

By Faisal Iqbal, SAP Consultant, MSITEK LLC

SAP SuccessFactors Platform provides two different systems to implement and manage Competency Framework. Understanding the differences between both can help readers with making the right choice. If you are an Administrator – supporting the cloud HRIS, you may particularly like to read the blog. I have used an example of how Job Roles and Competencies can be managed in the system.


Competencies are assigned to a Job Role to define what it requires from its incumbent, in terms of his/her abilities to perform the job. It helps companies in different processes, such as Career Development Planning and Succession Management. Anyone who is interested in, or a successor to, another role is first assessed for his/her readiness. To attain the required proficiency levels, an employee is often required to complete some Learning Activities or Mentoring Program(s).

Figure 1 - Competencies and Talent Management -- Image
Figure 1 – Competencies and Talent Management


SAP SuccessFactors provides solutions to help companies managing each of the above-mentioned processes efficiently and effectively.

In this blog you’ll learn how the Competency Framework, which is at the core of Talent Management processes, can be implemented and managed in the system.


Before you read further, please take note of some terminologies used here.

  • Competency Framework: A structure of defining competencies
  • Competency: Ability to do something successfully
  • Core Competencies: Corporate Competencies assigned to everyone in an organization
  • Job-Specific Competencies: Competencies specific to the role or job
  • Competency Library: Group of competencies
  • Competency Elements: Attributes of a competency, such as Category
  • Job Family: Grouping for classification of Job Roles based on Functions or Levels
  • Job Role: A function fulfilled by an employee
  • Job Code: Used to link Employee to a Job Role

Implementing and Managing Competency Framework

SAP SuccessFactors Platform provides two systems, JDM 1.0 and JDM 2.0, to manage Job Roles and Competencies. Here you’ll learn the differences between both.

  1. JDM 1.0 – Job Description Manager

The legacy system, also known as Job Data Management, provides two different tools for creating job families and job roles, adding job codes to a role, and defining competencies and mapping these to the job roles. They are Manage Job Roles and Manage Competencies.

  • Manage Job Roles

When you first access the tool, the system takes you to the Job Families.

Figure 2 - Job Families -- Image
Figure 2 – Job Families

At this page, you can

  • create new families, and
  • edit/delete an existing job family.

When you click on a family’s name, you get to the Job Roles defined within the family.


Figure 3 - Job Roles -- Image
Figure 3 – Job Roles

Here you can

  • create new or edit an existing role,
  • delete the selected or move it to another Job Family.

When you click on a Role’s name, you can see its details, such as the Competencies assigned to it.


Figure 4 - Job Role Details -- Image
Figure 4 – Job Role Details

At this page, many of the details can be edited, such as if you want to change the Role Name or Job Code, it can be done by choosing Edit Properties next to its name.

The requirements of a job (Job-Specific Competencies) can be defined by clicking Map New Competencies button, and by choosing the competency at the next screen.

Figure 5 - Competency Mapping -- Image
Figure 5 – Competency Mapping

This is to map the available competencies to the Job Roles.

  • Manage Competencies

Competencies are organized in competency libraries. SAP SuccessFactors, in addition to providing highly-researched and behavior-focused competency libraries, allows customers to define custom competencies.

Within the library, when you click on a competency, you can

  • see its details, such as its language and category, and
  • mark the selected one as core, which is used along with the job-specific competencies in Performance Management.
Figure 6 - Competency Detail -- Image
Figure 6 – Competency Detail

Let’s now look at the JDM 2.0.

  1. JDM 2.0 – Job Profile Builder

As the Job Profile Builder (JPB) is a successor to the JDM 1.0, it’s sometimes called JDM 2.0. The Job Profile Content, which includes the Families and Roles, is created through Manage Job Profile Content. And the Competencies, along with other organized-defined attributes, are defined in Manage Center of Capabilities.

  • Manage Job Profile Content

The tool allows you to create a variety of job profile content, including Job Families and Job Roles.

Figure 7 - Manage Job Profile Content -- Image
Figure 7 – Manage Job Profile Content

When you choose Set Up Families and Roles, the system shows the content at the bottom of the screen. You can then

  • select and delete, or view/edit an existing family,
  • create new manually or add pre-defined families, with or without roles.
Figure 8 - Job Families and Roles Set Up -- Image
Figure 8 – Job Families and Roles Set Up

By clicking on a family name, you can view all of the roles within it.

Figure 9 - Job Family Details -- Image
Figure 9 – Job Family Details

Here you can

  • create a new role, and
  • delete or view the details of an existing one.

By clicking on a role name, you can see the job codes, skills, competencies, and talent pools mapped to the role, which are more than what we saw in the legacy system – JDM 1.0.

Figure 10 - Job Role Details -- Image
Figure 10 – Job Role Details

You can change the Role Name, and Map Job Codes. You can also view already Mapped Competencies.

Figure 11 - Mapped Competencies -- Image
Figure 11 – Mapped Competencies

Here you can add new competencies using Map Competencies button, which takes you to another page where you can select the competency from the relevant library.

Figure 12 - Additional Competency Mapping -- Image
Figure 12 – Additional Competency Mapping

When using JDM 2.0, the competencies are managed in Manage Center of Capabilities, described subsequently.

  • Manage Center of Capabilities

When the Job Profile Builder is enabled, the Center of Capabilities is also enabled. The framework provides a repository of capabilities, including competencies, work values, and other attributes defined by an organization.

Figure 13 - Competency Details - CoC -- Image
Figure 13 – Competency Details – CoC

Implementation Considerations

Both systems can’t coexist in one SuccessFactors Instance at a time, and therefore customers have to choose one. You can use both systems with or without Employee Central. Job Profile Builder is latest system, however, JDM is also being used. To migrate from JDM 1.0 to JDM 2.0, customers have to work with Professional Services Consultant/SAP Cloud Support.


In a nutshell, customers can implement and manage their competency framework easily using either of the two systems – Job Description Manager (JDM 1.0) or Job Profile Builder (JDM 2.0), each offering certain benefits over the other.

Should you like to learn more about the other SAP SuccessFactors tools and solutions, please bookmark the HCM section on SAPinsider.

Note: The screenshots used in this blog were taken from the demo system.

More Resources

See All Related Content