A Step-by-Step Guide for Using the LSMW Tool for Personnel Actions

  • by David Zhou, Consultant, Whitaker-Taylor
  • December 16, 2015
Learn about the Legacy System Migration Workbench (LSMW) tool. It allows users to easily upload the required master data that results from a common restructuring of a business’s organizational hierarchy through customizable personnel actions (transaction code PA40) in an SAP system. Using this standard SAP tool, combined with a step-by-step user’s guide for creating an LSMW, you can efficiently upload the desired master data without affecting its integrity.
Learning Objectives

After reading this article, you will learn:

  • How to incorporate a hiring action in Legacy System Migration Workbench to help with the employee onboarding processes within a business
  • How to use SAP’s internal personnel number assignment feature for your hiring action
  • About a report and a system check to ensure that your Personnel Administration–Organizational Management data integration is complete and successful in an SAP ERP HCM system
Key Concept

The Legacy System Migration Workbench (LSMW) is a valuable tool for uploading data into an SAP ERP HCM system. Requiring little technical knowledge to use, the LSMW is an ideal tool for users who are unfamiliar with ABAP or other technical elements of SAP systems.

It is very common for a business to undergo mass organizational infrastructure changes. These changes can result from an acquisition of another business entity or as a result of mass hiring or termination of workers. Regardless of the reason, the business is then faced with the challenge of efficiently and accurately accommodating these changes. To make these accommodations, business users often use actions that are accessed in transaction code PA40 (personnel actions) in the SAP ERP HCM system.

Manual entry and maintenance of data through these personnel actions may seem like a good idea when dealing with a small sample group; however, when tasked with a larger group, manually keying in the data via transaction code PA40 becomes impractical. The Personnel Actions screen contains all the business’s actions that can be used to perform common business processes and practices, such as hiring, termination, salary increases, and position changes.

Many businesses are looking for efficient automated methods or other alternatives that can accomplish these burdensome manual data entry and maintenance tasks. One issue that comes up in selecting a method, however, is ensuring that decision-makers consider the labor requirements and the accuracy of the data entry method, and balance these factors against the costs. There is no point in adopting a solution that delivers 100 percent accuracy if it is so inefficient and time-consuming that it ends up costing too much to make it valuable.

I cover the process for using the Legacy System Migration Workbench (LSMW) tool for a hiring action and provide tips and features to get more out of this standard tool. I assume that readers have had experience using an LSMW to upload data through transaction code PA30. While the steps discussed can be applied to any actions in the Personnel Actions screen, I am using the hiring action as my action to demonstrate.

A Brief Overview of the LSMW Tool

Today, the LSMW tool is commonly used by businesses for simple data maintenance—for instance, to award bonuses to all the associates in a particular group. As an SAP out-of-the-box upload method, the LSMW tool is one way to efficiently upload data changes in an SAP system. The LSMW requires little technical knowledge (such as ABAP) to use and, combined with its flexibility, it can save a lot of time when it comes to data maintenance.

The LSMW tool also can be applied to any of the customizable actions a business has in its Personnel Actions screen. However, one drawback to using an LSMW this way is that the customizable actions often cause more potential areas to error out during the LSMW process. These errors are caused by the inclusion of multiple fields in the infotypes that are to be processed, as opposed to just a few fields in one infotype. Correcting the potential resulting errors in these infotypes can take more time than the business can afford. Any mistakes made in one of these multiple areas, such as incorrect data recording, can cause the LSMW to be unable to upload the desired master data, resulting in the need to redo the entire LSMW recording process.

However, if you know where these kinds of errors occur in the process, you can attempt to avoid introducing them when using an LSMW with custom actions. I show you tips for preventing these issues, which, in turn, allow you to be able to use any actions in the personnel actions transaction with an LSMW.

David Zhou

David Zhou is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and has worked as an HCM Consultant at Whitaker-Taylor for over two years. His areas of focus in SAP ERP HCM include the Organizational Management and Personnel Administration modules, and he enjoys finding new ways to increase the business efficiency within these two core areas of SAP ERP HCM.

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