How to Create an Action in SAP

July 21, 2017
Written by Danielle Larocca

Senior Vice-President of HCM Solutions Danielle Larocca has worked in the SAP HCM space for over 20 years. An SAP Mentor and featured speaker at numerous conferences, Danielle has authored four best-selling books on SAP, is the Technical Editor for the SAP Professional Journal, and often the Voice of the Expert on SAPInsider’s Ask the Expert series for HR.

Configuration of Personnel Actions and events

In part one of this blog, I discussed personnel actions in SAP HCM and talked about their purpose and how to maximize their impact on your data and reporting. In this second part of the series, I share some step-by-step tips for configuring actions and reasons in your system.

Creating an Action

Routine personnel procedures within master data administration, including hiring, terminations, and reassignments, are referred to as personnel actions. Each one contains a sequential set of infotypes related to the action, which is referred to as an info group. As you probably already know, the SAP HCM and Payroll-related data for your employees is stored in infotypes, see sample below. 

Infotype #

Infotype Name

Sample Fields on the Infotype


Organizational Assignment

Job title, position title, cost center, payroll area


Personal Data

Name, Social Security number, date of birth, nationality


Address Data

Street address, city, state, zip


Basic Pay

Annual salary, hourly rate, pay grade, wage type, wage type amount


The purpose of actions is that each infotype relevant to the employee event is sequentially presented so that all of the necessary data can be entered. This means you do not have to go to each infotype to enter the information manually. The action also assigns the statuses relevant to the event; for example, it sets the employment status to 3 for a new hire, indicating the employee is active.

Learn more about SAP reportingStep 1 – Create a User Group Dependency for the Info Group

To create an action, navigate to the IMG (the menu path Implementation Guide for R/3 Customizing>Personnel management>Personnel administration>Customizing procedures>Actions.) You are prompted with a dialog box with three items, the first of which is User group dependency on menus and info groups. Double-click this option. There are five columns for each line in the table described in the table below.

Column Name

Short Description

Infotype menu

Infotype menu number that will be used for your info group.


Description of the infotype menu.

User group dependency

Marking this box makes this infotype menu user-group dependent (you can make different actions available to different groups of users). Do this by creating the UGR parameter in the system settings (System>User Profile>Own data>Parameters).


If you have not maintained the parameter UGR in the user defaults, you can indicate that you want the system to have a reaction (warning, error, etc.).

Reference user group

If parameter UGR is not set in the user defaults, enter the reference user group to be used for the menu layout.


Step 2 – Create an Info Group

Next you need to create a group of infotypes that you would like bundled together for your action. This bundle is called an info group. Define info groups is the third action item in the list in the Action section of the IMG.

On this screen, enter the list of infotypes in the order you wish them to appear during the action. There are eight columns for each line in the table described in the table below.

Column Name

Short Description

User group

Enter the user group number for which this info group will be available.

Info group modifier

Allows you to store the contents of variable key T588D-IGMOD according to the company code, personnel area, employee group or subgroup, action type, and reason for action.


Sequence number for the presentation of the infotype in the action.


Determines what operation the system uses when presenting the new infotype. See additional information in paragraph below.


Infotype number you want to present in the action

Infotype screen control

Used to assign several infotype texts to one infotype. These infotype texts must be assigned to different screens.

Infotype Text

Column populates automatically with the name of the infotype associated with the number in the infotype column.


Here you can specify a particular subtype of the infotype. For example, infotype 0006 can have several different subtypes for different addresses. If your main address infotype is 1, you can specify subtype 1 in this column to ensure that you get the correct subtype.


Step 3 – Create a User Group Dependency for the Info Group

Creating an info group is relatively simple. Having an understanding of which operation is best for each action takes a little thought. The options include:

  • INS (best for new hires): creates a new infotype and presents it if none exists for the employee
  • COP: looks to see if the employee who is undergoing the event already has the infotype and makes a copy of it
  • INSS: inserts a new record for the employee regardless of whether one existed in the past
  • LIS9 (best for terminations): delimits (puts an end date on) the employee's current record
  • DIS: displays the most current infotype
  • DEL: deletes the most current infotype
  • EDQ: locks or unlocks it
  • MOD: presents the current infotype for changes

Creating info groups for new hires (initial entry) is probably the easiest. An initial entry new hire does not already have records in SAP, so an info group for that person would contain only the INS operation. That configuration consists of a simple list of the infotypes on which you want to store new hire data and the INS operation for each.

Termination actions are different. You do not use the INS operator because you do not want to insert blank records. Rather, you use the LIS9 for many of the infotypes, because you want to delimit them as part of the termination. The delimit operator ensures, for example, that their benefit plans are terminated.

You will want to use the COP operator for some infotypes in the termination action. In those cases you may want to preserve the employee data as it was, but keep it updated to the new event. You never want to delimit infotype 0 or 1, as these should always exist until 12/31/9999. For organizational changes or personnel status change actions, use the COP operator as you want to make a copy of their previous infotype in order to ensure that history is maintained appropriately.

Step 4 – Create the Personnel Action

Now that you have created the infotype menu (step 1) and the info group (step 2), all you need to do is to tie them together with the action. Go to the IMG (menu path Implementation Guide for R/3 Customizing>Personnel management>Personnel administration>Customizing procedures>Actions>Setup personnel actions). Upon execution, you are prompted with a dialog box with three items. Double-click on the second, Personnel action types. Each line in the table has 16 columns described in the table below. 

Column Name

Short Description

Action type

Two-digit number assigned to the action

Name of action type

Description of the action (hiring, termination, etc.)

Function character for action

The options are 1= First hiring, 7=First hiring and transfer of data from the recruitment module, and 0=all other action types

Customer-specific status

If your company takes advantage of the customer-specific statuses, you can preset what you want that status to be.

Employment status

Sets the status that you want the employee to be changed to. The options are 0: Not with company, 1: With company, but inactive, 2: With company, but as retiree and 3: Active in company

Special payment status

Sets the special payment status you want the employee to be changed to. The three options are 0: Special payment: no entitlement

1: Special payment: standard wage type, and 2: Special payment: special wage type

Action sequence feature

System checks whether the features of this action match the features of the previous action. The feature entered here controls performance of this check. Examples include MSN20 for withdrawal, MSN21 for reentry, and MSN32 for early retirement/retirement.

Input field for personnel action

These four checkboxes allow you to control organizational assignment data input options in the initial screen of the Personnel Actions infotype (PA40) and in the Actions infotype (0000). If indicator PA is set, the personnel area field is ready for input on the initial screen of the Personnel Actions transaction (PA40), or of the Actions infotype (0000). You can then control the input options for the position (P), employee group (EG), and employee subgroup (ES) fields if you have integration turned on.

Infotype group number

Enter the number of the info group from Step 2.

Update infotype 0000

Creates an infotype 0000 during the action. Leaving this checkbox blank ensures no infotype 0000 is created during your action.

Update infotype 0302

U0302 defines whether the personnel action type is stored in the Additional Actions infotype (0302).

Country reassignment action

Describes whether the type of personnel action indicates a country reassignment. A personnel action indicated as a country reassignment is not a true personnel action. It is not stored in the Actions infotype (0000), and no infotype group is processed.


Step 5 – Create Reasons for Your Action

Now that an action has been created, you need to create reasons associated with the event. Go to IMG menu path Implementation Guide for R/3 Customizing>Personnel management>Personnel administration>Customizing procedures>Actions>Create reasons for personnel actions. Each line in the table has 4 columns described in the table below.

Column Name

Short Description

Action number

Corresponds to the action created in Step 3 (i.e., Hiring action 01 and Family Status Change action 60)

Name of action type

Displays description of the action created in Step 3.

Action reason

Create a number for your reason that corresponds to your action.

Action reason description

Create the text that corresponds to the action reason, See Figure 4.


Step 6 – Add Your New Action to the Action Menu

Now that you have created an action and its associated reason codes, you add that action to the action menu (transaction PA40) via IMG menu path Implementation Guide for R/3 Customizing>Personnel management>Personnel administration>Customizing procedures>Actions>Create action menu. Upon execution, you will see a dialog box with two options, the first of which you saw in Step 1. Double-click the second option, Action menu. You are prompted to enter the action menu number 01. You'll see the screen that contains four columns as described in the table below.

Column Name

Short Description

User group

Menu setup for a menu-guided or system-guided transaction in table T588B or infotype setup for a menu in table T588D can be defined according to the user's needs.


Enter a sequential number that determines in what order the actions are output on the actions screen (PA40)

Action number

Corresponds to the action created in Step 3 (i.e., Hiring action 01 and Family Status Change action 60)

Action description

Displays the description of the action created in Step 3.


Tip number 1!

When you are creating your action menu, use two-digit numbers with intervals of 10 between them for the sequential numbers in column 2. These numbers determine the order in which actions are presented on the screen. If on your initial configuration you number them 10, 20, 30, 40, you can always return and insert new actions in the middle of the existing sequence – i.e., 15, 25, 35, 36, 37.

 Tip number 2!

Changes made to an infotype or infotype fields often affect field entries in other infotypes. For example, if you change an employee's work schedule on infotype 0007 - Planned Working Time, it may impact some fields on infotype 0008 - Basic Pay. You can set up dynamic personnel actions in the system settings to handle these. 


How to create an action in SAP

 Visit my other blogs "A Quick Fix to Employee Status that can improve Your HCM Reporting" and "How to design your HR Actions better to improve HCM Reporting".

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