Case Study

Intuitive Workforce Planning at Hochbahn with PeoplePLAN


HOCHBAHN is owned by the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg and is a privately held company. With almost 7,000 employees, Hochbahn transports around 1.2 million passengers daily.

HOCHBAHN was founded to provide Hamburg with reliable public transportation. Since then, it has become an important part of Hamburg’s mobility landscape.

HOCHBAHN’s four subway lines, 116 bus lines, and several ferry lines account for around half of the total local transport services offered by the Hamburg public transport system.

  • Around 1.2 million passengers daily
Initial situation

As a central member company of the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (hvv), Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HOCHBAHN), founded in 1911, makes an important contribution to providing Hamburg with reliable, efficient and safe public transport. With almost 7,000 employees, HOCHBAHN is one of the largest employers in Hamburg. 

HOCHBAHN needed a solution for a fully comprehensive workforce planning system, for the planning of all employees. The technical basis in the company was the SAP HCM system, which served both as an input tool and for calculating various key figures. 

In the new system, the possibility of data transfer from SAP HCM was to be realized.

Project goals

The following project goals were defined by HOCHBAHN together with CubeServ:

  • The new planning tool was to be designed to permanently simplify and streamline planning.
  • The system should enable the display and editing of employee data and cost center data for a specific area, with access restricted according to user authorization.
  • It should be possible to transfer the master data, transaction data (e.g. wage types), pay scale grouping/AT salary and SI indicators of the employees as well as actions already planned for the employee in the planning period from SAP HCM.
  • Based on the existing planning scenario, a complete simulation and a monthly forecast should be possible.
  • Even occasional users should benefit from intuitive usability.

In summary, the goal was to make personnel planning more modern, efficient and effective.

Implementation of the project

After the setup for the project was created, the focus was on the following topics and functionalities:

  • Decentralized operational workforce planning
  • Rolling forecast
  • Simulation options for existing planning runs
  • Reporting and analysis

The factors of usability and performance in the decentralized planning process were particularly important to Hochbahn.

The project lasted 6 months and was structured into the sections of detailed conception, implementation, testing and go-live.


The new system offers the following advantages:

  • The master data, transaction data (e.g. wage types), collectively agreed grouping/AT salary and SI indicators of the employees can be transferred from SAP HCM.
  • Model parameters such as pay tables, SI parameters, absence rates can be entered.
  • Default values for these are provided by the system (based on the previous year/last planning scenario/average values).
  • By means of the implied authorization concept, the responsible departments can only access employees and cost centers of the area for which they are responsible/supervise.
  • In addition to general capacity planning, workforce-related events (retirement, parental leave, temporary employment, …) are also taken into account in the planning period. The system performs a plausibility check at the latest before release.
  • The costs of an employee can be distributed to several cost centers.
  • Based on the existing planning scenario, a complete simulation can be performed. This has no direct impact on the original planning.
  • The system supports a simple creation of freely definable ad hoc reports according to own reporting needs via the business warehouse or a provided interface.
  • In the system, the “Hochbahn-KPIs” can be stored for regular evaluations, e.g. absence times, overtime.
  • The reports can be executed and called up live in the system.
Results and benefits

Through effective and cooperative collaboration between the HOCHBAHN staff and CubeServ, an intuitive system for planning, simulation and analysis of workforce costs and capacities was established.

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