Agile Implementation Strategies for HCM Solutions

So, you have been tasked with “transforming HR.” You’ve started conversations about what needs to be done. Now it’s time to put together the plan, and all of a sudden the magnitude of what you want to do hits!

The truth is, big bang projects don’t work in today’s organizations. Leaders must drive change in smaller increments in order to show progress and create momentum for change. It is a journey, not a destination – a marathon, not a sprint. It’s like starting a new diet or exercise program. To find success, you have to change your entire lifestyle, and the same is true for how managing HR programs.

The following three elements will be the most critical to finding success:

  1. Align HR efforts to the organizations’ strategic objectives
  2. Create a road map, or timeline, that is realistic given the organization’s climate, budget, and competing initiatives
  3. Create an action plan with clear definition of who, what,and when

Key factors to consider when starting an HR transformation are: People, Process, Products, Change Management, and Measurability. These are all key ingredients to your recipe for success because you will need them to complete a road map and create a business case to secure funding for the project. Further, your road map and business case will allow you to be agile when business as usual interrupts your plans. For example, economic factors, mergers, acquisitions, and other distractions can divert your HR transformation plan.

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With this in mind, HR leaders must approach transformation to their department by focusing on how HR impacts the business. Efforts will fall into three categories – how the transformation will impact customers, people,and/or finances. It’s that simple. You can start by aligning the organization’s strategic objectives under these categories, and then add HR initiatives under each objective and determine the technologies you have or need to support the business processes. This approach will help define your path, and priorities will start to come to light.

Operational efficiency should be the first phase of your transformation, and it will be vital to look at your current processes. If HR is still pushing paper to complete employee data changes or manage talent, you need to focus on the fundamentals of how you operate. HR leaders can define more efficient processes by leveraging technology, automating approvals with workflow, and pushing transactions and information to managers and employees on their mobile devices. If you’re not operating efficiently and effectively, you can bet that the talent you fought so hard to attract will not be retained!

The second phase is all about people.The cost savings from operating as efficiently as possible will allow HR to provide managers and employees with better tools to facilitate their development plans, define career growth opportunities, and enable constant feedback. And then the third phase is when you reach “HR nirvana” – long-term career growth and planning. You’ll need feedback and performance measurement to truly manage succession, and that is impossible without having good technology in place.

Through out the journey to transform HR, you should be able to see measurable results proven with key human capital management (HCM) metrics that are also tied to operational outcomes. You can have it all, you just can’t have it all at once! So, starting with the fundamentals is a must. Use the cost savings to improve talent programs, and then set your sights on true talent-driven programs that leverage technology. Over time, you will create a culture of change, reduce the cost of HR services, and increase the bottom line. This momentum is how the best organizations survive and thrive as traditional HR roles shift to collaborative business partners.

MORE: Not in the Job Description: Why Modern Hiring Practices Require a Human Touch

Diana Van Blaricom

Diana Van Blaricom
Diana Van Blaricom is director of HCM strategic services at Infor, a business software provider.

Diana Van Blaricom

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