Thursday, May 3, 2012

Benefits Realisation

The realisation of the envisaged benefits is vital, and benefits that will be delivered 2, 3 or 12 months after implementation can be lost or are often not tracked and measured properly. This can lead to negative perceptions that the transformation programme has failed. This chapter therefore explains how to:
  • Ensure that the HR transformation benefits become an integral part of business as usual by embedding the benefits into operational scorecards and making their achievement an integral part of the business plans and objectives.
  • Set targets and implement measures that rigorously assess the delivery of benefits and ensure that they are managed and realised.
  • Develop plans that detail the timing and delivery of benefits and a process for monitoring progress against this plan.
The key to sustainable benefits delivery is in three key areas, these are:
  1. Measuring benefits
  2. Managing benefits
  3. Sustaining benefits

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cutover and the Transition to Business as Usual

With the system and processes now tested and accepted by the HR and business user communities, the attention turns to the planning and execution of the cutover to the new system and processes. Whilst there are distinct technology and process facets to this stage, they are more closely interdependent than those in the build and test stage. Indeed, the interdependency with the capabilities work is also critical as these streams of work need to cut over as a coordinated whole rather than as separate entities. Clearly, the technology and processes need to be in place for the transactional responsibility to shift but the new capabilities within the HR function must also be in place if HR is to vacate its transactional role.
From a technology perspective, the main activities are the following:
  • to ensure that the live technical environment (hardware, software and network) is ready for the HR system;
  • to ensure that the data are ready to be loaded and the mechanism for performing the load, often a combination of automated and manual approaches, is also ready;
  • to ensure all users have the means to access the new system;
  • to develop the technical cutover plans.
From a process perspective, the main activities are the following:
  • The scheduling and delivery of the system and process training. Often the change leaders take a role in this either as trainers themselves or in a 'train the trainer' role.
  • Business cutover planning, including planning data reconciliations, system down-time and any parallel running of the old system and new.
Before the live cutover is performed, many programmes opt for an integrated cutover rehearsal that coordinates the whole technology and process cutover and determines how long and in what precise order each element is addressed.
Throughout this stage and towards the latter part of the build and test stage, the hub of the change shifts from something that the programme is 'pushing out' to the organisation to something that the organisation is embracing and 'pulling in'. The increased involvement of the line areas and HR in the programme is a major catalyst in this. This is then consolidated during this stage, as the transition from the programme team to those responsible for supporting the new system and processes is effected. This is an important symbol in the transition to the new 'business as usual' and begins to draw to a close the 'implement change' phase of the change cycle model. How to embed the targets and benefits from the transformation programme into business as usual to ensure that these benefits are realised. However, successfully hitting the transformation targets and delivering benefits is not only dependent on getting these targets incorporated into business plans and business as usual but is also dependent on embedding the technology and processes.
The change readiness and impact assessments will have identified where there is resistance to the new technology and processes and the reasons for this resistance. It is important that during the cutover phase, the programme targets this resistance and produces communications, training and briefings that specifically address the reasons why different groups are resistant to change. For example, managers may resist self-service because they regard capturing and managing sickness absence and leave as an additional overhead and 'HR's job'. The communications should emphasise that self-service will make entering this information easier, as it will go straight into a system rather than on a paper form and once it is entered into the system, managers will be able to view reports that provide quick and instant data on staff attendance, thereby enabling the managers to more easily manage and balance staffing across the different working shifts. The advantages of the self-service system will mean that managers are more likely to adopt the new technology and ways of working.
A useful tool to support adoption and embedding of new technology and ways of working can be the 'Day In the Life Of' tool. This tool involves shadowing key managers for a period of time to understand the pressures they face and what they have to deliver on a day-to-day basis. The data collected during this exercise is then analysed and used to identify how self-service and new ways of working will improve managers' jobs. These improvements can be placed into communications, on the Intranet or presented as scenarios in workshops. This enables managers to better understand how the new processes and technology will work and gives them a reason and incentive to adopt and embed the new ways of working. How to ensure that managers not only adopt the new technology and processes but also continue to work differently and deliver benefits after the programme has been disbanded.
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