Please read my related LinkedIn article What is HR Digital transformation?

Steps involved in revamping your HRIS solution to drive HR Digital transformation are:

  1. Identifying the right HRIS solution
  2. Finding a partner to support the transformation
  3. Preparing the project team
  4. Executing the transformation
  5. Managing the change
  6. Transitioning into Business As Usual

I have summarized my learning on these areas gained from my experience being part of HR Digital transformation projects below:

Identify the right HRIS solution

Every product comes in different sizes and fits that is suitable for different customers. But it is very critical to identify the most appropriate solution based on your vision of the future:

  1. IT landscape that you want invest and maintain
  2. Size of the organization
  3. Scope of the HR processes that you want to implement
  4. Commercial aspects of the IT solution
  5. Number of key users needed to maintain the new HRIS solution
  6. Future scope and road map of the IT solution

It can be an optimum choice for businesses that are heavily invested in Microsoft technologies to consider Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent as a HRIS solution to support their HR Digital transformation efforts. Also, Microsoft has been actively focused in making strategic investments in this direction to support customers (Strategic investments in Talent Core HR to drive operational performance). Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent helps in streamlining HR processes and make the IT/cross functional integrations needed easier for example with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and other Dynamics 365 solutions, Azure Active Directory, Power BI etc.(I will be writing blog series on how Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent can support your HR Digital transformation efforts!)

Find a partner to support you

Although technology is progressing very fast, driving change within a organization is an art more than science. It is important that you find a implementation partner who can match your organization’s style and working culture. All of us need to be comfortable and happy to be able to achieve the end goal. The partner should be able to support you through the journey across all geographies and should be able to scale based on your needs.This step would need good amount of market research and usual process of RFP’s (Request for Proposals), Sales and Pre-sales presentations and a lot discussions to make sure the expectations are aligned

Prepare the project team for HR Digital transformation

This is the most critical phase of the project to identify and mobilize all the project resources that are needed and assign specific responsibilities to drive the transformation. Every project team is organized differently based on the size of the organization and the complexity of the IT solutions. The below project roles should give an insight on the critical aspects but it may need to be adopted based on the organizational needs.

1. Program management team and Project board: Responsible for managing and supporting the overall Digital transformation strategy and efforts of the organization. (Both the customer and the partner management teams)

2. HRIS project manager: Responsible to drive the project internally, Align all the cross functional areas of the project, Force the global alignment necessary for HR processes and global aspects of the solution.

3. Partner project manager: Responsible for the delivery, scope and timelines from the supporting partner’s perspective.

4. HR business champion: Subject matter experts who understand the global HR solution design and also the local country specific rules and regulations. This person should know the sensitive areas of the HR business processes within the organization and strategically align with what IT solutions to solve them. They are anchors of driving the change and putting the new Digital HR experience in front of employees, managers, HR teams and management teams.

5. HRIS Consultant: This role complements that of a HR business champion in the sense that the HRIS Consultant has cross industry experience, knows and has implemented best practices with different customers. Responsible to advise on the best ways of solving HR operational business problems using the HRIS solutions and also to advise against the common pitfalls that can occur.Support and lead the overall transformation effort as a team with the HR business champion and the project management.

6. Technical IT architect: Understands the IT solution stack within the organization and supports all the technical, infrastructural, data migration, reporting and analytics efforts of the projects. All non-functional and non-process related discussions may need alignment with this person.

7. Reporting and analytics architect: All of the HR transformation projects efforts are reflected on how good the end reporting solution represent. It is very important to have a dedicated responsibility to make sure all the operational reporting needs are gathered and analyzed to be included as part of the project.

8. HRIS solution architect/Cross-functional solution architect: Responsible to make sure the HRIS solution is aligned with the rest of the business processes such as Finance, Project management and accounting, Retail etc and rest of the IT landscape of the organization. Identifies all the cross functional integration touch points and brings the team together for common alignment of the current and the future states. In most scenarios HR Digital transformation is part of the overall Digital transformation strategy and hence it is key to identify and secure how the overall future business processes will work with HR.

Execute the transformation

This phase needs a multi-faceted view to make it a smooth process.

1. Drive the vision and strategy: The management teams should drive the vision and constantly measure how the program is running

2. Plan ahead: It is important to have a global plan with key milestones defined and aligned with all the key stakeholders. This is subject to change as the project evolves.

3. Identify the business areas that need improvements: The existing HR business processes needs to reviewed to identify the redundant steps and business areas of inefficiency. This will support some of the business decisions on how to go about defining the new HR processes.

4. HR business process definition and global alignment: As part of the HR digital transformation efforts the HR processes will be optimized for efficiency, it is important to define them clearly based on what the new HRIS solution can support and align this with all the HR teams involved within the organization. In some scenarios employee and managers may also needs to be part of this alignment. The processes defined should capture all aspects of the business interacting with HR such as Finance, Project management etc. It can also capture some of the compliance related aspects such as GDPR (For EG: As part of the recruitment process, the applicant data needs to be deleted or anonymized after a certain period of time)It is important to align the HR process with the global HR teams encouraging the discussion about the localization process/system needs.

5. Implementation of HRIS solution: Based on the scope of the HR processes included in the Digital transformation efforts – the HRIS solution can be implemented in different approaches. Most of the new HR transformation projects make use of a hybrid methodology of Agile and Waterfall approaches. This will support the early involvement of key users in designing and testing the solution. The key here is to work very closely with the partner supporting the implementation and stay close with the standard functionality of the cloud solutions as much as possible.

6. Testing and User Adoption: It involves testing of the new HRIS solution and validating if it is supporting all the business processes. It is helpful to have a wider view on the testing efforts and involve adequate testing teams and iterations to get a comfort feeling that the business can continue as usual when the new HRIS solution is live. Also, this phase supports major chunk of user adoption as the key users get hands on experience to visualize the new way of working.

7. Training: This can happen before the testing and user adoption phase or after based on how big the organization and how the core project team is involved in the project. The employees, managers, HR teams, Management teams are trained on the new HRIS solution and how to execute the business processes. This is when the reality of the HR Digital transformation sets in and leads to the next phase.

Manage the change

HR Digital transformation is more than a mere HRIS implementation project, as it is going to impact some of the operational ways of executing business. So it is very important to define a change management plan and execute the same. This business change management plan should consider:

1. General communication about the project: Critical updates needs to be shared with all the stake holders of the project, right from the employee to the CEO

2. Identify business impacts: Due to the optimization of HR business processes, there can be a shift in the roles and responsibilities of the HR teams and other employees in the organization. It is important to identify these changes and come with a communication plan to establish the clarity on the changes to the employees

3. Phase the change management: It is better to phase the roll out of the change and the new HRIS solution based on departments, regions, business areas etc. This will support a smooth transition in smaller bits.

4. Keep it slow and steady: Change management will often take more than a few months. It is important to have a strategy in place to touch base on a regular basis and discuss how well the change is being accepted and what better can be done.

Celebrate, Transition to BAU (Business As Usual) and Measure the impact

With a huge task completed the project will move to BAU phase where all the employees, managers, HR teams and Management teams know and identify themselves as part of the new organization structure. And are familiar with the new HRIS solution to support their day to day activities.It is important to take a sigh of relief and celebrate the transformation and over a period of time the impact of the transformation can be measured.

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people”Steve Jobs

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