| By Micah Fairchild
The 3 Critical Phases of the HRIS Process Review
Few moments are as opportune to revisit business processes as your implementation of a human resource management system (HRMS). Unfortunately, many companies miss the chance to tap into the exponential power this chance can bring. In fact one of the greatest mistakes that organizations make is to just automate a bad or inefficient process without any regard to the long-term effect.
Whether you are just starting off with your first HRMS purchase, or you are simply looking to get more mileage via an upgrade of your current information system, three analysis phases—Baseline Analysis, Future-State Analysis and Gap Analysis—need to be followed in order to ensure success before software selection begins.
Phase 1) Taking a snapshot of your "baseline" HR processes
Though it does wax a bit philosophic, in order to see where you're going, you need to know where you currently are. A key to any business process analysis is taking a hard look at how you are specifically doing the job right now. Whether you are authorizing employee overtime, seeking budgetary approval for a new hire, compiling data for benefits enrollment, or adding an employee to a safety training roster, each one of these tasks is a process—a process which can be analyzed and potentially improved even before automation. Ask these questions to get things started:
- Have key parts of the process been identified?
- Is there a specific sequence that the process needs to go through?
- Do all steps add value, and how do I eliminate non-valued-added activities?
Phase 2) Picture what you want the future process to look like
The future state phase is all about defining the needs of the future process, with or without HR software automation. Essentially, the future state lets you ask , "how could we do this better?" Without this step, not only are you flying blind, but you are also in the dangerous position of falling into the "but we've always done it this way" trap. Also, referred to as "demand" analysis, most of the information needed to forecast can come from business and or strategic plans. Indeed, according to Gartner's David Aron seeking out this information from the strategic planning process can ensure that, "the enterprise's vision and mission [are translated] into "how" resources, [and that]…capabilities…are deployed to generate maximum value".
Regardless of where goals and objectives originate from, consideration needs to be given to the following areas in order to have as accurate of a future state analysis as possible:
- Environmental Factors: Will pending legislation effect processes? Is this a particularly bad year for HR budgets? For IT budgets? Will those budgets cause some processes to be cut or altered?
- Demographics: Are there significant age spreads? Do certain areas experience greater than normal turnover? Will these demographic issues effect the way the process could or should be handled?
- Technology: Are there processes that will be affected by technology improvements? Will software technology change the number of employees needed?
- Economics: Do certain economic conditions have particular relevance on an industry or area?
Phase 3) Closing the gap between Baseline and Future-State
Gap analysis is simply the process of comparing the baseline analysis to the future-state analysis to identify the differences or "gaps" in process specifications, staffing levels, or competencies needed for the future. The baseline analysis identifies how resources are currently being allocated and how the processes are currently being managed. The demand analysis simply shows you how want the process to actually work. As such, reconciling the differences between your baseline and future-state demand essentially means creating a detailed plan and asking, how do we get from where we are to where we need to be? Ideally, by addressing any issues with your processes now, the HRIS implementation will go smoother because you have already determined what needs to happen with your processes.
Regardless of the HRM software tool chosen, taking the time to review your processes and plan before selecting a vendor will pay dividends. Whichever HR software tool you choose to deploy, you're going to find that the return on investment of a properly thought out system will be far greater than that of one that you try and force an automated solution on. vellc+
Categories: HRMS Software Selection
Tags: HRIS Selection
Author: Micah Fairchild