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As Companies look to Transform HR using ERP, What are they Missing?

Joint Post by
Catherine Toriello, Principal, Management Consulting Services, Infosys
&
Reese Dunbar, Human Capital Management Practice Leader, Management Consulting Services, Infosys

We recently held a series of meetings with members of a global SAP HR planning and implementation team representing a European client. In discussions about goals, the overwhelming response from business and IT members alike was:  "simplify processes, standardize the system, and improve data quality." The larger goal, however, was to transform HR organization from a traditionally transaction-oriented operation to a more strategic one.

hr-processes.jpg

Joint Post by
Catherine Toriello, Principal, Management Consulting Services, Infosys 
&
Reese Dunbar, Human Capital Management Practice Leader, Management Consulting Services, Infosys

We recently held a series of meetings with members of a global SAP HR planning and implementation team representing a European client. In discussions about goals, the overwhelming response from business and IT members alike was:  "simplify processes, standardize the system, and improve data quality." The larger goal, however, was to transform HR organization from a traditionally transaction-oriented operation to a more strategic one.

Neither set of goals came as a surprise.  Over the past five years, we have seen a marked increase in the number of clients seeking to shift HR away from transaction processing, become more flexible, and focus on developing and retaining top talent. In most cases, the means to these ends was to leverage ERP technology to automate day-to-day processes. 

Often, however, we have seen that achieving technology goals does not result in meeting the business goals. Although the reasons for such planning and outcome disconnects can vary according to the company and the circumstances, a few common causes invariably appear, typically after the investment was approved and the money spent. 

The question then, is how can the enterprise ensure that real business value is a direct result of the HR ERP implementation?  Leadership must plan for business value realization early on, ensure that key stakeholders agree with the program goals, and embed value-based metrics throughout the course of the implementation.  Once the implementation is complete, project success should be measured through these metrics.  This is easier said than done and gaps in this process may result in business value slipping away.

In this blog, we will explore current trends and opportunities in HR, discuss how to realize value through HCM ERP transformations, and share specific insights gained through client engagements.  We look forward to reader comments and to making this blog a true on-line conversation.

Comments

We are thinking about this specific issue in our company as well. Definitely look forward to your future, specific insights. We're a ways away from implementation but trying to use the time we have to "plan for business value realization early on." We've looked at several systems and decided on an open source model that's adjusted to our needs. It's in the implementation of the details of the adjustments that we would love to learn from your insights.

Thanks!

I just read the Infosys POV on the Healthcare Economy

The emphasis is on saving time and money and reducing reducdancy and error.

My interest is whether the main value lever is technology or people :)

That technology does not create change is an old canard yet senior managers at companies continue to believe it will. Transforming HR into a strategic partner requires that HR and business managers change their and employee behavior. Technology can enable behavioral change but it cannot create it.

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