Client: Financial Services Institution
Project: HR Process Analysis
The HR Challenge
A large financial services institution wanted to review all of their core HR business processes affecting the employee lifecycle. Data integrity and accuracy were key drivers of this initiative, but overall, process efficiency and optimization were the critical success factors. The existing knowledge of HR business processes by employees was limited and haphazard, had never been formally mapped or structured, and did not exhibit any overall consistency. In general, processes were poorly understood which made it difficult to manage performance expectations to HR customers. Processes and workflow were often manual with few standard controls or service levels and had been institutionally crafted over many years creating dependencies on single individuals and personal relationships across the organization.
These problems were systemic and prevalent throughout the organization to the point where all functions within HR had resorted to ‘their way’ of doing things. This created an environment full of conflict with an “us against them” mentality, finger pointing between functions, and limited collaboration.
It was decided that a business process analysis initiative be undertaken to improve the HR processes. Due to limited existing documentation, Intellilink documented employee lifecycles to bundle HR processes into manageable groups for process analysis. A combined team of Intellilink consultants and internal resources then used a four step process to map, validate, develop solutions, and present recommended changes to management. Starting with over 100 interviews, the final process kit contained over 115 HR processes and a number of quick hit and high priority solutions.
Map Current State Processes - Intellilink developed a framework across all HR processes to coordinate the current state mapping process. Based on this framework, interviews with SMEs were scheduled and conducted so that the team could maximize subject matter expert effort and where possible, overlap processes with similar SMEs to quickly get to the ‘current state.’ Intellilink tracked progress against completion by process, by employee cycle, and by SME and SME grouping. This enabled the team to identify which processes needed a greater effort and vice versa. Once all processes were mapped, Intellilink used SharePoint to post all project documentation, including the finished ‘as-is’ maps, for review. Periodic ‘reviews’ were conducted with stakeholders to assess the completeness of all processes.
Review and Prioritize Current State Processes - After completing the current state mapping exercise, the Intellilink team led a four day validation session consisting of director and VP representation from every HR function. The purpose of these sessions was to review all current state maps giving the audience perspective, identifying opportunities for improvement, and defining the relative priority of each process. The priority of each process was defined using three factors: a) how broken the process is, b) what type of impact the process has on the organization, and c) how difficult it would be to change the process. After all processes were reviewed, Intellilink led the team through a mapping session noting relevant points of process contention raised by the process operators. The team then used all of the information presented to bucket each process and begin ranking. By using yes/no criteria for each priority area, Intellilink led the team to consensus, which ultimately resulted in a numerical value for each priority area. The processes were then mapped against impact/difficulty matrices and placed in the proper quadrant. This final ‘assessment’ for each process was again validated with the team prior to recommendations being developed. The validation team also verified short-term report definitions against stakeholder business needs.
Develop Solution Recommendations - Intellilink focused on processes that would provide the greatest benefit to the client and had the most cross solution impact. Intellilink developed solution recommendations using both industry and consulting expertise along with recommendations provided by the SMEs during the interview sessions, recommendations from the validation teams, and subsequent follow up sessions with stakeholders. The current state mapping sessions and validation exercises served as both a ‘how do you do it’ mapping session and a forum for SMEs to provide recommendations and potential solution ideas. Intellilink gathered all information and separated each of the solutions into two sections – quick hits and high priority long term solutions. The quick hit solutions were, generally isolated to one single process and limited in scope (1-3 months), limited in cross functional needs, and required only small system modifications at most. The longer term solutions generally cut across multiple processes, were larger in scope (3mos – 1year+) required some organizational shift or structure change, and required a level of automation that did not previously exist. Final recommendations were presented to and agreed upon by the validation team.
Present Recommendations to Management - Using the quick hit and long term solution recommendations, Intellilink presented the recommendations to HR Management. Intellilink also provided implementation success factors and common themes for management to determine go/no go on each solution and the phasing of the effort. Management chose to move forward with all but two longer term solution ideas based on resource availability and management’s perceived inability to influence change across all of the organization. Once management validated the recommendations, Intellilink began road-mapping the long term high priority improvement opportunities and initiating quick hit changes.