Case Study: Analyze Current State Process and Develop Transformation Program

Client: Global Financial Services Firm

Function: HR Department

Project: Analyze Current State Process and Develop Transformation Program

The HR Process and System Transformation Challenge

A large financial services institution needed to review and understand all 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 process understanding by HR employees was limited and haphazard, had never been formally mapped or structured, nor exhibited any overall consistency. At a macro level, processes were poorly understood which made expectations management difficult both within HR and to HR customers, while micro processes and workflow was manual and institutionally developed creating single person dependencies and reliance on a relationship-based organization structure. As HR evolved over the years, workarounds were used to maneuver the new culture through and around old processes – rather than reworking the processes and making the appropriate, needed changes.

The problems were systemic and prevalent throughout the HR organization. Because of the rampant process distress, all functions within HR had resorted to ‘their way’ of doing things. This created an environment rife with an “us against them” mentality, finger pointing between functions, limited collaboration, and no process closure. Coupled with the previously identified issues, other problems existed; controls and service levels were foreign concepts, very little process automation existed and where there was automation it was poorly implemented and adopted, while many processes exhibited single function dependence on the HR Talent Team members (now business partners). NOTE: The scope of this credential ends at ‘present to management,’ each individual process change was treated as a project unto itself.

The Solution

The problem required core business process analysis. Considering the limited existing documentation, Intellilink determined the breakdown of employee lifecycles to bundle the processes and map all of the HR processes.

Intellilink led a team of internal resources and used a 4 step process to map, validate, develop solution recommendations, and present suggested changes to management. Starting with over 100 interviews, the final process kit contains 115+ processes and a number of quick hit and high priority solutions.

  1. Map Current State Processes

Intellilink developed the framework of processes to start the current state mapping process. Based on those processes and groupings, interviews with SMEs were scheduled and conducted. Using this structure, the team could maximize subject matter expert effort and where possible, overlap processes with similar SMEs to quickly get to the ‘current state.’ Using a development matrix, Intellilink tracked progress against completion by process, by employee cycle, and by SME and SME grouping. Using this Matrix, Intellilink was able to identify which processes needed a greater effort and vice versa.

Once all processes were mapped, Intellilink used SharePoint to post all project documentation, to include the finished ‘as-is’ maps. Periodic ‘reviews’ were conducted with stakeholders to assess the completeness of all processes.

  1. Review and Prioritize Current State Processes

After completing the current state mapping exercise, the Intellilink team led a 4 day validation session consisting of director and VP representation from every HR function, appointed as proxies by HR Management. The purpose of these sessions were to review all current state maps giving the audience perspective, identifying opportunities for improvement, and using objective criteria, giving relative priority to each process on the three priority areas. The priority areas were 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 implement changes. After all processes were reviewed, Intellilink led the team through mapping session notes and 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 the ranking process. By using yes/no criteria for each priority area, the Intellilink team led the team to consensus on yes/no answers, which ultimately led to a numerical value for each priority area. Once this was complete and consensus was gained on priorities and the highest impact processes, the process were 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

  1. Develop Solution Recommendations

Intellilink focused on processes that would provide the greatest impact to Fannie Mae and had the most cross solution impact – also emphasized were any processes politically constrained and not able to be redesigned. Intellilink developed the 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 a both a ‘how do you do it’ mapping session and a forum for SMEs to provide recommendations and potential solutions ideas. Intellilink emphasized the notion that processes operators often times provide the best ideas for fixing processes, the consultants are present to facilitate them through that process. Intellilink gathered all information and separated each of the solutions into two sections – high priority long term solutions and quick hits. The quick hit solutions were as indicated, generally isolated to one single process and limited in scope (1-3 months), limited in cross functional needs, and required at most small system modification. 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.

  1. 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.