Problem corner

Mark Dorgan from PA Consulting Group, advises on and delivers people and
organisational change programmes

Problem: My organisation is committed to improving HR service
delivery and reducing costs through e-HR. How can I identify the right
technology for my business and ensure the expected benefits are realised?

Answer: Ensure you pinpoint the technologies that will add the most
value to your organisation in the context of your HR strategy. To do this, you
need to create a structured assessment process that gives a framework for
viewing the options. Without such a framework, you will have to rely on those
put forward by the systems’ vendors. It will also help HR and your IT
department to work together to achieve a common goal.

A useful framework for thinking about the options available to you is an
employee life-cycle map, which shows the phases the employee goes through in
your company from attraction, to performance management and development, and
finally exit and retirement. Although much will be generic, aspects may be
unique to your employment environment. For example, you may have a high
employee turnover rate and thus require a focus on e-recruitment, or perhaps
you have remote workers that require a focus one-learning technologies. Each
step in the life-cycle implies a set of support actions from the company. This
framework will provide a view of current activities, staffing and, with
activity-based costing, an understanding of the cost savings that will be

You can then go one step further to consider how you want to change or
improve the service provided. Critically, however, you must remember that e-HR
should be approached as a change, rather than an IT implementation project.

Therefore, you need to ensure robust change, that project management
disciplines are applied and that business expectations are managed, as e-HR
programmes typically result in incremental improvement, rather than an end
solution in one leap.

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