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Author's profile photo Brett Addis

#StratBlog: Let’s Get Ready To Transform!

Is your HR department purely transactional and yet their aspirations are to have the right people in the right roles to execute on the business strategy? Is your organization ready for transformation? Are you having discussions with the business executives about their level of organizational readiness and adoption of your new strategy, structure, people, processes and technology?


Like other business units, HR is focused on continuous improvement. That may come in the form of a new organizational structure, improving people and skills, or implementing new processes or best in class technology. Regardless of the level of transformations the outcome is the same — to be more efficient, provide greater level of experience, and add value to the business.


A successful transformation must have both a strategy layer and an execution layer.  These layers and the strategic ingredients within them must all be in place to achieve a successful HR Transformation.


So let’s start peeling back the layers, and I’m not referring to onions…


Strategic Layer:

The strategic Layer is not only the starting point, but consists of foundational elements that need to be addressed in order to position HR in the right way.  These elements are:


Strategy & Business Alignment:

  • The strategy is HR’s position to achieving its future state. This position is not only aspirational, but also actionable and should directly aligned to the business goals and outline a common set of outcomes to illustrate HR’s direct quantifiable value to the business.


Change Management:

  • In order for the strategy to be successful, it will require business sponsorship. The right level of sponsor engagement will not only create visibility, but will deliver a higher level of success.  Starting the change processes early is not a nice to have, but a requirement to set expectations and drive the desired behaviors.


Workforce Experience and Support:

  • Workforce Experience is focused on designing your department with the end consumer/user in mind. In this case, when you think about HR, the end consumer/user is the entire organization. When you consider the level at which HR interacts with the organization through processes, programs, technology, etc., the user experience must be defined based on each stakeholder group to ensure a high level of adoption.



  • There are two primary types of support. The first is system support and the second is consumer/end user support.
  • System support is focused on maintenance, system enhancements, system issues, etc. and although this can impact all users, the process is fairly segmented to the HRIS, IT and SAP team.


  • The second type of support is consumer/end user support. Consumer/End User Support is probably the most critical component of transformational success, and is often one of the most common areas that is overlooked. The purpose of these support processes is to ensure that our consumer/end user has a single destination to find answers/content or request help. Organizations should use a tiered delivery model that starts with self-service enabled by a personalized consumer/user portal that will allow our consumers/user to search for content, training, supported by a series of additional tiers to offer support and manage escalations to provide resolution solution.


Execution Layer:

The execution layer is focused on the realization of the HR strategy. The level at which HR can manage, deploy and execute will ultimately determine its ability to transform.



  • Defining a governance process is the number one priority. The structure of the committee should consist of both HR and the business, and require a frequent cadence for escalations reviews. Since transformations will require decisions be made across people, process, and technology, there are often sub-committees to own the decisions based on their areas of expertise.



  • The biggest common denominator in any transformation is people. People at all levels and across the organization become engaged to support the deployment. Having the right resources does not mean having resources in a seat, but it means having the right resources with capabilities to deliver.



  • The goal of designing process should focus on the future state and as stated above build based on the consumer/end user. Process optimization will be the key driver for demonstrating HR efficiency and effectiveness, so it is important that we aren’t just looking at end to end steps, but variables such as roles, role actions, i.e. number of approvals, areas to automate, local requirements and areas of global consistency. It is important that processes are designed prior to the implementation, but should be calibrated to the system for configuration.



  • When considering implementing new cloud HR technology, many organizations have been led to believe that it is easy, limited resources are needed, limited pre-work needs to be completed, and it will automatically drive end user adoption. In reality, technology is the enabler, and without putting all the layers and ingredients in place, it will be difficult to design, configure and integrate to deliver the desired workforce experience and business outcomes.

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