Phase 3 Work Underway

The Human Resource Business Process Transformation (HRBPT) continues to move forward and make significant progress. With Phase 1 (Current State Assessment) and Phase 2 (Future State Design) complete, Phase 3 (Implementation) has begun and the team members are now fully engaged.

Phase 1 of the HR Business Process Transformation (HRBPT) initiative (March – June 2013) focused on laying the groundwork for the transformation, including assessing the current state of HR, building the future state framework, performing stakeholder analysis and creating the HRBPT business case and roadmap.

Phase 2 (July 2013 – December 2015) focused on designing the future state. The key areas of concentration – policy harmonization, process redesign, organizational design (service delivery model) and technology – became active workstreams, and the teams responsible for those workstreams began onboarding team members, outlining charters, developing project plans, and delving further into designing the future state of HR.

With the start of Phase 3 (December 2015 – Present), the HRBPT undertakes the refinement and implementation of the plans developed by the key workstreams from Phase 2.  Details of the implementation work being conducted by the workstream teams are outlined below.

Workstream updates

Process redesign: HR processes are being reviewed and redesigned to provide consistency and clarity within the new organizational model, and to maximize the use of the new technologies. Some of the standardized and automated processes being developed include: recruitment, applicant tracking, background checks, offer letters, onboarding, leave administration, and terminations. The goal is the complete the process redesign and review phase to ensure that the new process are in place for the move to the new HR service delivery model in 2017. 

Policy harmonization: The Policy Harmonization committee continues the work of adjusting the differences and inconsistencies among policies through consolidation, modernization, elimination and creation of policies to make them more uniform and mutually compatible. The committee continues toward its goal of reducing the current policies and guidelines by a third – from 125 to 80 – and re-categorizing exclusively academic policies, such as promotion and tenure, to remain within the academic purview. Policy harmonization will continue beyond the HRBPT/Workday launch in 2017.

Organization design and Talent: This team is aligning personnel and redefining responsibilities to transform HR into a more strategic organization. The future state HR service delivery model will include three key areas: HR strategic partners and HR consultants, who will be aligned with their respective colleges, campuses and administrative units; Centers of Expertise, which will be primarily responsible for setting policy and HR strategy in several key areas, and HR Shared Services, which will provide the “engine” for human resources work. Socialization of the details of the org design plan took place from January to April 2016, with one-on-one presentations to key shareholders and leadership groups, including the Provost and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, deans, unit leaders and chancellors and key business partners, as well as the HR community, HR Reps and Directors of Business Services (DBS). The Human Resources department is currently finalizing staffing information on various roles and responsibilities with the HR community, and is beginning the process to have all positions staffed by December 2016.  Plans are also being developed for training, which will continue through spring 2017 to prepare the HR community for their new roles and responsibilities. 

Technology: The technology plan and improvements support the business needs of Penn State, and enable the HRBPT initiative. Three key technologies are part of the technology implementation. The first is Project WorkLion, the multi-year initiative to replace the existing human resources (HR) and payroll systems with Workday—a cloud-based solution – which will culminate in the project’s system launch in June 2017. The initial core functionality of Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) and payroll includes: compensation, benefits, payroll, time tracking, absence and performance management. Learn more at the Project WorkLion website.

A second technology solution supporting the HRBPT is Neocase, which has been in pilot operation in HR since March. A Workday partner, Neocase is the software that will power the HR Shared. Neocase offers three key components for self-service and assisted service, including: a HR portal for employees to obtain personalized information using a single sign-on; a HR knowledgebase, containing searchable policies and procedures that provide content for the employee’s information, as well as information to assist service center employees in providing consistent answers to inquiries, and a HR case management feature, a tool that will be used by the HR service center staff to provide consistent documentation of each inquiry submitted, from submission through resolution.

Another Workday partner, Cornerstone On Demand is the third technology supporting the HRBPT and the software behind the Learning Resources Network (LRN), which went online in August 2015 for faculty and staff professional development. The LRN is a single system to support trainer-led sessions, eLearning and training resources. The system provides an official record of professional development activities, and works with Skillsoft Business Skills content and Lynda.com content.

Change management: Change management will continue to coordinate approaches for stakeholder outreach, develop communications, and explore engagement opportunities for various stakeholder groups, including academic and non-academic leadership, the HR Community, and key business partners.

HRBPT Pilot Programs

To assist with testing and refinement, a HRBPT Pilot program was launched in July 2015 involving the College of Arts and Architecture, and the College of Education, providing the first opportunity to test some of the concepts developed by the HRBPT workstreams. In the pilot, initial work was focused on streamlining processes across the two colleges as well as introducing the new roles of HR Strategic Partner, HR Consultant and HR Transactional Support Team. All of these roles are essential elements to the pilot and feedback has been collected along the way, making adjustments as needed. Soon, the project will launch new pilot programs in additional colleges and business units.

Governance Structure

Phase 3 also includes fine-tuning of the project’s governance structure, including the formation of the Business Decision Body (BDB), which includes leaders from various areas across the University. The BDB will assist with exploring and rendering large policy decisions impacting the HRBPT. The governance structure also included the formation of several advisory committees and groups.