The promise of technology is alluring but results often do not materialize as presented in the business case. While the outcome can be impacted by many reasons, Chainbridge Solutions recognizes that in order to increase the probability of success, there are key two things agencies must do to ensure a successful implementation once the technology has been identified:

  • Create a robust Organizational Change Management (OCM) Plan to ensure a successful Go-Live; and
  • Transition to a Center of Excellence (COE) model to ensure user adoption and sustainment.

In the rush to implement new technology, both are frequently overlooked or cut due to budgetary constraints. Here are a few reasons why the HR Transformation misses the mark, and how a strong OCM and COE approach can help mitigate the risk.

First, the implementation of new technology is inextricably linked to an agency’s business processes. With new technology, it is all too easy to focus on updating the back-office processes. While agencies don’t begin a transformation process expecting to make the user experience worse, often too much focus on the technology results in business processes redesigned to fit the software. These sub-optimal processes then manifest as a degradation of service which is then blamed on a poor technology choice, inflexible users, or both.

Next, the law of unintended consequences always materializes if the entire end-to-end processes aren’t well understood. Not just the context of a single use case, a few personas, but the entire function. For example, two goals of the federal hiring reform activities in 2010 were to improve the quality of applicants and reduce the time to hire. Removing essay-style questions, switching to category rating, and other activities were designed to improve the applicant’s experience, increase diversity, and get qualified resumes in front of hiring managers faster. In reality, there was a dramatic increase in applications which resulted in large pools of minimally qualified applicants being referred to hiring managers by overwhelmed staffing teams. This did not accomplish the goal of improved quality or reduced time to hire.

Finally, agencies need to have robust OCM plans in place – If you neglect OCM, it will come back to haunt you! OCM does not end at go-live, just the OCM planning. The continued execution of OCM is done under the purview of a COE, or similar Continuous Improvement organization. The COE is a continuation of the agile, cross-functional teams that were involved in the implementation. They are responsible for ensuring the designed and delivered HR services connect to the employee value proposition and provide a seamless employee experience. Without this connection, employees can feel undervalued, resulting in lower engagement scores.

When the technology properly manages, tracks, and prioritizes HR processes behind the scenes, it lets employees get back to meaningful work with confidence that their needs were addressed.