Gain the support of key people in the organization. Show them how they can benefit from technology by controlling content.
Six general guidelines from the Mayo Clinic's experience in getting an intranet in place:
1. Know the business reason for your company's intranet.
If there is no real business need for an intranet, the effort will not receive management support or funding and will eventually lead to a disappointing failure. This may appear to be stating the obvious, but a common mistake is to jump on the intranet bandwagon with no overriding business necessity.
The lesson is to clearly state the goals of developing the intranet and keep those goals business-related and realistic. For example, "to become paperless" is not a realistic goal for many companies, especially if there are employees who don't have computer access.
At Mayo we support two systems -- one electronic and one paper. The biggest hindrance to becoming paperless has been that 60 percent of Mayo's workforce does not have computer access. The organization has used kiosks, but with limited success. Management now realizes that some processes may always need paper, but the volume of it can be significantly reduced. One exception is a Web-based class registration system that completely eliminated paper registrations. However, IVR and e-mail registrations supplement the Web system.
In addition to being "business focused," effecting cost savings may not be realistic in many cases. Initially, Mayo Web teams were confident that they could realize a large ROI from the Web investment, especially after reading success stories in industry journals. However, this never materialized, largely due to unrealistic expectations.
After reading Robert Buchanan and Charles Lukaszewski's book, Measuring the Impact of Your Web Site, teams could quantify costs. Surprisingly, by using cost avoidance measures, Mayo is starting to see intranet cost savings come true. The intranet has found its financial value via cost savings through efficiency and employee self-reliance.
2. Gain the support of key people in the organization. Show them how they can benefit from technology by controlling content.
When implementing any new technology, the right people must be selected for the design phase. Subject matter experts (SMEs) usually know the types of information to include. These people need to be teamed with technology experts to suggest ways to provide this information online. The SME needs to feel in control of the content and the technology expert is simply the facilitator.
Responding to the SMEs needs (e.g., reducing frequent employee inquiries) ensures that the intranet will gain the support of key people. This support, in turn, results in a significant time and cost savings for the HR staff such as reducing phone calls and e-mails.
3. Form a steering group to foster communications and add direction.
SMEs need to have ownership of the site for it to be successful. Group members need to work together to determine what should be offered, remembering both the department's needs and its customers as well. Good communication among group members, management and customers is essential. Group work implies compromise and members need to understand that some of their ideas will not be chosen. Real benefit comes from consensus and group ownership of what goes onto the intranet.
4. Start with some easy winners, and then expand to the more complex.
A common mistake is trying to do too much too soon. Start slowly and get comfortable with the tools that you have to ensure long-term success. Team members need to constantly seek direction from users regarding what they want most while remembering that everyone's needs will not be met. Job postings were started with static pages and manual processes.
These processes were automated and are now database-driven. HR gave employees the information they wanted, which drew people to the site. Over time, HR developed techniques to save time and effort and more complicated workflow applications can now be addressed.
The Web has the potential to save time for internal staff, too. Starting with a simple process that helps eliminate paper can result in an early win. With relative ease, existing paper forms can be made "electronic." From these forms, the next logical step is to design interfaces directly into your HRIS, a much more complex process, but with huge potential for timesavings.
5. Build interactivity.
Michael Burgoon, in his writings on human communications, states that most people are "reading-resistant," meaning that although they can read, they don't want to, because reading requires some work on their part that they would prefer to avoid. Practically speaking, this means that developers need to build benefits into the site that make employees want to investigate, probe, and experiment and learn.
For example, Mayo's intranet can "model" W-4 wage statements on deductions so employees can experiment and see the effect that exemption changes will have on one's paycheck. "Ask HR" allows employees to send questions directly to human resources.
6. Recognize that a dedicated staff of employees is needed to support the site.
The intranet may not lead to a staff reduction; in fact, organizations may need to add staff. However, the intranet should help employees become more effective and save companies money. Human resource departments have the core knowledge, but with the ever-changing technology, can't be both HR specialists and technology experts. Staff with Internet development experience needs to be hired.
One way to supplement technical knowledge while new staff is being trained is to use interns to do site programming. Students bring technical competence and new ideas, but often don't understand the company's business needs or corporate culture. Interns should be paired with experienced staff members who can mentor them and create a win-win partnership between their technical knowledge and the company's business needs.
By Jay Fernández, an IT liaison in the HR department at Mayo, and Dr. Bijoy K. Khandheria, a cardiologist who chairs Mayo's information and technology group. Mr. Khandheria can be reached at . From IHRIM's "e-Work Architect: How HR Leads the Way Using the Internet."
Allows administrator to maintain employee database, give administrative rights to selected users, define up to six main menu options (in addition to main menu options provided by Intranet: Home, Administration, Tools and Log Out) and submenu options and publish pages, publish and manage News section, manage File Repository and Conduct Opinion Polls.
Administrator (s) can initiate new forums for discussions and all employees with access to this feature can participate in the discussion. Helps know employee views, brings up new ideas and keeps mind active on important matters.
Immediate access to contact information, know colleagues better.
Create folders and upload useful electronic documents. Provides instantaneous access to useful documents to employees whenever required. Saves employees from searching though the "mail jungle" to look for documents and ensures access to latest documents
Publish news related to the organization.
Utility for "chatting".
Employee feels happy when they see their names on a day of the year every one should be wishing them - Happy Birthday wishes come up automatically on the home page.
Good thoughts get displayed on the home page on every access.
Conduct opinion polls on various issues and quickly learn what employees think about it.
You can create up to six main menu options as per your organization's requirements and create submenus and publish pages. Some possible menu options may be:
About the Organization: Mission, Objectives, Goals
Products: Provide information on product groups and products of the company
Services: Provide information on services being provided by the company.
HR: Communicate al HR policies and rules and also provide electronic forms for
download. The downloadable forms can be provided in the file repository.
Support and Customization:
We will provide support by e-mail/fax/phone as needed.
The support will be provided from our Ahmedabad office.
We can provide additional functionality as desired by providing you further application development
The Easy Life Intranet application is being provided on "right to use" basis. The intellectual property (including the source code) ownership remains with Adit Microsys. You will take all due care and ensure that the intellectual property rights of Adit Microsys are rightfully protected within your organization and outside by all your employees and all users provided access to the application.
Deployment and System Requirements:
The Easy Life Intranet application can be implemented either on a web server or on an internal network. In either case, we will require Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) running on the server where Intranet application is to be installed. If the implementation is on an external web server, you will need to provide Internet access to all users of Intranet.
HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT – NEED FOR AN ERP SYSTEM
Enterprise Resource Planning solution has been implemented in most of the big enterprises in India and many of the mid size companies are in the process of implementation. The Vendors of such systems are providing solutions customized to midsize and smaller enterprises to suit their needs and investment capability. ERP systems are integrated software solutions encompassing all areas of operations of an enterprise like Manufacturing, Distribution, Finance, Procurement, and HR. The leading ERP systems like SAP, Oracle, People soft are built on solid foundation of best practices in every aspect of the functioning of an enterprise bringing about operational efficiency, decision support and elimination of process redundancy. Further, many of the cutting edge software applications like CRM and SCM can only be bolted on to ERP system.
While the implementation of Enterprise systems is fairly widespread in India, many such companies have not implemented Human Capital Management module and some of the companies take up HR implementation as last priority. For instance, Aventis Pharma a multinational pharmaceutical company implemented SAP solution for manufacturing, Finance and other processes in India many years back but People Soft HR was implemented only in 2002. Some of the companies have taken decision not to implement HR midway through implementation. When most of the companies declare that Human Resource is their most important asset, HR has been the least important area for ERP implementation. Let us examine some of the important reasons for this dichotomy and understand the benefits of implementing HRMS in Organizations along with other modules of ERP.
Disparate HR practices
ERP system is developed on the basis of standardized processes based on best practices which can be configured to a large extent to enterprise specific requirements. While manufacturing, finance and distribution functions have standardized and documented processes all over the world albeit minor variation in practice, HR practices are widely disparate due to its organic growth rooted on cultural milieu of organization and the social context. For instance, public Sector companies in India have to cope with complicated reservation policy in recruitment and promotion and meet rigorous legal reporting. Many of the policies and practices are results of Organization specific long term settlement with Trade Unions. The main concern of companies in Middle East is annual vacation management including vacation pay and resource replacement. Organizations in US and Europe lay great emphasis on Benefit enrollments and Self Service and government reporting. The leading ERP systems like SAP, People soft, Oracle etc have configured the HR processes of Organizations in the west like benefit enrollment, Workers Compensation and local tax laws. These systems cannot be directly configured to meet the Indian requirement which calls for extensive customization of the system to meet the process requirement or change in processes itself. A general survey of companies implementing HR module of ERP in India reveals that extensive customizations have been done in terms of Payroll, Leave Management, Compensation and Benefits to suit the requirements. Customizations may range minor tweaking of functionality to major changes to kernel applications and custom development of small modules with the help of tools available. The leading ERP systems do not have configurable processes to pay or compensate employees out side payroll which is a great limitation. Further, there is huge limitation in terms of Leave management in all the packages considering the various types of leaves and complexity of leave rules in India. We, at Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, decided to custom develop the Compensation and Benefit module and Leave Administration and Payroll in JD Edwards (now PeopleSoft) system to meet our specific requirements. Aventis Pharma customized their Leave administration and Performance Appraisal processes in People soft to configure their processes..
Customization of standard applications can be very costly and difficult to maintain. While applying upgrades or service packs, customization to existing applications gets overwritten requiring recoding. There is a need for localization of international products to suit Indian requirement and standardization and maturing of HR practices in India. HR professionals in India should take up the conflicting challenges to standardize policies, payroll, and benefits across Organizations to improve efficiency and meet enterprise specific HR objectives.
Return on Investment
The second reason for lack of ERP HR implementation by Organizations is the general belief that it does not justify return on Investment. Organizations argue that huge investment in ERP HR system is unwarranted while Employee related information is available in legacy systems and Personal Folders.
But disintegrated raw data is only helpful in taking micro level decisions. Strategic decision can be taken only when the raw data travel through the continuum of Data, Information, Knowledge and Decision support. The movement across this continuum will be very resource intensive and time consuming, if ERP HR system is not in place in the Organization. Maintenance of multiple standalone systems will result in avoidable data mismatches, complex interfaces, reconciliation and lack of scalability which can prove costly in the long run. Steve Rice, Director HR Global Enterprise Programs and Technology of Hewlett Packard says that with PeopleSoft 8 HRMS, HP will immediately save $3 million per year in hardware, software, database, and maintenance costs. With ERP implementation, you can channel money right back into our bottom line.
One of the most important benefits of ERP HR Implementation is its capability of Self Service and seamless integration with Web technologies. Self Service allows individual employees to view and update their personal profile like name and address change, qualification and skill, apply on line for jobs, enroll for various benefit plans in the Organization, and fill in self appraisal with a provision for HR department to review and approve. Self Service applications relieve HR function of the onerous task of data entry and maintenance allowing them to shift their focus from transaction processing to transformational processes. Further, when capturing information at source, accuracy of information is also assured. The internal customers are delighted with relevant online information concerning their benefits and career allowing them to focus on business. In India unfortunately, self service as a concept is yet to take off due to lack of trust in Employees in terms of their ability to adopt Self Service and fear of updating wrong information by them. Another reason is the lack of awareness of cost involved in maintaining such vast amount of information in disintegrated legacy systems and manual records by HR Department and difficulty of meaningful retrieval.
Payroll and HR go hand in hand every Organization and therefore ERP system should provide robust payroll solution which can handle local tax rules and other imperatives of employee compensation peculiar to each country. India Localization of payroll is a very important prerequisite for ERP HR to take wings in India. Many Organizations who have implemented ERP HR systems have either interfaced legacy payroll to ERP or custom developed payroll package in ERP system. For example, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited has localized SAP payroll and is successfully running the same. At HPCL, we are implementing a customized payroll in JD Edwards (now People soft) ERP system. In the near futu
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Its very very Important information for all us really i am heartly thanful for you respected Sir. In today's bussy life no one tell us the right way if we forget any ones home way and you provide a huge information it seems how much great you are.
Thanks. This actually is a great posting. I'm finding in my practice that more and more clients are using online learning to standardize offerings and minimize costs. Independent vendors are also creating content which exceeds standardized requirements.
Take a look, for example, at the website www.perfectresource.net, created by Stephen Sequeira. He has dozens of years of HR experience across multiple verticals, and has tied it all together with SAP Standards applicable to both individual learners and corporations. This is the type of worldwide application which is going to grow and excel.
The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc.
Thanks for sharing the information. I'm preapring a project on assessing the 'effectiveness on SAP' implmented in my organization. Pls, give some input on the survey questionnaire and the project.
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