On Tuesday 17th July, our Founding Director Tom Holmes presented at Civil Service Live (London) – the government’s annual, cross-department learning event which attracts thousands of civil servants to come together to learn, network and share best practice.
Veran’s work within government is continually expanding and we were keen to speak at this event to showcase the work we are currently doing within the public sector. Accompanied by Bob Ormes, the Workday Programme Director for the Cabinet Office, the duo spoke about The HR Journey Towards The Cloud using the partnership between Veran, The Cabinet Office and WorkDay as an example of how HR transformation within the public sector can be delivered on time, to budget and within scope and ultimately show that large scale HR transformation projects within government are feasible.
The key message portrayed was that HR transformation is about delivering outcomes not just technology. HR cloud technology is key in promoting change, but it is the surrounding effects of the technology implementation which are of real importance. Tom and Bob explained that technology is a catalyst for standardisation, simplification and modernization within the world of HR. All of which, in turn, promote user-friendly use of HR systems and a more efficient and effective HR service.
The talk focused on 5 key elements that were needed to accompany HR cloud technology installation in order to succeed. These were:
The need to put in the groundwork before starting implementation. This involves:
Aligning stakeholders to obtain sign off of the final business case
Selecting the right technology with the right scope, and the signing the required contracts
Solution Design & Business Readiness including Target Operating Models (TOM) & Business Change
Data & Technical Readiness & the mapping out of all integrations
Planning and making decisions to enable the project to run to time, cost and quality. Those who configure and install the HR software should be separate from those who test it, which will prevent software suppliers ‘marking their own homework’ and eradicates the potential problem of subjective testing. HR Implementations should ensure sufficient client-side support to enable this and therefore the project teams need to be established at an early stage.
Operating Model Design – being flexible
Organisations often try to implement technology without changing any of the elements around it in the Operating Model – for instance how they are structured, or how services will change that they provide to the business. The new technology will have an impact on the wider business and therefore the HR Operating Model must be revisited. By revisiting the HR Operating Model and accepting it’s evolving nature, full benefits of the implementation can be obtained.
Successful transformation projects are those which make sure whole organisations understand and embrace the changes that technology will bring. Good change management will uncover gaps and discover new ways of working thus facilitating the acceptance of important and influential changes. Change management must start at the beginning of the programme and, without it, the adoption of technology and benefits it can bring will be significantly limited.
There are many complex integrations involved within HR departments and systems – and often many of which don’t come to light until licences have been signed and the project has begun. Not fully understanding these complexities can lead to higher costs than anticipated and delays in implementation. Facilitation of early conversations with the right people who understand the full business system is therefore key to success.
Bringing Case Studies from the Cabinet Office and Home Office to life
Throughout the talk, Bob brought each of these 5 areas to life with examples from both the Cabinet Office and other projects he had been involved with. He also highlighted the importance of the collaboration between Veran and the Cabinet Office in allowing all 5 keys to success to be addressed. The Cabinet Office Fast Stream is a Proof of Concept for Workday in Government and will go live in August (with Payroll going live in January 2019).
Civil Service Live was a great opportunity to showcase Veran’s involvement within government and enabled HR professionals within the public sector to discover the growing opportunities which are available to their HR teams.