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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

First Look: HRMS begins high-level training with unit and OHR staff

“It’s finally here!” said Lori Lamb, director of OHR Operations. “We’re really doing this -- I’m so excited!”

Lamb sat along the back wall of a packed room on the first floor of WBOB -- the space reserved for HRMS Business Process Owners -- last Thursday afternoon and surveyed a bustling room full of HR and Finance staff anxious for a first look at new HRMS business processes and functions. The gathering was the first of four ESUP HRMS Processes & Functions training sessions scheduled for unit HR and Finance leaders, and the first formal training sessions of the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP).

For the next two hours, HRMS Training Lead Amanda Wolford walked more than 50 people through high-level flowcharts mapping end-to-end HRMS business processes from recruiting and onboarding through time and absence reporting and payroll accounting. Along the way, Wolford took special note of the new importance of Position data, as well as important process changes and new functions unit staff will be expected to perform when the new system goes live in February 2015. 

Participants were also given a more detailed functions document, explaining the responsibilities of each function and the competencies required to perform it well. This led to an exercise in which tables used Post-Its to map specific functions to the appropriate steps in the process flows. The goal was twofold: To see how well the group understood the process flows and to encourage units to begin thinking how current HR and Finance roles may need to evolve.

As the tables worked through the exercise, Dann Chapman, director of employee benefits, told Lamb how helpful the flowcharts were to understanding how the system and functions will work together -- and why data integrity is important every step of the way. Chapman’s feedback is important, because beginning in April, all Office of Human Resources (OHR) staff will begin similar high-level training so that the entire OHR team has a basic understanding of how we do the business of HR at the University.

As a final exercise, tables were asked to document the biggest changes from their perspectives, as well as what excited and worried them most. The overlap between tables was striking. On the positive side, attendees were excited about electronic time and absence reporting and approvals, automated COBRA notifications, and the fact that, going forward, not only does Position data “finally mean something,” but helps to integrate and automate currently disconnected business processes (especially recruiting).. At the same time, people expressed concerns about changes in staff functions, payroll accounting processes, and timeliness of time and absence approvals, as well as the scale and timing of training needed for successful implementation. 

Nevertheless, attendees offered kudos and applause for a successful and informative first session.

“I can’t say enough that this is only the beginning,” Wolford said. “This is high-level process training. Today is just an appetizer -- there will be much more to come!”

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