The first step to the digitization roadmap is to replace the first word with digital.
"IT is an input, not the end goal."
This was the opening statement of Shaswat Kumar, Vice-President – Advisory and Cloud Solutions of Alight Solutions, during the Masterclass on “Your Digitization Roadmap: How to Take your First Step.”
The masterclass which was also hosted by Vikrant Khanna, Asia Pacific Lead, HR Transformation, Employee Experience and Change Management, Alight Solutions stressed on the fact that for organizations thinking of using technology, two questions need to be answered: “Will it enable change on its own and what are the large anchors of change?”
The digital component “should be natural,” said Shaswat. Organizations need to be clear about why they are doing it. Transformation strategy must use data to drive higher purpose output. Organizations are embarking on digital transformations in response to disruptions and changes in the business environment. Essential to this transformation is the creation of companies that are agile, innovative, and have the ability to embrace their cultural core and to respond to changes both in sensing the changes and in their response to technology.
While technology plays an important role; the big picture requires a larger organizational change. It is therefore imperative that HR lead this transformation by transforming itself first, both to create an example and be there as an enabler to larger transformation.
This demands for HR Transformation/ Digital HR; unfortunately, too many of these initiatives then translate to “Digitization Initiatives”, when what is needed are “Digitization Milestones in enabling Digital Roadmap for HR”
Planning, Execution, Realization
Companies need to understand that the roadmap is a journey, and the journey has 3 distinct stages which require a thorough thought process: Planning, Execution, and Realization.
Currently, technology decisions are being made by the IT department and not by HR.
However, the organizations are not measuring the satisfaction rate on technology, which could reveal employee sentiment and possible frustrations in using technology.
As such, organizations looking at using digital technologies should consider the following in the Planning stage:
• Technology should be aligned to business expectations, outcomes and program;
• Resolve capability gaps and solve for collaboration within the HR Model;
• Functional specs for technology stack are irrelevant but a decision is needed early on;
• Behavior change is to be accounted for early on.
In the Execution stage, integration is the key. Programs cannot work in silos. Business units need to collaborate as this stage is the least visible but demands the most effort and energy. The design and implementation of platforms require senior HR practitioners’ involvement, as well as the dissemination of progress to all internal stakeholders.
For the Realization stage, program owners (are) to be held accountable for outcomes committed. A specialized HR design demands business and domain knowledge from various HR incumbents. The designers need to connect with users to continuously solve for experience and should not fall in the reporting trap. It is also important that the program anchors itself on outcomes and data transparency instead of organizational politics. Thus, it is important to track errors and report corrections.
Organizations should understand the outcomes which matter to business (Talent Outcomes) and talent (experience and purpose) first.
This will allow HR leaders to chart a Digital Roadmap by leveraging digitization and analytics as levers to enable larger organizational change which will help achieve one-time, as well as ongoing outcomes which matter. For instance, Shaswat points out that performance development mindset will need digitization, manager training and leadership behavior changes beyond systems & processes. Thus while designing their digitization roadmap, organizations need to take a big picture view in order to successfully chart their digitization journey.