In Part 1 of our series exploring IT portfolio management, we looked at why managing IT projects as a portfolio vs. managing projects individually is a preferred approach. We also looked at some of the challenges that can keep organizations from realizing the full potential of portfolio management. Today we look at what leading portfolio managers do to overcome these challenges and progress on their digitalization journey .

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1. Take improvement opportunities to heart.

While the organizations we surveyed that managed all IT programs as a portfolio saw process improvements and better scope management, even the most mature companies only exceeded expectations 60 percent of the time. That said, the data suggest that portfolio is an evolving capability, given the history of project-by-project management, and will likely improve as organizations become more mature in their capability. Some improvement opportunities are:
Managing expectations: Stakeholder management was a benefit of portfolio management approaches, so organizations moving to portfolio approaches need to leverage improving credibility to manage scope expectations.
Improving processes: As organizations implement portfolio management techniques, assessing various process improvements will help them measure ongoing value and eliminate ineffective processes.
Assessing progress: Organizations should establish achievable KPIs and process improvements portfolio-wide, rather than just simply reviewing individual projects.

2. Implement better practices for better effectiveness.

Organizations should consider creating an action plan to increase their portfolio management effectiveness by engaging staff to review internal practices and identifying small, practical steps for improvements. Here are some leading practices:

Action Items
1. Identify customer groups and clearly define each customer group
2. Conduct prioritization exercise for initiatives, ensuring alignment to strategic goals and customer needs

1. Prioritize initiatives/investments based on customer needs. Customers’ expectations constantly increase—at a faster pace than ever in today’s digital age. Since customers are considered the soul of any business model, it makes sense to prioritize initiatives based on customer demands while keeping the initiative strategy in sync with the organization’s overall strategy and mission. Keep in mind one of the most important activities is to clearly define who your customers are so you’re working toward meeting the right needs of the right people.

Action Items1. Conduct risk assessments
2. Identify and prioritize identified risk items

2. Review and remediate risks.Organizations should continually assess and identify interdependency risk between project governance and project solutions within a portfolio. This means going beyond conducting one-off assessments and instead looking to continuously identify portfolio optimization and improvement opportunities. The information gathered from risk assessments gives a deep-dive understanding of all the risk associated with managing multiple projects within the portfolio. Organizations can then use this feedback to take corrective actions on troubled projects and focus their energy on the risks that matter the most—large, complex, and risky projects should receive the most attention. Key to this activity is to proactively identify risks and act on them.

Action Items1. Establish a process for allocating resources for all types of work in the portfolio (projects, programs, products)
2. Incorporate an adaptive process to accommodate changing priorities
3. Enable dynamic resource reallocation to teams per project requirements

3. Practice flexible and non-linear resource allocation. Portfolio managers should continually identify opportunities to assign the right level of resources to the right project. This often means doing away with the traditional way of allocating resources at a project level or to individual initiatives. Instead, organizations should create a pool of resources and an environment that optimizes devoted teams based on each project’s requirements at a given time.

Action Items1. Finalize an approach to change management to balance the magnitude of single go-live and smaller events
2. Establish feedback and communication channels across roles
3. Mitigate change fatigue

4. Manage change holistically by establishing organizational change management (OCM) capabilities. Digital transformation is greatly increasing the number of changes in an organization’s business and technology landscape. As organizations look to build capabilities to adapt to these changes, it’s important to integrate formal learning and change management within portfolios. In our survey, while the data did not show a huge impact on change efforts, we noticed that as the organizations evolve portfolio capabilities, they usually embed OCM efforts only after the process improvement efforts are set.
Enabling and equipping users to adopt a change can sometimes have unplanned results, so it’s critical that organizations plan ahead of time to avoid or mitigate the risks. Planning and managing initiatives can lead to faster adoption and an increased appetite for further change. Embrace agility in planning to accept change and recognize that there will be some initial dips in productivity before it becomes comfortable.

Action Items1. Based on the portfolio needs, finalize business tools for your portfolio that can provide meaningful data insights
2. Enable and ensure that business and technology leaders are making decisions based on meaningful data insights

5. Embed tools, data, and collaboration in the portfolio. Inconsistent portfolio data across projects within a portfolio results in ineffective reporting and data aggregation, which can lead to poor decision-making. While business tools have their own specific audiences, bringing together relevant business tools and technology data to gather insights can result in a portfolio ecosystem that enables both collaborative planning and decentralized decision-making among users as well as providing continuous feedback on portfolio status.
An investment in your digital future
While some of these leading practices may seem like obvious steps, many organizations do not document key details in one place and often go off track. Portfolio management can seem like a great initiative that is exciting to begin, but is sometimes executed in a completely undisciplined manner. Investing in portfolio management can have a tremendous impact on organizations’ overall digital transformation mission, simultaneously demonstrating short-term, immediate impact and positioning an organization to respond to future disruption. Key to this, however, is managing the portfolio in a disciplined way that balances risk and return.

Akhand Singh is a senior consultant in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Digital & Cloud Enablement practice, advising global client across industries to help them activate their digital organizations and prepare them for digital transformations.

The post On the road to digital maturity: Managing the IT portfolio appeared first on Capital H Blog.
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Author: hrtimesblog
Date/time: 23rd November 2019, 03:02


How to frame your HR tech strategy
Posted by Chris Havrilla on November 22, 2019.
Many HR organizations acquired their technology stack gradually, as a function of new business, new leaders, and new key initiatives. As such, it’s common to find that an organization’s HR tech stack is a “wreck” of different systems, with a maze of applications, workarounds, spreadsheets, reports, and decks that don’t align with one another. It’s rarely planned, integrated, consolidated, or optimized. In many cases, it’s “owned” by different groups. In such a scenario, the care and feeding of this technology, along with tech- and data-heavy transactions, constitute as much work as the work of service delivery.

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These issues are particularly surprising when you consider that 74 percent of survey respondents in Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report cited HR technology as important or very important.1 Organizations have spent billions of dollars on new cloud platforms to make HR systems more simplified, personalized, and data-driven. Yet, 65 percent of respondents reported that their technology is inadequate or only fair at achieving its overall objectives. Only 6 percent said their HR technology is excellent.
The challenge is that technology alone cannot solve technology problems. What often doesn’t occur with these tech investments and implementations are the corresponding changes to how people work and how work gets done. Many companies fail to do the complementary transformational design and work—including, but not limited to, redesigning their work, operating model, data architecture, and the human experience.
So, they remain in the morass—with new chaos, challenges, and tech in the way of getting things done. Everything is a challenge—even the simplest request for data or insights. This is where the fear, loathing, and distrust of “everything tech” happens—because technology wasn’t the “silver bullet” after all.
How to Frame an HR Tech Strategy
The scope of this kind of transformation is much larger than the technologies that are implemented. It should be a holistic look at key processes, systems, digital capabilities, and data through the lens of the workforce experience. Many organizations have made progress in their digital transformation process by implementing cloud-based HR systems that have helped them begin to address HR’s messy back office. But the 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report also clearly shows that to better support innovation, raise employee productivity, and lower cost, organizations must rethink their HR technology strategy.2
This is where Bersin’s first-ever High-Impact Technology Strategy study comes in. We aim to help you on this journey, starting with the publication of a framework that outlines the needs around such a strategy and defines the strategy’s principal components, focus areas, and fundamental elements.
An effective, impactful, and customized HR technology strategy will help an organization:
• Respond to the rapid pace of technological change
• Integrate new tools
• Build a technical architecture that is flexible for future growth
The 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report states that leading today’s social enterprise requires nothing short of full-scale reinvention—foundational change that uses technology at the core.3 How can organizations, particularly the HR function, alter their technology strategy and use it to enable needed change? They can do so by designing a compelling digital worker experience to help:
• Increase workforce collaboration
• Improve HR service delivery
• Enhance productivity
And then, by integrating robotics, cognitive automation, and artificial intelligence with HR technology, this can result in:
• Transparent data
• An efficient workforce experience
• Flexibility and automation in processes
• Reduction in costs
It is possible to transform your “HR tech wreck” into a useful technology architecture that supports HR, business leaders, and management, but it’s a journey. Along the way, you need to know and understand:
• Where you are (current state)
• Where you want to be (future state)
• What the desired outcomes are
• Why and how HR technology aligns to your functional and business goals
• And, most importantly, how that technology removes pain points and makes a positive impact
For all of this to happen, organizations must remember that technology alone won’t address their problems, challenges, and opportunities. It starts with the voice of the customer and understanding stakeholder needs, and then addressing them through defined strategic goals. Done in this fashion, the result won’t likely be the impact that we would have traditionally seen: more work for people with little to no gain and, at times, even more issues.
The right journey focuses not on IT program management but on keeping your eyes on the prize—creating real value for the organization and its workforce, candidates, partners, suppliers/vendors, and customers. It will include process excellence—identifying optimization opportunities to increase efficiency and standardization to determine how HR will deliver on the human experience vision. At that point, an organization can decide on ways to add to or consolidate, decrease, or optimize existing capabilities through a forward-thinking HR technology portfolio that helps to enable, automate, and augment the work, not be the work.
Your Journey, and the Target of Your Strategy, Is Unique
While there is no single HR technology strategy that will work for every organization—as each organization is different—our High-Impact Technology Strategy Framework can help HR, IT, and business leaders clarify the objectives, or the target, of their technology strategy as a starting point. The framework can help these leaders design a method for hitting this target by defining the principal components of a technology strategy and explaining the important details within each individual component for a cohesive and complete approach. The framework is an important reminder for organizations to consider any dimensions that should be assessed and considered to achieve those outcomes.
Bersin members can access the Interactive Technology Strategy Framework by clicking this link

Chris Havrilla is a vice president and the HR technology and solution provider research leader at BersinTM, Deloitte Consulting LLP.

1Leading the Social Enterprise: Reinvent with a human focus, 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte Insights, 2019.2Leading the Social Enterprise: Reinvent with a human focus, 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte Insights, 2019.3Leading the Social Enterprise: Reinvent with a human focus, 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte Insights, 2019.
The post Do you have an HR tech wreck? appeared first on Capital H Blog.
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Author: hrtimesblog
Date/time: 23rd November 2019, 00:02