Our client is a regional social enterprise that offers community-based healthcare support to at-risk children, individuals, and families.
Our client has been providing community services for over a century. The organization has grown to over 1,000 highly trained employees that work in their communities to offer social services, healthcare, and education to a diverse population. However, the HR infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth of the company, and many critical processes are handled manually and through spreadsheets. Given the anticipated growth of the organization, the current processes were no longer sustainable.
The manual processes were causing significant inefficiencies and affecting employee and client experiences, so the company initiated an HR digital transformation program to modernize and streamline HR processes. Dispatch was engaged to help facilitate critical components of this strategic initiative.
We leveraged our DEEP methodology as we partnered with our client. DEEP is an acronym that outlines four essential phases of a digital transformation initiative:
- Define business and HR Key Performance Indicators and targets. Defining business objectives and metrics is vital when embarking on significant digital transformation initiatives. This step ensures all stakeholders have a say in determining what success looks like and how it is measured. Quite often, different stakeholders come into this phase without clearly articulated “victory statements,” or we discover a misalignment of expectations and objectives. By spending time at the start of the project to define success, we help ensure the entire organization is aligned with the goals of the transformation.
- Evaluate current state processes and technologies and identify gaps. In this phase, we conduct process mapping and assess how work is performed today. This analysis can identify issues and bottlenecks that must be addressed to reach the targets identified in the Define stage. Sometimes we identify issues that can be addressed by changing processes or reconfiguring systems. In other cases, it is necessary to upgrade to different solutions.
- Engage internal stakeholders and external vendors and conduct an assessment of strategic alternatives. We help our clients efficiently engage with stakeholders and subject matter experts to fine-tune requirements, determine what new processes may be required, and create a vendor selection process if new software is needed.
- Plan the transformation based on a future-state design that addresses changes in technologies, processes, and organizational requirements. Whenever changes in workflows, new skills, new organizational structures, or new software are introduced, creating a comprehensive change management plan increases the likelihood of success significantly.
Our team worked alongside the client to define critical business objectives and identify gaps in existing processes and tools. The most urgent priority was determined to be the modernization of staff scheduling. Because the organization has hundreds of employees in the field, each with different skills, areas of focus, geographies, and work hours, scheduling was extremely complex. The existing scheduling approach was performed manually using Excel spreadsheets, whiteboards, and paper printouts. This exhausting process resulted in inaccurate and inefficient schedules, impacting client experiences and employee morale.
We helped define requirements to assess next-generation workforce management software. Functionality was critical, and we also needed to be very conscious of the nature of the workforce (mobile, skilled, and flexible healthcare and social services professionals that work in the field, travelling to different locations, and working non-standard hours). This workforce has little patience for complex applications that require significant training. The scheduling system needed to be dynamic and have the ability to schedule based on location, skill, employee constraints, and patient requirements.
We facilitated a vendor evaluation and selection process on behalf of our client and created a structured set of criteria to determine the best fit.
After a thorough process, the client selected a leading workforce management solution and developed a comprehensive plan to ensure high implementation and adoption. As a result of the disciplined approach, the client completed the evaluation, selection, and planning steps in a matter of weeks.
The outcome was a very successful implementation with the first department, which in turn has created momentum for subsequent rollouts and continued innovation. While the client was initially worried about the acceptance and adoption of a radically new solution by the workforce, they found the organization was very enthusiastic about the change, resulting in improved scheduling efficiency and morale.
Based on the success of this initiative, the client has embarked on additional phases of its transformation, and is now looking at improvements in their hiring and payroll processes.