Hr Library

Three lessons learned from reinventing and digitizing HR workflows

By | Anshul Sheopuri | Vice President & CTO, Data & AI

By Anshul Sheopuri and Brenda Swatek, IBM.

Are spreadsheets filling your day? Do you spend hours pulling data elements together to construct a cohesive response? You are not alone. At IBM, we are focused on elevating the employee experience, and a holistic evolution to a digital, AI-powered HR function. To that end, we are re-imagining how work gets done (and learned a lot along the way!)

1. Don’t just automate. Re-imagine work.

Good-bye heavy manual processes, hello simplification! The first lesson of automation was to re-imagine work before we automate. This means stepping back and identifying where we could eliminate parts of the workflow. We targeted: 

  • reports that were not heavily used or could easily be folded into another similar report 
  • pre-approved access to data (based on role) to eliminate manual processes associated with case-by-case approval
  • easy chatbot access (based on role) to HR data, eliminating the need to access more complex data platforms and reports

Re-imagining how work is done before automating workflows is key to an elevated experience. In our reports example, the result was dramatic: adoption is up 2x over 2 years!

2. Design for speed. Build for scale.

Designing for speed is key to realizing value quickly. By operating in quick sprints, we realized value from our automation efforts in weeks. However, it’s not enough just to design for speed for the first few pilots. It is also important to be able to scale to hundreds of use-cases.

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