Friday, April 15, 2005

Workflow vs HRMS

Dubs from the HR Technology Discussion board provides a great primer on workflow.

As Dubs said workflow in HR is HUGE, I could not agree more. The ROI that can be demonstrated by an effective workflow solution can pay for itself very very quickly. It does not even need to be a top of the line (complex) implementation to get major benefits.

Dubs describes in his second example agent based computing, and according the SAP one of the next big things. Agent based computing is a very broad area and will impact all areas of the business, including HR.

I Dubs third example where disparate systems are interacting with each other you are starting to move into full cross process automation. Typically these scenarios have been implemented by the use of a message based architecture. In the late 90s there was a big movement towards a standard called CORBA, however this proved very costly to implement. In the last couple of years the growth in web services and XML has meant that we are getting closer to applications being able to communicate with each other.

The only downside with all of this technology is you must have your processes clearly defined and consistently applied across the enterprise. While this is not too hard in a single legislative environment the more sets of legislations and cultures that need to be included the more complex and costly things get. Very very few organisations have been able to effectively implement even relatively simple processes such as leave requests across different countries. You need to have a very good understanding of what you are trying to achieve and be able to document the scope in a clear manner, otherwise your projects have a very high chance of failure. The other very important aspect of workflow is testing. Testing of workflow solutions can be difficult and requires a slightly different approach. For example many workflow systems allow for escalation rules to be built into the process, ie when a manager does not action a task it gets escalated via the workflow to another manager. If the escalation time frame is set to 5 days, you need to ensure your tests take this into account and the result might be longer test cycles.

I have moved from this site to my new home which can be found a

posted by mspecht @ 4/15/2005 06:58:00 pm   |