You have decided to implement user provisioning into your company. After you start the planning process, a roadblock emerges. You do not have the support you need from other departments. If they resist or ignore the project, you will find it tough to succeed. At a company level, user provisioning’s productivity benefits will be inconsistently applied.
User Provisioning: You Need a Project Management Perspective
Improving your user provisioning process is a project. You have a current state — such as manually setting up users — and you want to move to an improved process — like using a self-serve or automated solution. In addition to the traditional project management requirements — scope, schedule, and budget — you also need the support of stakeholders. Since user provisioning impacts users across the organization, charging ahead without stakeholder support is not an option.
The HR Role: A Key Stakeholder in the Employee Experience
Engaging the human resources department matters for user provisioning. HR has access to the best information on employees: when they start a role, their status (e.g., full time or contract), when they change jobs, and when they leave the company. Also, HR is interested in making the onboarding experience easier. After all, if employees are frustrated by inefficient processes, they may lose motivation and time to work on other goals.
Earning Human Resources Support for User Provisioning, Step by Step
Use these steps to win HR’s support for your user provisioning process. With a few adjustments, these steps can be applied to engage other stakeholders.
1) Discover HR’s goals for the year
Adopt a practice from the best sales professionals in the world. First, discover what your “buyer” — human resources, in this case — wants to achieve. Once you understand that, you will able to make an appeal that resonates with them. If you already have a good contact in HR, call them up and ask to catch up over coffee.
What if you do not have any contacts in HR? Some further work will be needed to understand the group. Experiment with these approaches:
- Search the company intranet for information. If your company has a Sharepoint site or another internal resource, search for the HR department. Many departments post their objectives on these internal websites. If you do not find an objectives or goals document, look for memos, newsletters, or communications from the head of HR.
- Ask a colleague for an introduction to HR. This tip is particularly helpful if you are in a large organization and need guidance in finding the right person in HR.
- Cold call HR and ask around. Cold calling somebody inside your organization should not be scary. If you are unsure, write a few notes as a guide (e.g., “I am Jane in IT, and I am looking to speak with an HR manager about technology. Whom should I speak with?”)
Now that you have an understanding of HR’s goals, you will need to connect the dots between your goal (implement user provisioning) and HR’s goals.
Resource: According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the top HR goals for 2018 include increasing employee engagement, improving performance reviews, and professional development for HR.
2) Analyze how user provisioning contributes to their goals (personal or organizational)
Building on the step above, it is time for you to carry out some analysis. For example, one of HR’s goals could be to increase employee retention. In that case, user provisioning supports that goal by reducing red tape at work (i.e., fewer steps needed for employees to get the permissions and access needed to carry out work). If possible, demonstrate the details of how user provisioning will make life easier for HR.
Examples of HR benefits from implementing more efficient user provisioning:
- The reduced administrative burden for employee onboarding. HR has less administration to worry about during the hiring and onboarding process.
- Employee Satisfaction and Retention. By keeping overhead to a minimum, employees and managers can stay focused on their goals instead of complaining about bureaucracy.
- Support flexible work. Does your company still rely on paper forms? If so, moving to a modern user provisioning system is a must to enable more flexible work. Making users fill in forms and wait days to get it approved just doesn’t make sense anymore.
3) Make your pitch to ask for HR’s support
By this stage, you understand what HR wants and have ideas on how you can support those goals. What’s next? Ask for the order!
Ask to meet with your contact in HR — preferably a person at the manager level — and discuss your project. Outline briefly how the company will benefit from user provisioning and what it will do for HR. If you want to win HR’s support, get personal using the next tip:
Offer to write a letter of recognition or support for your HR stakeholders. Unlike sales or marketing, HR does not always get the respect and recognition they deserve. That is why offering praise for their support on a company project can go a long way. It may be just what your contact needs to stand out when the next promotion comes along.
4) Seek HR’s requirements for user provisioning
As you gather requirements for your new process, include HR in the business requirements gathering. For example, they may be focused on speeding up new employee productivity. In that situation, look for ways to address their goal. You may not be able to support everything that HR suggests. However, you can maintain their support by listening respectfully and meeting them halfway.
Resource: Make sure you understand why HR and other stakeholders are asking for different requirements by using the Five Whys technique.
5) Launch the implementation phase
With the support and input of your stakeholders, it is time to start the implementation work. Keep a regular flow of communication to your stakeholders as the work continues. Do you need HR support for a particular activity like updating policies and procedures? In that case, give them plenty of notice so they can plan accordingly.