June 18, 2008

Employee Onboarding and Enterprise Architecture

The human capital perspective of the enterprise architecture is often overlooked, and is not yet included in the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), but I’m still hopeful.

A recent article in Federal Times, 9 June 2007, called “First Day on the job, first step to retention” demonstrates that human capital architecture is alive and well although not consistently used.

A report by the Partnership for Public Service found that “the government has no consistent approach to bringing new employees on board; new employees often aren’t taught about and initiated into their new agency’s culture; and technology that could ease the process and improve collaboration is underused.”

However, some agencies are coming up with new ways to welcome new employees, make them feel “at home” on the job, get them situated, acclimated and trained, so they quickly become productive employees with longevity at the agency.

For example in setting up the logistics for a new employee, “GAO and NASA have each developed case management systems to track new hires from the moment they accept the offer. The system alerts information technology offices to set up a computer network access and email account for a new employee; facilities staff will prepare an office and desk; and security staffs work in advance to arrange needed clearances.”

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) goes above and beyond when it comes to onboarding. OCC send new hires “a welcome basket with an agency-branded T-shirt, umbrella, luggage tags, and chocolates.” Not a bad introduction for someone starting new in a place.

GAO, NASA, OCC are all good examples of what human capital enterprise architecture is all about. I would suggest growing this list and building it into a FEA human capital perspective.

We cannot take our employees for granted. Their enthusiasm, determination, innovation, empowerment, and leadership is what will drive the organization ultimately to succeed or not.

The enterprise architecture human capital perspective can look at the lifecycle of the employee from recruiting, hiring, and onboarding all the way through their 30+ year careers and into retirement. The enterprise architecture can assess how we manage the human capital lifecycle in the enterprise today, establish a future target state, and develop the transition plan to move the organization towards best practices for managing our most critical asset, our people.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I realize that this might be an older post, but it was brought to the surface through a recent article in the FederalTimes "HR managers work to smooth the way for new employees" and a subsequent search on the topic.

As the owner of a company that has developed and implemented an automated onboarding (EOD) system for several government agencies, I have found your views on user centric enterprise architectures interesting. Our product, which is never mentioned in these articles, automates the collection of enterprise data required for data centric processes, most commonly around the use of forms. The EOD or onboarding process lends itself well for this type of application.

Our unique tool takes any form or data collection requirement and dynamically creates a TurboTax style interview session to easily and logically collect this information, regardless of the number of documents selected from the library or other information needed to be collected. Once collected, the information is available as data for integration into any downstream system.

My issue is getting the government to understand the need for this type of system and see the versatility and multiple uses for it. We have automated the EOD, Financial Disclosure, and Telework processes to give some examples for the type processes that can be automated through the use of a common user interface. Our system can be used for any enterprise data collection requirement.

The value for this type of system (moving on from the sales pitch at this point) is the consistency of the user interface for the collection of any data that is required by the government for any enterprise system. Documents, even online fillable ones, rarely suffice in dealing with the process that is associated with the document or any of the information that might need to be available to complete it.

An enterprise portal and common user interface would allow data to be user centric and also more easily tie disparate data systems together.

(Note to Andy Blumenthal: my apologies for any sales pitch, but I couldn't find any contact information for you. rhankey@hrworx.com)