In the 2015 Chaos Report, the Standish Group assessed more than 50,000 software development projects ranging from small enhancements to massive systems re-engineering implementations. Their key findings were that less than 29 percent were successful with as many as 19 percent failing outright. Given these abysmal success rates, when beginning a workforce management (WFM) initiative, it is important to consider that these projects are about people, processes and how they integrate into the daily workloads of your employees. Before engaging in any workforce-related endeavor, it is critical to understand your current state, identify opportunities to improve and develop a robust framework for migration to a future state. In other words, it is essential to have a plan, a business process blueprint, that takes into consideration all these variables and produces a valuable and productive tool, a blueprint, to ensure the success and positive outcomes of the project at hand.
What is blueprinting?
Blueprinting is a combination of management philosophy, discipline, capabilities and technology. Here at Bluewater Learning, we use a methodology that is geared directly for the human capital management (HCM) and WFM world and provides real value to the process of discovering how you function today and in the future. We identify several critical factors including target processes, events or triggers, functions, activities, capabilities, dependencies and systems. This information, in turn, provides an understanding and accurate picture of the business model we are seeking to change.
The benefits of blueprinting
By approaching the business challenge of a workforce change in a manner that is agnostic to technology and methodical, blueprinting assists organizations in several ways.
1. Improved agility
To remain competitive in today’s environment companies must be able to quickly react to changes — whether regulatory, competitive or technology-driven. Regardless of the cause of change, agility is the key to remaining competitive. A WFM blueprint helps you to meet these demands in a manner that is not dependant on a technology vendor. As the processes develop, management can see areas of improvement, target change and evolve to meet the environmental shift. And all without a dependency on technology.
2. Increased efficiency and enable continuous improvement
The real measure of your WFM investment is initial and ongoing Return on Investment (ROI). You cannot always rely on a vendor to include your needs in their core product, and you may want to limit customization. The WFM blueprint lets you target specific areas of change in your processes and enables continuous improvement throughout the organization. Perhaps a small process change or training initiative can save considerable technology investment. Continuous improvement is key to leveraging your initial spend on both technology and human capital.
3. Enhanced compliance
Non-compliance with rules and regulations impacting business productivity is costly. Having a WFM blueprint positions an organization to create an environment that is compliant and secure. It also shelters the organization and its shareholders from internal issues such as time theft and scheduling issues where employee safety is a concern.
4. Increase executive level visibility
Having a WFM blueprint distances an implementation from the murky world of “systems speak.” By targeting process, you can create a common vernacular for distribution across multiple levels of management and decision making. Given that one of the most common reasons for the high percentage of failure of projects is upfront and ongoing communication, the establishment of a common speaking ground is critical to the success of your initiative. A WFM blueprint provides the forum needed for this required level of stakeholder engagement.
5. Simplified training, change management and knowledge transfer
More often than not, companies operate under the assumption that employees know and or will develop their understanding of the process. This assumption is mistaken. A WFM blueprint provides a well-described workflow as it stands and how it will facilitate an organization to disseminate the information efficiently amongst their workforce. Providing such invaluable information allows the organization and delivery of any required training helping alleviate the disruption and stress that often accompany WFM initiatives.
A WFM blueprint gives management the ability to see not just how an organization is managing their workforce, but also how each process is functioning. In time this data can lead to cost savings, increased labor margin and improvements in overall efficiency. If the right stakeholders are engaged and brought together, it takes less than three months to define a WFM blueprint. Once established, the rest is straightforward with the outcomes of serving employees and employers alike.
To learn more about the benefits of a WFM blueprint and the Bluewater methodology, please email us an inquiry at WFMblueprint@bluewaterhcm.com.